When I was in 7th grade my parents moved to the city from a small town. This move took place in the middle of the school year, in the most awkward phase of life - middle school. My adjustment was hard. I didn't take to the new place well at all. I came home from school every day and cried and for the first time in my life never wanted to go to school in the morning. In short - it sucked.
By the time 8th grade had come around I had a passing degree of friendship with some girls who lived in my neighborhood and rode my bus. Plus I knew some people in the band. Not the kind of superfly tight "I've known this person since kindergarten" friendship - but still, it was better than 7th grade for sure.
One of the people I knew in 8th grade band was a sweet girl named Margie. She was rosie cheeked and prone to giggle, I never really spent time with her but always liked her from a distance. EVERYONE liked Margie from what I could tell. You can imagine my delight when, in the winter of my 8th grade year, I was invited to her Christmas party. I hadn't really been invited much of anywhere since we moved and I knew a few people who were going so I accepted.
My memory of this party is very rose colored, to be sure. I remember her beautifully decorated house, bursting with Christmas goodness. I remember that we played games, and made some sort of craft, and that the best part of the evening was that we went caroling. Really went caroling, like in the movies - with little books of carols, and neighbors coming out to give us hot cider or hot chocolate while snow fell in big flakes.
Was it that beautiful?
Was it that perfect?
But it felt that perfect. I felt included, like I belonged again. And it changed my life in my new place. I made friends, GIRLS, who were then people I knew at school. It made school tolerable and then fun again. It was one perfect night that made such a difference to me.
I doubt I ever properly thanked her or appreciated it at the time. We went our ways after graduation, she went to Wheaton if memory serves. She eventually got married, had some kids, lived quietly elsewhere and I'd hear the occasional thing about her here and there. Margie got married etc.
I would like to pay her back in kind, to send her such a feeling of being welcome and valued. To show her what a difference she made in one little girls life so long ago.
This week, Margie's husband died.
We are too young, any of us, to be widows yet.
As I cannot be there to say how sorry I am, to express myself articulately to someone I have not seen in over 20 years, all I can send to her are my good thoughts and my love.
I send them with all my heart, on a wave of pure energy.
If you remember Margie and would like to sign her families guest book from the Hultgren Funeral Home click here.