Post inspired by Lens-Artists Challenge #51 The prompt: Unique
My friend AR came into my life when we were 15 or 16. I met her when I joined “PF” (aka “Pilgrim Fellowship”) – a Congregational Church youth group. Basically a group of high school kids who met on Sunday nights. We formed committees. We planned activities, trips, coffee houses and spaghetti dinners. It was a friendly and welcoming group.
AR and I attended the same high school – a regional school drawing students from 4 towns – so we may not have ever crossed paths if not for the church connection. She was quiet, shy and…I was to find out…brilliant. And talented. Some may have added…eccentric.
We were both the oldest in a large family. She was the oldest of 6. I was the oldest of 5. We both had difficult childhoods; although at the time we didn’t openly discuss the darker places we later found out were eerily similar.
The summer we were 18, she embroidered a swatch of denim (~14″x18″) with words from one of our favorite songs by The Rolling Stones. I don’t remember what the occasion was – or if there was even a specific occasion that sparked her creativity – but I still treasure this unique piece of art. It is framed and hangs on the wall over my desk.
You can’t always get what you want…
Now isn’t that the truth.
AR and I went our separate ways to college. We kept in touch with frequent letter writing. Letters I still have – with her tiny perfect script – detailing her struggles with making ends meet, making friends, experimenting…and…charting an uncertain future. Always signed: Your loving and sincere well-wisher.…
Shortly after we graduated from college, I lost track of her for a few years. Until her letter arrived telling me she was now Sister M.
My Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan loving friend had converted to Catholicism and joined a cloistered community of nuns. Beginning her new life in a monastery.
I have visited her off and on over the past few decades. We chat as if we were still those two goofy teenagers at PF meetings. Her eyes are bright as they look back at me from beneath the white habit she now wears. Denim a long forgotten thing of the past.
Once I showed her a photo of the beautiful detailed embroidery she made for me.
She was incredulous.
You still have that?
Of course I do!
She smiled…Oh my!…that was such a long time ago.