know at least one of you (jo) thinks that my sister will occupy this spot. but she will be coming round the mountain tomorrow because i actually met these two gals when i was 7 months old.
seems that someone had a little meet and greet THE MOST ADORABLE BABY EVER party for me when i arrived at my parent’s house (i was about 6 months old and on the car ride home from jacksonville, my mom tried to feed me peas and i spit them back at her. i have to this day NEVER liked peas). anyway i have the actual guest pages that listed everyone at that party (and the gift they brought me, so i know who my real friends are...). and in my baby book it clearly lists that mary jane and ellen came to that party and even adds the detail that ellen was eating crackers the whole time....
the header photo is NOT from that party, how can i be so sure? because ellen is not chewing a cracker. and because WE ARE NOT BABIES in that photo.
from that party and forthwith into perpetuity we were friends. we went to preschool together, kindergarten together, ellen went to another elementary school but came back to us in middle school, we had beach houses close together, and we graduated high school together.
and the best part is that mary jane and ellen were really fun girl AND they were also cousins (to each other, not to me). mary jane is the sister of molly and the aunt of merritt from this previous post. mary jane is a middle school art teacher in georgia and ellen is a mommy and works tirelessly for the brehon institute (and made me serve on the brehon board with her, she is so mean like that).
mary jane and i once had a terrible case of asphalt poisoning because we played tennis without shoes on and we TORE UP our feet. i tell you for days it hurt to walk. we were sure that the asphalt on the tennis courts had poisoned our feet.
and ellen, that girl played a mean game of barbie dolls ( and by mean, i mean that her barbies had the best clothes). i cannot remember ever playing barbie dolls without ellen. i do remember the barbie doll wedding at her house (get it, “i do” remember...). her mom made a veil for barbie to wear and i think there was even fresh flowers. mostly we played barbies at the beach house. our barbies sat in the sun for hours and i think several of them have skin cancer. but good thing, barbie is also a dr., so she can treat her own skin cancer.
mary jane and ellen made me want cousins. my parents were both only children and so we had no first cousins. and i wanted some. i prayed for some (don’t know how i thought God would answer that prayer). i LOVE seeing my kids with my brothers and sister’s kids. my children KNOW cousins. sometimes it is so much better when God answers a prayer in the lives of your children than if He had answered it in your life.
these girls taught me what it means to be a friend, a life long friend. i can go weeks or months or even a year without seeing them and when i do, we can sit down and start right up and talk talk talk. we usually have a chance to do that in the summer sitting on porches or decks down at st. teresa and it is always wonderful.
i have a tendency to hoard things... and the #1 think i like to hoard is scrapbook paper. and the #2 thing is friends. i have no “used to be my friend”s. once you are my friend, you will ALWAYS be my friend (sorry to say that to all of you who read this because all of you are friends and there is no getting out of that now, didn’t you read the fine print on the “read my blog contract”?). emily dickinson and i have a lot in common...
"My friends are my estate. Forgive me then the avarice to hoard them!"
mary jane and ellen set me up for a lifetime of friendship. thank you girls for sticking with me for almost 41 years, that is a lot of cracker eating, barbie playing, tennis playing, swimming, sunning (before there was sunscreen), double aquaplane trips in the murky st. teresa waters, math and science study sessions, and long conversations.
for 41 years i have LOVED hanging out with you gals, and if i could do it today, i would drop all my plans and spend the day with either one of you or as a special bonus BOTH of you.
you have become amazing women, mothers, and wives. mary jane, your passion for art and middle schoolers is evident. and ellen, the work you do for brehon and the heart you have for homeless mothers speaks volumes about your character. but then again, you have always been incredible friends, so you are just doing what you have always done well...
and i bet that i made NO one cry today... except for mary jane when she sees herself in that low waisted dress for grad night.