Friday, September 26, 2014

Meet You Downstairs

It was "Throwback Thursday" yesterday. I've never thrown back. But, I was however, thrown back by a dear friend. She posted a long-ago photo of me and my dear friends during lunchtime. This lunchtime was not simply a time to eat. For the many years I was a travel writer at Southern Living Magazine, when in town and not on the road, lunch was spent in the cafeteria with "my ladies" and we solved it all. We talked of our home lives, kids, parents, missed deadlines, politics, sadness, accomplishments, movies and television. We discussed ailing loved ones and pets, household issues and the weather. My husband went to war and they were my rock. I got pregnant, and again, this group lead me through it. Some of us told jokes. Others, namely me, didn't usually get these jokes. They blamed it on my youth (at the time) and my hair color (out of a bottle). Still, yesterday, friends, one of my buddies posted a photo on Facebook that brought it all back.

First off, I never had dearer friends, more inspiring mentors or more fabulous adventures. Of course, there were days. Deadlines (ugh), corporate stuff (for lack of a better word), and long hours. I lost an 18-year-old dog, I sent my husband to war and didn't talk to him for 8 months, and I even got secretly married. But, when I think back, I remember my friends and the other "stuff" has faded. When I throw Thursday back to wherever it is intended to be thrown, I think of these ladies, my friends.

One has gone to live in Heaven, but I still hear her laugh and miss her red-headed feistiness. Another birthed twins many years ago, and still when I see a Snickers Bar, I think of her. She had diabetes while pregnant and all she wanted after popping out that boy and girl was a dang Snickers. I think of my mentor, and hero, who took me on my first travel writing adventure and coached me through every big story I had. Another one of my ladies carries a deep southern drawl and has more stories about her momma, daddy and choir and taught me about description and kindness. There was also one who simply told me to remember to "rock you babies as long as they'll let you" and "Be. Here. Now." And then there's my Juana. I'm not a good enough writer to do her justice. Just let me tell you this, if you ever want to feel loved, talk to her. You ever want to feel understood, she's the one. And if you ever want to read words that make you feel as if you have been transported to the place, she's got them. One of the finest writers with the most wicked sense of humor... Juana.

So, I don't blog much. In fact, I am a blogging failure. But this Throwback thing has had me thinking so much about how friends might be far, but they are never forgotten. No photos or cartoons here, folks. This is it this time. Cheers, to my Birmingham gals. Miss our lunches.

4 comments:

Nancy Dorman-Hickson said...

My dear sweet Jen--thank you so much for your words. I've had some disappointments of late. I'll spare you the details but, suffice it to say, I am feeling more sunshiney now that I have a lunch planned with Wanda (!) and your words to savor. Lovely, lovely post. You should really think about being a writer...

Wanda McKinney said...

What are you doing, Blondie, trying to make me cry? Tell you what, you bring the Diet Coke, and I'll bring the Lean Cuisine. I'll bet we can figure out world peace in no time. The best lunches ever. Love you always, Juana

Meg McKinney said...

Oh, I loved reading this. I might even read it a second time. Even though I was out of the office/on the road most of the time, I still miss those lunches. Meg McKinney

Jen Mckenzie Frazier said...

I feel so honored that y'all even read this! I think of you all so often and just want you to know you are all irreplaceable. Not a chance. And, Meg, should have added a line about you being a stellar photographer and the only person I know who can drink hot coffee in the middle of the day, in 100 degree weather. Always flipped me out... Love to each of you.

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