From around the sixth grade up through most of high school, I was part of a trio. Me, Jeremiah, and Brandy. There were others in our group, and membership waxed and waned, but we 3 were the founding members.
After High School, I grew apart from Jeremiah and Brandy. I had a baby, got married, and moved on to boring grown up stuff, while the two of them enjoyed being in their teens and twenties, like you’re supposed to.
I often thought of them and wondered how and where they were. I even went to one of my high school reunions, which I never would have done ordinarily, in the hope that one or the other might be there. Of course weren’t, why would they be? We hated high school. Everyone who saw me there (and actually knew who I was) was shocked that I hadn’t remained in contact with them, as the three of us had always been so close.
Then, in my mid- 30’s, thanks to social media, I finally found Jeremiah again.
I was saddened to discover that diabetes had taken Brandy, but was glad to hear that she and Jeremiah had remained close to the end. I still regret that I was not able to continue our friendship, or to say goodbye, or to tell her how much she always meant to me, and that I still thought (and think) of her often.
I was over the moon to be back in touch with Jeremiah though, who was exactly the same person I had loved like a brother all those years ago. He’s still a big metal head, loves professional wrestling, looks exactly the same, and even has the same goofy laugh. And while I would love to say that we fell instantly back into being BFFs, too much had changed for me. I had moved on and become a totally different person than I was back then. My interests are different, my taste in music is different, I have very little in common with the person that I was and grades 6 through 12.
The two of us nonethelesd got together a couple times and hung out, but of course it was awkward, having not seen each other on over a decade. Then, shortly after we reconnected, Jeremiah moved to Texas. He got married. I got remarried. Life continued on as it always had.
We’ve stayed in contact through social media, and genuinely enjoy reading about each other’s lives, but we don’t really talk anymore, and it’s clear we no longer have many common interests.
Except, we discovered, we both LOVE Cracklin Oat Bran.
I made a post on Facebook a couple years ago about how I used to love a cereal that looks like dog food, but I couldn’t remember the name of it. I’d had a weird craving for it and wanted to pick some up. Jeremiah commented (paraphrased) “Cracklin Oat Bran! I love that stuff! My husband always makes fun of me for eating it. He calls it “Cracklin Old Man””.
And instantly I loved him even more, and loved his husband I’ve never met, and was super glad he’d found someone so awesome to share his life with.
Fast forward a few years, we’re now in our 40’s. I once again found myself craving that dog food cereal, and picked up a box.
Then, a couple nights ago, I was up at midnight because we were having a home security system installed (yes, at midnight. Those guys don’t play around) and I realized I hadn’t eaten dinner. I made myself a bowl of cereal and took it to my bedroom to avoid the installation guy.
Then,remembering the Facebook conversation from years ago, I posted this photo on Jeremiah’s wall, with the caption, “Try not to be too jealous of my midnight snack. Awww yeah.”
Then, I swear to you, it was less than a minute later, I received this comment
And that is why, even though we don’t really talk, and don’t have much in common anymore, I will always count Jeremiah among my very best friends.
Even if we have nothing else in common, we can proudly celebrate being a pair of Cracklin Old [wo]Men. I am totally okay with that.