It was when she said, "My dad died of cancer too."
This similarity between us hasn't fused a supersonic friendship that defies all odds and keeps us inseperable; she's still taking classes, I work all day; she travels for hours on the weekends to see her boyfriend, I stay in right town; she has a close group of friends in the area, mine have graduated and moved away (like she plans to in a few months). We are still very different, and surprisingly, there have been few nights where we've stayed up late talking about you and her dad, but when we do, I am reminded of just how special our friendship is to one another.
One night in particular, between hours of mindless DVR'd television, in our pajamas, all wrapped up in blankets while we sprawled out in the living room, she told me about her dad's final days alive. She said she had only ever told one other friend that. I can't even begin to tell you how that made me feel-- and not even in the "wow, I rock!" kind of way, but in the "that must have been so freeing for her" kind of way.
J has helped me to incorporate you into my every day life. Living with her has allowed me to naturally bring up your name in a casual conversation or mention a memory that you're a part of without feeling awkward. Every time she says, "Oh! My dad _______" it reminds me of how important our pasts are and how much they have shaped our futures.
Last night, J and I went to the movies. We made a pit stop at a gas station to buy some snacks in order to avoid the overpriced bags of popcorn at the theater. She picked out a bag of Cheez Doodles, and I nonchalantly mentioned the story about how much you loved them. I told her how I would sneak you some when you were really sick and on a liquid diet. During that time, you had a tube connected to your stomach leading to a bag propped up on the floor, so within minutes I'd see orange clumps forming. We'd laugh, and I'd help squeeze them down into the bag before Dad came back into the room.
I looked over at her, and like I was truly realizing it for the first time (because that's almost what it felt like in that moment to say it outloud), I responded, "...She didn't."