Jacob has returned to his wonderful ways of keeping close, of being right here within reach because that's where I like him best. There's nothing more we can say or do. We've said everything we could say and thought everything we can think and done what we can to offer help or shoulders or ears (my bionic ones especially) and all that's left is to pray and wait for the dust to settle.
I've never been the kind of person who was good at letting things go or with having the kind of faith needed to wait out someone else's meltdown or step away from a situation that wasn't good for me purely because of feelings for the person involved. Jacob is good at that, he's good at waiting. He says Loch will come around, that this was his version of running, it just seems more deplorable but he isn't the first man to get cold feet when confronted with fatherhood.
It seems like the beginning of the end, the group who used to spend summer evenings discussing movies and cooking new recipes on the barbecue and playing with my kids or going on extreme camping trips is no more. Did we grow up and grow apart? Was the stress of the past two years too much to bear?
I don't know if it is.
I might never know. It's out of my hands, now.
The chances are there. In the interest of grace there's no finite number of opportunities we have given each other, this group of friends, to keep things right. People are human. We mess up, we atone, make amends, eat lots of crow and keep going. We keep holding each other up. We move forward and distance ourselves from the foolish uneducated versions of ourselves who misstepped. We forgive. We love no matter what. We're there. For each other.
We should be a movie, for crying out loud.
In any case, we've opted not to host a dinner tomorrow. Jacob asked me what I wanted to do instead and I rattled off something about watching a horror movie marathon and polishing off the bottle of Stoli I found in his desk drawer. The locked one with the key in the other drawer.
He laughed and said that it wasn't funny, that he was actually laughing because I never learn. I pointed out that I was testing him, and that if I had wanted the Stoli I would have simply taken it. That brought a very big smile and a gentle reminder that we will be okay. That everyone will be okay. When it rains it pours but eventually the sun returns. God, I love this giant hippie.
Shaky, tenuous optimism. Wish me luck, I'm not very good at it.