I've mentioned my high school best friend before. He died two years ago.
Yesterday I learned that his grandmother is in a nursing home. He lived with her when we were friends, until he found his birth father and moved to Alabama to try living with him and his wife and other children (my friend had a complicated childhood). I found this out because his grandmother's roomate is her sister-in-law, a wonderful lady who was like a grandmother to me growing up. I always claimed three sets of grandparents because of this woman and her husband.
I haven't seen his grandmother in many years, even though my friend and I had kept in touch sporadically over the years. I didn't see her at his funeral, but it had been so many years since I'd seen his family that the only people I recognized were his mother and his wife. For some reason, knowing his grandmother is in a nursing home makes me miss him more. It would be so nice to be able to call or, more realistically, Facebook message or text him to talk about this. Maybe even visit.
I don't even know where I'm going with these thoughts, or why I'm writing them here. But this has been on my mind since yesterday. Even though we weren't close any more, I still felt better knowing he was around. I learned a long time ago that I couldn't save him - believe me I tried when we were younger- and that ultimitely he had to save himself. But why didn't I put more effort into our friendship when he moved back here? I had his phone number, I knew where he worked. I have no idea. We couldn't have gone back to the same kind of friendship, but a new kind with our families and get-togethers and who knows what.
Or maybe not. Years had passed, and we were different people. But I'll never know. I still wish I could talk to him, though. It's a strange feeling to remember that he's not out there somewhere living his life.