It was a platonic love, more special even than kinship or sisterhood. We weren’t born tethered to each other; we chose to be.
Her family treated me like one of their own. It was Sandra’s mother who put me on birth control, and Sandra’s cousins who invited me to their weddings and graduations. I vacationed and celebrated holidays with them. Her family was there for me in ways my family couldn’t be.
A house of two alcoholics and not much social interaction had brought me here. What was normal in our home, the slurred words, was exposed to the outside world for the first time.
Loving yourself is a challenge on the best of days, let alone in the midst of loss and grief.