and I met in a Sunday school class at a church in Memphis, Tennessee. I can’t
remember the name of the church, but it was a big one and had a tall steeple,
and many people must have gone there, because my parents had trouble finding a parking place, and the walk inside was long.
You had blonde hair and blue eyes and were so pretty—that’s how
I remember you. My eyes were brown and my hair was reddish brown, and I had
freckles and you didn’t, and I wanted to not have freckles and look more like
you. We were six months apart—I was older and when one is seven or eight, six months is a
very long time, so in our case, I was way older. You had two cats, Lucky and
Mittens. I did not have pets, but I loved seeing and hearing about your cats,
and I secretly felt as if they were mine, too.
spent the night at each others' houses a few times, and those were the first
times I ever stayed up all night, talking, giggling, and sneaking cookies. Staying up all night has never be that fun again. You liked Star Trek and
playing with American Girl dolls. I liked writing stories, mostly. I liked
dolls too, but not as much as you did. You had Molly, and I had Samantha, and I
liked reading the books that went with them, and you liked dressing them up and
making them real. Our dolls were friends, just like we were, you said.
remember one afternoon at your house. I wanted to write stories and then act
them out, and you wanted to play with Molly and Samantha, and most of the time,
we could compromise, but this particular day we could not. We were mad at each
other, and I wrote in my journal, “I’m mad at her because she won’t write
stories with me. She wants to play dolls and I am tired of playing dolls. I
don’t know if we are still best friends.” Your
mom had to intervene, and I can’t remember the outcome exactly; I think maybe
we neither wrote stories nor played with Molly and Samantha, but decided to
watch Anne of Green Gables, which was another one of our favorites. I miss
those days, when things were pretty simple and controversy was easily resolved.
The next day I wrote in my
journal, “Well, we are best friends again. She is my best friend in the whole
moved away when I was nine. You and I became pen pals and wrote letters (like snail mail, this was before email) for
several years. I need you to know that your and my friendship served as the
baseline for coming friendships, and some just didn’t measure up.
I haven’t seen you in a hot minute (as my students would say), and I am sure
you have changed some, I’m sure you are still beautiful, fun, loving and
creative. Thank you for teaching me, so early on, how to love and be loved. I