Merry, Merry Mary Days!

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I’ve just spent five lovely days catching up with a dear friend.

Mary and I attended Bishop Kelley School together from first through eighth grade. For about the last four of those years, we were very close. For high school, she went to the Dominican Academy, a boarding school in a nearby town. I went on to public high school. We lost touch. Not completely, but mostly out-of-touch.

Last Sunday, after several letters going back and forth to finalize the arrangements, Mary came to Beaver Island. Fifty years is a lot of years to catch up on!

We compared symptoms of age. We talked about health issues and annoyances. Parents, and the loss of our parents. We caught each other up on our respective brothers and sisters. We talked about mutual friends and acquaintances. We talked about jobs, careers and homes. About dreams that died and others that came true. We shared information and photos of children and grandchildren. We talked about men, divorce and relationships. We compared notes on single-motherhood. We discussed our lives today: what entertains us; what makes us frustrated; what brings us joy.

While all this chatter was going on between us, we – one day – toured the island, the inland lakes and beaches. Another day, we visited all the gift shops. We went through the museum, the Community Center, the Brother’s Place (once a religious retreat, now a cute hotel) and the library. We checked for treasures at the island’s re-sale shop. We attended an open house at the Medical Center. We tried out almost every single restaurant. We went to a Bluegrass concert. We talked and laughed and talked some more.

I worried, beforehand, that we’d have nothing in common anymore. I wondered if we’d find anything to talk about after all these years. I was concerned that every conversation would be filled with long, uncomfortable silences, or that we wouldn’t like each other, or understand the adults we had become. I can honestly say all that worry was for nothing. The only sad part of the entire week was this morning, having to say good-bye. I had a wonderful time!

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