Posted by: jevcat | September 26, 2011

Of Friends, Sisters, and Memories

There are friends, and there are sisters, and there are sisters who are friends.  And then, there are friends who are sisters.

Nowadays, it’s popular to throw around the term “BFF” in a profligate way – and some of these “best friends forever” seem to change as rapidly as those amusement park rides from my youth, where carts of laughing, screaming children were flung together and apart in the blink of an eye (remember Palisades, anyone?).

Some of us take the term a bit more literally:  my own “BFF” and I are sisters who happen to share no directly related genetic material – at least as far as we are aware (although it’s theoretically possible, given that we share a hefty portion of Germanic heritage).

I’ve written about her before, when I wrote about the deaths of our mothers, who also were close friends, as were our grandmothers (both of hers, one of mine).

We’ve really only been friends since we were nine – that was 48 years on the 13th of this month – which was not, this year, on a Friday, as it was in 1963 – and our mothers only became more than acquaintances after we girls met.  But still.

“Sisterhood” is another popular term, but you know it’s more than a figure of speech when you can finish her funny story about her grandfather’s denture adventures and the sight of a box of KFC can incite paroxysms of giggles from memories of her smuggling one in her Coach bag through the lobby of a “nice” hotel for your kid brother, or the folding chair you didn’t set up properly that somehow sank her rather substantial and proper mother, a somewhat bemused expression in her face, slowly and elegantly below the surface of the Thanksgiving table like a reprise of the Titanic in Night to Remember, – which made you both cry (the movie not the chair; the chair made us both laugh, although we tried not to).  We competed at surfing – or at least, that’s what we called seeing who could balance longest on the ends of the twin diving boards on opposite sides of the swimming float in summer.  And, truth to tell, there may still be just a shade of lingering hard feelings over who got more chances to pretend to be perky, cute Lucie Baines Johnson, because neither of us (especially the one who grew up to be six feet tall) wanted to play at being tall, gawky LyndaBird.

Today is her birthday, and I can’t be with her or make her life less difficult than it’s been lately – any more than she can mine – but this is her birthday gift:  a few minutes spent together, as they say, in simpler times.

Best joint photo I could find fast -- 1976


  1. This is the BEST birthday gift! Thank you so much! It has been a long and good friendship. You are and will always be my sister.There are many sisters who wish they had what we have. I am sitting here typing this with tears running down my face (as usual). I didn’t mind the KFC so much but I do remember drawing the line at the Belguim waffle! Oh an the look on my Mother’s face, Dad and I still laugh about that (on a good day)! Good memories all! Thank for being such an important and valued blessing of my life. I love you!

    • Too many good times to remember them all. Love you back, sister-friend.

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