It was 1st grade, Lenten season. Our class was headed down to the chapel to pray the rosary, a weekly Friday ritual for the less than pious group of 6 year olds. Mr. Keller was conducting his gym class nearby using a stick that he would methodically bang against the floor. For reasons I cannot remember, A. and I thought this was hysterical. So much so, that the uncontrollable giggles followed us into the 4th pew in the chapel. As we made our way through the rosary, the giggles continued and caught the attention of a fellow classmate sitting in the 2nd pew. This classmate, infatuated with our laughter, kept turning to peer back at us. When saying the Rosary, all eyes must be facing towards the altar and our inquisitive little classmate was clearly looking the wrong way. What happened next has been embellished over the years as we relive the story, but the gist of it is as follows: Grabbing all the hairs from her well-groomed pony tail, Sr. Gerrard pulled our poor defenseless friend from out of her pew and shook her as her feet dangled inches from the ground. Of course, this propelled us into raging fits of laughter which firmly cemented us as the culprits of this major disruption – in the most holy of places. At that moment, despite the colossal trouble we were in, I knew I had found my best friend.
Twenty-eight years later, I could fill volumes with similar stories. The tiny man lingering in the driveway at the Cape, the walk home from the Coaches house, the Viaduct – unless explained, they mean nothing to everyone but everything to us. Through it all we remain best friends.
We are both now married and living in different states. Sadly, our visits are limited to just a few times a year. However, on the eve of all our visits, I can’t help but relive all the moments that defined us and our direction. Tonight is one of those nights.
Tonight I will lay awake excited. The next 48 hours we are not wives or mothers or career women or sisters or daughters. We are those two little girls sitting in pew #4 giggling our hearts out.