At what point does a family friend become just family?
Maybe it’s when they have kids the same age as you and everyone’s part of the swirl of young families on a tiny little suburban street, the kids running in and out of everyone’s homes while the parents spend time together doing whatever it is that parents did in the 60s and 70s while their kids ran around.
Maybe it’s when you move away and then they move two doors down and it’s like nobody missed a beat.
Maybe it’s all the Christmases that they would drop over – Christmas Day being a rather low-key event for us, with family and friends often hanging out in the living room, sharing the day.
Maybe it’s when they are there for you, day in and day out, in good times and bad. Like when they basically adopt your mom and make sure she’s okay after your dad passes away. Like that.
Maybe it’s all those things and more.
When my family moved out of the city and into the suburbs in 1967, Mrs. Watts and her family were across the street.
And they’ve been part of our family ever since.
Mrs. Watts passed away last night, and the world is poorer for it. I will celebrate her life and mourn her passing. If you have a moment, spare a thought for a good person who made the world a far more interesting and colorful place than it had any right to be.