Today one of my childhood friends turns the big Five-Oh. For some reason there are random birthdays that I can remember, and Lisa’s is one of those days. I can remember Don’s, and of course DJ and BJ. And Ronald, because his is the same as BJ. It’s a big year for us… I wonder if the others got their AARP cards like me? Dennis turned 50 in January, Don in February, and though I didn’t remember her birthday, Susan turned 50 earlier this month. Next in line are BJ and Ronald, me, then DJ. I think Ricky already turned 50 last year. I'm not sure about Bobby's birthday, but he hits it this year too!
There is this movie called Now and Then. It so perfectly personifies my childhood. It’s about four pre-teen girls who ride their bikes all over town, and experience several rites of passage together. The time setting is perfect, and the music is exactly what we were listening to during those years. Sugar Sugar, Knock Three Times, etc. Whitney loved that movie when she was growing up, but it wasn’t until a couple of years ago that I watched the entire movie and declared that we gals must get together and watch it. It is on my list of things to do. Or should I say my Bucket List. DJ, BJ and I vowed that to celebrate turning 50 we would plan a mini-trip and go away for some fun. Time-off issues and family obligations are probably going to prohibit that, but we are tentatively planning a pajama party with lots of popcorn, Coke, and of course the movie. No boys allowed. Just like the old days. Only instead of talking about who we are in love with, and our next spend-the-night party, we will probably be talking about children and grandchildren, careers, and our aging parents. I’m sure we will laugh and reminisce about our small-town adventures, the friends who have passed on, and those with whom we are no longer in touch. I suspect there will be high school yearbooks strewn about the room, and we will laugh hysterically at the hair and clothing styles that were so PERFECT back then. Though I have a few more months until I my ownself reach the milestone, I am enjoying looking back on this half-century of memories. I have indeed been blessed in my life, and though the road has not always been easy, and some of the bumps were more difficult to navigate than others, it has been a good life. Just don’t ask me to ride a bike again. (Right, David?)
On a very sad note, a dear, beautiful friend has lost her battle with ALS. I learned this morning that she has passed from this life into eternity, where she will no longer be enslaved by her disease. She will be able to run with the angels, and brighten heaven’s skies with her beautiful smile and one of the sweetest spirits I have ever known. Thank you Kay, for your example of integrity and beautiful grace as you faced your disease with dignity. Though I didn’t see you often these days, I have loved you all my life. I will see you again, my friend. Until then, say hello to all the home folk for me.