When I was in seventh grade I became friends with a girl whose personality was a lot like mine. We had a positive outlook on life, loved playing basketball, wanted to grow up fast, and liked to have fun. Judy and I played on Shady Grove’s basketball team and in high school until we got married. We played league softball and basketball while we were raising our kids.
One year we bought matching outfits to wear to the Masonic Picnic. In our red sailor tops and white deck pants, we looked like the Bobbsey twins. Often we double dated. Her boyfriend had a new, red Chevrolet convertible, and he always drove. One night we had gone to a drive- in movie when it began to rain heavily. Judy and I got out and headed to the restroom. When we tried to return it was easy to spot the red Chevy convertible. One of us opened the front door to see a boy and girl wrapped in each other’s arms. Judy slammed the door shut. We were both dripping wet and thoroughly confused. It was unlikely that there was another car there like Sam’s.
“Was that Sam?” I asked.
“If it is, we will be walking home,” she replied.
We stood there dazed and wet for a few seconds before hearing Sam yell, “Over here you two.”
Each of us had heavy chores at home, yet we managed schoolwork, ballgames, and dating with time left to have fun together. I don’t think either of us had a clue what being married or raising a family required. Judy and I thought we could handle anything life threw at us.
Judy married a year before I did. I married at the end of my junior year in high school. We married guys who were several years older. We held down jobs, continued our education, and started families. Judy and Sam raised three children. Roy and I had two girls.
Our children went to school together. The same school Judy and I worked for at different times. Our grandchildren went to school together. Today we have raised children, grandchildren, and have great grands. Our children have experienced some of the same ups and downs all families do. There have been losses to grieve. We have had some health issues. Judy’s husband had a stroke and his vision is limited. She and I have stayed in the same community most of our lives, and at 70 and counting, we have experienced the trials and tribulations that most families do. I have never heard her complain about what life dealt. I don’t think she has ever heard me complain either. We may discuss the issues but are thankful for our blessings.
When Judy and I talk, we laugh, and within a few minutes, we are reduced to the same giggling girls we were in elementary school. She and I never know what life holds in store but neither of us doubts that when we grow up we can handle it.