Saturday, March 28, 2009


When you're growing up you think those friends you have will be forever. The kids write 'bff' today; next week it is someone else. But when I was growing up we didn't switch around like that. Lynda, Margery, Carol, etc. Then we all got married. Moved. We had no phone. We wrote. Less and less. What was happening? We'd been together since birth almost. I couldn't say I had any friends of their types replacing them. No. You cannot live without friends. We lived in Montgomery. What did I do all day? Not much. Heh! A saleslady at a shopping center where I went to get some embroidery work to do didn't know that Arkansas was in the South. I thought it preposterous at the time because we were so proud of it. After all, I'd only been from Arkansas across Mississippi, over to Alabama. Oh, I'd visited in Illinois at Uncle Raymond and Aunt Chris,-- and across the river into Tennessee. Heh! The hills of western Arkansas, then down to the alligator farms in 1955, it all seemed like it counted for another state, it seemed so different from the delta where we lived.

I got married on Saturday evening, March 31, 1962. Okay, it's math time. 2009 - 1962 = 47 Yep, Tuesday will be 47 years for us. That puts us back up there living in Montgomery, my friends dwindling by the wayside, nothing to do so I embroidered some pillow cases, the saleslady didn't know Arkansas was in the South, and the most part we went to church. I taught in a children's Sunday School class. In the evenings we were part of the - well, I know two people who are going to get me here because I cannot remember the name. They seemed so old to me, well, kinda, just a little bit. Business and Professional? Anyway, We most always went some place after church. I think that is where I ate my first pizza. One night after church. Dunno. Maybe. One of the couples that especially befriended us was Jim and Jocelyn Perkerson; she and Jim were already good friends. Things were so different back then. . . waaaaaaay back then! If we did something on Friday night, we didn't spend a bunch of money. We just did. . . we just were.

I think the night Jocelyn and my friendship took on a whole new meaning, seems like it was a special social, not just happenstance. There were more girls there, but only three played into the scene. I had been back where Jim was, and had come up to the kitchen where Jocelyn was washing dishes, and we started talking about my shower. Can't remember which, but it was one of two things, setting the date for it, or gathering info for thank you notes. In the process, Jocelyn just wondered where her Jim was, and I casually said the men were in the back, Paula was teaching them how to do the twist. For real. Uh Oh. I have no idea what happened then, but Jocelyn disappeared for a while. We've been good friends ever since. Now, Jim was smart enough to stay away from back there (today, thoughwould he?). He didn't want to learn to twist, nah, not Jim. Seriously, I think that's about the time our closeness with them gelled, and I now had a friend. She gave me a wedding shower. I got a whole set of Revere Wear. THAT was special back then. Look at all they've got today. When it was time to buy our first car, I mean really buying one. A brand new one. I remember driving it off the lot, leaving the old Chevy behind, and going straight over to Jim and Jocelyn's to show them, the very first ones to see our brand new Volkswagen bug, in white! Proud. Were we proud? Couldn't have been prouder, until Jimbo came along ;) replacing all else, but that !

Jim got orders for Turkey, and we left in December '63. I don't recall any big letter writing campaigns between us. We moved all over the place, and I'm sure our addresses followed us around for Christmas greetings. I finally gave up on those about ten, fifteen years ago. Come in Anniversary 2006. I got Jim a computer for our anniversary. One of the first things he did was to start looking for friends from our past, and one of the first was Jim and Jocelyn, our first post-married friends! Say, like we married on Saturday, we were at church Sunday night, and that's when I met them. Surprise! Even more surprising, they were going to be coming near to us on the way home from her brother's funeral in 2007. We were all so excited. We met at Applebee's, and we ate, and we talked, and talked, and talked....time had passed by you say? Not according to us. Remember those Friday nights I told you about? They were there overriding time.

During that time, Jocelyn asked me how I dealt with everything. I told her to "read my blog." There she would find me bouncing all over the place, and dealing with it. So, over time, now, we've been meeting at my blog - mostly. Oh, we, do have an occasional call or two but we just talk too much! We've gone through thick and thin with each other right here. I guess just about every emotion I've gone through, she has gone through with me right here, and my regular readers know what that has been like. I appreciate Jocelyn being forthright with her comments.

One day I told her about, or she read about on here, little Coleman Larson, who was battling brain cancer. She started reading Peggy's updates herself, other than just excerpts I would occasionally have here. She was drawn in closer and closer. Coleman took a place in her heart, too, and her admiration of Peggy and all she was going through. Then I asked her to join PAC2. She did. You know, I always feel funny about asking a friend to join anything. I thought, if she'd just do it. Then I started seeing her name pop up here, there, and yon. Yes!!

I don't know how to explain our relationship. Just a couple of old ladies? No. We are more, much more than that. You can read most of our interchanges here in my blog. Support? My main support. But when we talk. . . Oh, my, goodness. We've just got to get together again. How many times have I said that!! I just never dreamed it would be as though time had never past.

How would I introduce Jocelyn? With pride, I would say, "Here, let me introduce you to my friend Jocelyn, my bff Jocelyn." There won't be any switching around. Remember back when I had to say good-bye to my school friends? Only death will separate me from my bff now. We have proven the test of time. Sounds sad, and it will be, but it is reality. I love Jocelyn. This is the love and friendship that was behind the Random Act of Kindness. It was her way of doing something for me. . . well, here, let me repeat her words. . .
Billie, this is to thank you for making me aware of the awesome Team Larson. I feel like they are family. I wait for Peggy's postings.
Keeping up with this family has had a big impact on my life. Having you as a friend has also had a big impact on my life.
I hope you enjoy the T-shirt as much as much as I have enjoyed getting it for you. I only do these kind of things for SPECIAL PEOPLE and you are SPECIAL.
Love you.
So, this Random Act of Kindness entailed several people, including little Coleman. And yes, on the other blog entry, "Just one more story," where I talk about lying back, a tear falling, and such, that really happened. I just tried to write it as just any boy to get my story started. He wasn't, though. He was God's chosen. That is what someone told me through a poem she wrote about Robert after his death. God was just finished with him here, He had other works for him to do. Okay, God.

I guess that brings this story to an end. Aren't there more and more things I could write about, going off on lanes - not side tracks - having to do with Robert? There is another Random Act to tell Peggy about, but not now. Jocelyn, see what you started? No. It was Team Larson who started this. And we add the PAC2 stickers. And . . . what is who going to do next? I'll even see what I can do from my bed right here. I did one, and she read and listened to all about childhood cancer,

Say good-night, Ragdoll. We have work to do. We may need to bring one of your friends over in a day or two. Hmmm.

1 comment:

Jocelyn said...

Ragdolll, I am overwhelmed. You remember so much of the past and you certainly gave me a place of honor in your life. I was delighted when your Jim got in touch with us. He was one of the first people I met in my first job at First Baptist at Montgomery. Being single he had a lot of time to help with youth programs. Many times he saved the day and not even realizing it I missed him and his new wife Billie when My Jim and I moved to Birmingham. I consider our reuniting to be one of the major events in my life. If we could just get you ready to travel. I can think of hundreds of places we could visit and I just know we would never be at a loss for words. Having lost my brother in 2007 it was easy for me to turn to your Jim for help. He and my brother being born on the same day of the same year. Life does go on one day at a time and the passing of years make memories that are real. I love you Billie. Thanks for all the kind words. Wear your shirt with pride and remember God is not through with us, so we have the chance to continue with our random acts of kindness. Your friend for always. Jocelyn