Monday, September 19, 2011

School Friends

If you are like me, you don’t know much about your mother’s school friends. I do know my mother’s graduating class continued to have reunions even when there was just a few of them left.
Grace and Mary (So glamorous!) with dates--eighth grade
It feels a little sad to me that I knew so little of what her school life was like. Obviously it was filled with good friends who understood how important the friendships we make in school really are. But, I can’t name even one friend my mother had in high school. (My sister probably can. She never forgets stuff like that.) Mom wasn't close to any of them on a routine basis as we were growing up. (Maybe she was and I just wasn’t paying attention.) She had lots of friends, very close friends that she talked with often and even went on trips with after my father died but I think they were friend she made as an adult. Every once in a while she would point out a house in our small town and say, that’s where so and so lived when we were in school. I remember the specific house she pointed at when she turned to me and said, “That's where my friend Betty told me about the facts of life.” (A school friend told her, not her mother.)
Frankly, it is hard to picture my mother ever being a school girl. To me and my five siblings, she was just mom and she wasn’t supposed to be having fun. She had work to do, our meals to cook, clothes to wash and iron; plus, she was a minister’s wife and that was another full-time job. She was pretty--I know that now, but then, she was motherly and certainly not school-girlish.
So I am posting this for my daughter, Sam. It is a picture of my friend Mary and I in the eighth grade, all dressed up for a church party. Please note that we had dates. Yes, dates in the eighth grade. And, believe it or not, we thought we were just as cool then, as my daughter thought she was at that age. No one is really very cool at that age, but they think they are.
Mary’s Story
Mary and I at . . . what else? A Ringo Starr Concert in 2010

Our family moved away when I started 10th grade and I lost touch with Mary; although, we had been good friends throughout elementary school. About 15 years ago, by coincidence, Mary’s husband came to work at the hospital where I was working. The rest is history. We found each other after all those years. Mary lives about an hour from me now so we still don’t get to see each other as often as we'd like. A few weeks ago, my husband and I had dinner with Mary and her husband. Mary made this comment that got me to thinking about school chums:

“The people you knew so long ago from school are more like family than friends.”
In this life, we are fortunate if we have good friends when we are young and, even more blessed, as I have been, when a few of them stay in our lives and end up feeling more like family. I have another childhood friend, Noni that also feels like a sister to me.
Sam moved 2,000 miles away from us to experience life on her own. Well, almost on her own; she went with a good friend from high school, Jen. And, I am happy for her that she has a close friend to be with. I am sure too, that she would not find it easy to picture me as a school girl. But I was once, as happy-go-lucky and hopeful about life as she was at that age. And, we had just as much fun too, even without cell phones or Facebook.
I want to hear your stories about childhood friends. (I have more friend stories myself.) You can send your stories to me at and include a .jpg photo/s and I’ll post them. Or, you can even leave your school friend story in the Comments. 


  1. I love this post! I love when you share with me stories about when you were younger. It reminds me that you were KINDA cool growing up. ;-) Love you!

  2. Kinda? Just look at that picture. I was totally glam! I hope you'll share a friend story. Far-away daughter, Love you too!

  3. Grace - great post! I never got to meet my mom's mom as she died when my mom was only nine, so your feelings definitely ring true! We know she played bridge with a small group of women, but I believe they have all passed away now. I definitely wish I knew more about her school friends -- but! I am glad to know a couple of my mom's close friends from her earlier years and also to have a few of my own who I've known for 20+ years.

  4. Thanks Gigi! I'm so glad you like the blog. It's fabulous to have long term friends! I hope you'll share more!

  5. Thanks for the post and the wonderful reminder of our childhood friendship. I love the pictures. WE WERE GLAM! I am so glad we have been able to get together and renew those memories and make some new ones. I definitely feel blessed for knowing you and having a chance to share our creative energy of poetry and art.


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