I had the same best friend from Kindergarten until the end of sixth grade. After sixth grade she switched to an all girl Catholic school and then went to college out of state. It's a shame we didn't try to stay close even though we were at different schools. I wonder if we could have remained good friends, or if the small pool of kids are our elementary school (each grade had maybe 40 students) pushed us into friendship when our personalities and interests would have normally kept us apart. We were both brainy (she more than I), but she was outgoing, popular and athletic (I was not). For those seven years we were inseparable.
We sort of kept in contact through high school and college, really just keeping tabs on each other and what was going on in our lives. When I was pregnant with Princess Sparkley I was invited to her bridal shower. Then her parents moved out of state and I lost track of her until a couple of years ago when I finally tracked her down (after years of trying to find her), through the white pages. I think. We've caught up briefly in emails but she's not on Facebook and isn't much for emailing either. And we've exchanged Christmas cards.
I emailed her last week to make sure I had her address so I could send them a card and got a huge shock. She was diagnosed with an aggressive breast cancer at the beginning of the year, went through chemo and had a bilateral mastectomy. Her doctors are thrilled with how she's doing, and her hair, that spent our childhood in a bouncy ponytail, is starting to grow back. She's 34 (35 next month) and the mother of two.
I know a lot of people who have had cancer affect their lives more than it has mine. I lost grandparents to cancer (but I was six). I lost an aunt to cancer (when I was fourteen, but she'd lived in Kentucky my entire life and I'd only met her a handful of times). And the moms of several of my good friends have both survived and not survived breast cancer. Even though this best friend and I obviously aren't currently inseparable, it is still a huge shock to me to have someone who I knew so well be affected by it. I spent hours playing with her Barbie Dream House and Corvette. She had this awesome playhouse in her yard. I even ate canned asparagus for her mom. And she was almost gone, like that.