This morning I had the pleasure of having breakfast with a
girl woman I’ve known since kindergarten We took naps on our mats in the afternoons and learned at a young age trucks weren’t for girls. At Christmas time, we were ballerinas in crepe paper tutus our mothers made for us.
After kindergarten we were promoted to first grade and had our first introduction to parochial school and nuns. We traipsed to church everyday, two-by-two, sat through a Mass said in Latin and afterward, traipsed back the three blocks to our school. We wore ugly navy blue uniforms and “beanies” because girls had to cover their heads in church. When we were in seventh grade it fashionable to “rat” our hair so it appeared to be bigger than it actually was, and we bobby pinned the beanies on the backs of our heads, only to have the nuns rip them off because we weren’t adhering to proper dress code. (Sorry no pictures)
I’m happy to say, after all these hardships we graduated –without the beanies, thank God–and then went on to one year of public middle school, followed by four years of high school. After we left St. Sebastian’s we lost track of each other because we each ran with a different crowd and our school had a graduating class of over 650 students, so it wasn’t that hard to lose track of each other.
After high school, I went right into the corporate world as a secretary, but Dy went to college and became a teacher, a profession she enjoyed for 28 years. I went to college after my children were in elementary school and after that I put 20 years in at different companies creating marketing/communication websites and print materials.
But miracles of miracles, we found each other two years ago through a Facebook connection. Since we only live four miles from each other, we’ve been able to reunite and and have been enjoying each other’s company.
Now you’d think two people who are building new/old relationship would focus on the past, but Dy and I do anything but that. What really has brought us together and has kept us cultivating our relationship is writing. She’s been selling her writing for years, developing teaching materials, greeting cards and now children’s picture books. I sold my writing too as a freelance writer and had a couple of essays published in Chicken Soup books, but my writing lately has been novel writing. . . which so far, has paid zippo. (Unless you count my one dollar advance that Publish America has bestowed on me for each of my five books I’ve published with them.)
Even though Dy and I wish the publishing gods would drop big advances upon us, it’s not why either of us write. We do it because it is what we must do. Even as older women, we feel we still have something to say and believe there are people out there to listen. Basically, we are writing buddies. We are so good for each other. She isn’t as computer savvy as I am, so I help her with the technical end of putting a manuscript or a blog or marketing materials together, whereas she is my sounding board for when I get stuck in certain parts of my stories.
So, even though writing is a pretty solitary activity, it’s almost impossible to write in a vacuum. I’m thankful Dy re-entered my life for many reasons, but I’m especially glad we can help each other in our writing careers. Writing is the thread that binds us – even though we are in totally different genres with totally opposite audiences.
I’m grateful we’ve found each other again, and I’m elated she’s my writing buddy. I hope your just as lucky!