I had the pleasure tonight of having dinner with one of John's oldest friends, a guy who John met when the two of them were pre-teens and with whom John remained close until he died. This guy, Mike—no reason not to give his name—has always been one of my favorites of John's friends, one of those people who I imagine I would have been friends with in high school, too. As Mike pointed out, he's a lot like John, so why wouldn't we get along? So true.
Mike was in town on business, and my mom and stepdad were kind enough to watch Maddie and Riley so that I could enjoy a proper evening out. Great food, great company, great city, it was . . . great. I can be totally straight with Mike, and our conversation covered everything from memories about John to my relationship with my inlaws to my (nonexistent) love life to his concert pianist (!) girlfriend to what we're watching on Netflix.
We hit some emotionally intense moments along the way, some of which brought up some old anger and hurt for me. It was good to feel that again as some of those feelings have been dormant for quite a while. What really got me, though, was talking about how there is a relatively large group of people in my life who never knew John. I had good friends in Boston who I didn't meet until after John died. I have new friends here who never met him, and even some of my high school and college friends with whom I've reconnected never had the chance to know him.
John died too soon. He made me a better person. Some of my friends would have so appreciated his humor. Others, his compassion. Still others, things I can't begin to imagine. So sad, for him, for all of us, in ways we can never truly know.