Saturday, April 20, 2013
Signs and Thoughts of Spring
She lived up the street from me, a short distance, a walking distance, so of course we went to the same elementary school. The bus would pick her up first in the morning, the next stop was mine. We always sat together on the way to school and more often then not on the way home as well, reversed bus ride, I would be let off first to go home. Our friendship, that was over 50 years ago.
She would at times stay over night at my house. She had a giggle that I can still hear if I quietly listen. We were silly little girls. My father would work the bingo game for our church once a month and when he did my mother and brother and I would go to bingo as well. Many times she would come along with us and spend the night afterwards. She won one night, oh my goodness, it was so, so exciting.
One spring morning ... I really remember the day, it was very beautiful, such a blue, blue sky ... I got on the bus and took my seat next to her on the right side of the bus about half way back. We usually sat there. As soon as I got settled in my seat she handed me this little white box. Never having received a gift before like this I didn't think too much of it until I opened the box. Inside was a silver band ring nestled in a small rectangle of cotten, the ring had an open cutwork design and was so shiny. It was the most beautiful thing I think I had ever seen. She told me it was a friendship ring. Can you imagine how special that was? And how special that is to even this day, almost a lifetime later.
That afternoon after school my mother took me out so that I could get her a ring from me. Giving her her ring the next day was at least anticlimatic to what I experienced but nevertheless we cemented our friendship.
During junior high school we had moved and somehow we had drifted. Many years after high school my mother had run into her mother. They made plans to meet, her daughter would be there with her children and I would come with my sons. We were both excited to see each other, it had been a long time. The day before we were to meet she had gotten the flu or something so that we had to postpone our visit but shortly we would plan a get together again.
A few weeks later I was driving to my mother's and along the way I had passed our school bus stops ... and for some reason I remembered the friendship ring, the blue sky, the bus ride that one spring morning and it made me smile and warmed my heart. She was such a great kid! I had often passed this way but for some reason the memory had chosen now to surface.
Shortly after this my mother had run into her mother. It seems that the week that I had gone to my mother's, the week that I had remembered that spring morning, she had had a massive heart attack. She had died at the age of 41. That was 22 years ago. It struck me that I hadn't thought of that spring morning, of those two little girls, until that week and thinking that we would see each other again shortly.
I wrote to her mother, telling her of the memory that my heart held. I also told her that knowing the type of child she had been I also knew the type of adult she would have grown to be and that I could not begin to imagine their heartache.
She was my first best friend. Its more then a good memory, it was a special time of life. I can imagine now that she has and continues to fill heaven with her laughter and giggles.
So, to the new green and to Barbara,
thank you for being my first best friend. God bless you.