Did you grow up in a confortable, clean home? I did. But my very best friend from the ages of 8-16 did not. At least I am pretty sure she didn't. We grew up six houses apart. She was an only child and I had four siblings. Her parents were great to my entire family. They took us kids to fairs,the beach,the zoo, etc. and occassionally, they would take my mother to pick up her medication. My mom allowed us to invite my (really our) best friend over whenever we wanted. Looking back, we had many happy memories growing up together.......but I realize that we only ever visited my friend OUTSIDE of her home. This was for each of her birthday parties, cookouts, etc. We never once set foot inside her home. Winter or summer (in FL) If we needed to use the bathroom, we would run to our house to do so. The outside was fairly clean, however, we did notice things over the years. Twice my brother saw a rat in the window......he was mean and asked my friend if her house was nasty and if that was the reason why we werent allowed inside. Mom grounded him from visiting for awhile after that. I asked my friend several times why we weren't allowed inside and she would only say "dad is in the middle of construction and he is afraid you will be hurt". I bought that excuse for years, but as we went to Jr. High, I knew it wasnt true. Her parents were some of the best in the world, but they were never in good health it seemed for long periods of time. After she went to high school (I was still in 8th grade at our old school), we went our separate ways shortly afterwards. I miss my friend. I wish I could have helped her somehow. I spoke to her about a month ago, we talked about old times, but even as we laughed, I could see a hint of sadness in her eyes.