Is the concept of a “family friend” one of those Filipino-isms? I don’t think I’ve ever heard any other nationality use this exact phrase as we do, oftentimes as modifiers instead of nouns. Others say, “she’s a friend of the family,” but we say, “she’s a family friend.” There is also a connotation that the relationship is much deeper than others: a family friend is someone you roll deep with, possibly spent endless summers with when you were younger; and no matter how far life has stretched your band of friendship, across years and miles, you just snap back together so easily and naturally.
I have a small handful of family friends that fit that description, but one particular girl is top of mind when I think of someone who is not technically related to me (not neighbour, not carpool, but godsister — a private joke of ours) but feels like family.
Ryan, my sister, and I had lunch with Lora and her husband for the first time since they got married and moved back to the Philippines. I had not spent more than our traditional New Year’s Eves with them, and had only met Jason once before, but everything flowed like we had not aged or changed. Even if we all had aged and changed drastically. Nothing was taboo, as the conversation started off with religion, and we covered healthcare, education, parenting, travel, interspersed with very little gossip, over chicken wings, nachos, fries, and beers.