Jenny and I are the same age. We both have red hair and tempers that match. The daughter of my Dad's favorite brother, we spent Christmas and summers together. When we were little, time seemed to know no limit or structure. It flew by like so many childhood days. We ignored my little sister (sorry Mags) and had our own special world together. She had a big 4 poster bed in her room with ruffly bedspread and a picture of ballet shoes on her wall. On Sunday she curled her hair with hot rollers and always had a huge bow on the back of her head. She was the greatest.
When we got older we would laugh. We'd laugh those crazy, "I'm not really sure why I'm laughing but I just can't control it" kind of laughs. The laughter that now drives me up the wall and makes me wonder how our parents could stand to be around us. 13 year old girl laughter can be so hard to bear. It was kind of laughter that rarely comes over me anymore. Unbridled is the best way I can describe it.
After high school we drifted. Our paths shifted underfoot. While the physical distance between us shrank the gulf between us grew. I don't think I've spoken to her face to face in a few years. Worse yet, I don't think I've thought of her since I got married. It's shameful and embarrassing for me. Someone who claims to hold friendships and relationships dear.
This weekend I heard she was pregnant and was overjoyed. But, the same breath that delivered this astoundingly wonderful news held words that choked my throat and stilled the flutter of my heartbeat. Words like "hospital" and "2 months premature" and "possible death" entered my ears, but did not compute.
Is this really happening to the girl whose face was the closest reflection of my own I've ever had? When did growing up get so hard?
UPDATE: My mom called me this morning to let me know that she'd delivered her little baby in an emergency c section and they are both stable. Little Grace weighs 4 lbs and is in an incubator. Jenny is hanging in there. Keep your fingers crossed.