Thursday, April 06, 2006

First Communion, First Girlfriend

I dug out one of the few photos I have of my first girlfriend. It was taken at our First Communion, as we posed afterwards in front of a statue and baskets of flowers. She was cute as a button and, so I've been told, I was also. There aren't any worry lines, no cynical looks off to one side; just the assurance that we could explore the world with confidence that our parents and the nuns would be our good and faithful teachers.

Each set of parents thought we would grow up and get married, on the basis of my habit of trying to steal the Zweiback toast from her stroller. How that translates into true love, lifelong commitment, and "for better or worse" is beyond me, but they seemed to equate Zweiback with a wedding ring. Didn't work out. The friendship vibes were there, then as now, but nothing beyond that.

We eventually went our own ways, but once in a while I wondered what it would have been like... Well, you don't wonder, because what you feel at 7, or 15 or long-distance later in life, has little to do with the reality of being part of another's life.

But there we are, in our little white outfits, holding hands. Our parents are probably thinking that all we have to do is keep holding hands, grow up and then unite the two families by the simple act of walking up the aisle.

She passed away three days ago of breast cancer. I took that photo, put it in a frame and brought it over to my radio studio. There we stand, innocent and hopeful, hand in hand. We would go our separate ways, of course, but at least I can see her during my shift.

Today's Story: A woman who lived about two hours south of here passed away a while back. She is survived by a daughter, 96. Yes, her daughter is 96 years old. The mother had been listed in the Guiness Book of World Records as being the oldest person of whom there is reliable record.


Blogger Reading Reader said...

My condolences, dear one. I enjoyed reading about your beautiful image, and I bet anything the statue was of the Blessed Mother. I pray that she continues to bless both of you on your journeys, this side of the firmament and beyond.

April 06, 2006 10:08 AM  
Anonymous RuthC said...

It is a rare blessing to maintain a friendship all those years. No doubt your friend took comfort in those memories, too.
My sympathies on your loss.

April 06, 2006 10:59 AM  
Anonymous Helen said...

What a wonderful memory to keep all those years, and even more wonderful that you kept the friendship. I have a picture like that of my sister and me when we were probably 4 and 6. It's black and white, and it only shows the backs of our heads as we sat watching ducks in a large pond. The memory is of an innocent time untainted by the many years that have come and gone since - it's as if that picture was taken in a whole different life, but I still treasure it as I'm sure you treasure your memories. My condolences to you, Tom.

April 07, 2006 9:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Marie C turned me onto your blog, Father Tom. I was at her wedding so many years ago, at which you officiated, and I've never forgotton how you made those gathered at the church laugh. It was the only wedding I've ever been to where people actually ENJOYED the whole service, not just the dancing and imbibing at the reception.
Marie says so many wonderful things about you and your friendship with her. I wanted to say thank you - I can think of no other person who deserves your prayers more than Marie. She's gone through so much and has come out in the light, thanks to you and all the other friends who love her.
Happy Easter, Father Tom.

April 13, 2006 8:14 AM  

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