She sent me a text, apologizing for missing my call. She'd get back to me as soon as she unloaded the groceries. I was reading a book, drinking ice tea, enjoying the fresh air. I was available whenever she was.
Had I called her? I didn't remember. It didn't matter. By the time she was settled down for a long chat I had dozens of questions at the ready.
We've been in each other's lives since I was 19 and she just a bit older. TBG's the youngest of his first cousins; most of them had children when I met them. Her kids were around whenever we were in Cleveland, and they had very cool outdoor toys. My city-bred kids were enthralled with the trikes and the scooters and the cars of all varieties of locomotion, and TBG and I enjoyed the grown-ups every bit as much.
But, as with so much of life, I keep up with her through the postings of her children on Facebook. Holidays and the occasional She's the person who needs this card or gift aside, that's been about it for far too many years.
We remedied the situation that afternoon.
Compliments to the grandchildren were, of course, the starting point. Her eldest's eldest is showing herself to be a person of great character and depth; the rest are still just adorable little ones with personality galore. Nature or nurture, The Eldest's Eldest has a younger sister who is as funny as her father was when he was her age. I'd never seen a 2 year old tell a joke before I met him; her grandmother was eager to regale me with recent stories reminiscent of those we'd seen decades ago.
How did I get to be old enough to be having the grandma talk? On the phone that afternoon we were 20 somethings, moving them out of their Indiana apartment, marveling at how her husband had tied back the doors and provided padding materials, listening to him and TBG share tales of woe from their days as professional movers. I'm certain that our husbands could pick up those stories right where we left off; it was that kind of friendship.
We had subscriptions to the Chicago Symphony with them... for one season. Friday night was probably not the wisest choice; by intermission the snores were as loud as the music. We vacationed with them, a house on the beach with vodka on ice at sunset by the ocean and poker with the kids til all hours of the night.
And there were so many grandkids and so many stories and then there were her daughters-in-law, women of substance who bring her joy, and her sons and her daughter and then TBG was in the doorway telling me that FlapJilly wanted to Skype.
We hung up, promising to do this again real soon, and praising serendipity and my butt for reconnecting us.