Mary Frances by Nancy Malcolm

 

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We were two sweet gals from the south…both tall, young and naive.  We were far from home and had big dreams and soon we would marry brothers.   Nothing prepares you for being a grown up.  You think it does and you think you are grown, but at twenty years old, are you?  We thought so!  Thus began my friendship and sisterhood with Mary Frances.

Let’s get right down to it…it was the best of times and the worst of times!  Frannie and I began our married life to brothers in the 70’s.  We learned to cook, work, raise children and have plenty of fun all in the safety net of each other’s friendship.  We came into our own….together.

From the very beginning we have been cooking and hosting our own holiday dinners.  We had many a near miss with a turkey or two (pun intended) and yet we pulled off gorgeous and scrumptious Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners at the tender age of 21.    We made gravy, dressing and cranberry sauce without a hitch and pies to make your mouth water.  And the family favorite for years were the ‘Angel Biscuits’, delicious yeast rolls from scratch.

Frannie was the first to have a baby and we both admit, it was quite a learning curve.  You’ll be happy to know Frannie’s child grew up to be just fine, but we had many a near miss with her and too many giggles to count.  I like to think that Frannie and I were a cross between Thelma and Louise and Lucy and Ethyl.  What’s really funny is that we would ask each other’s advice on something and neither one of us had any experience or knowledge of what to do.  Something about the blind leading the blind comes to mind.

It is so sweet to me now that we are both grandmothers.  We survived our raising and our children survived theirs….and now, these beautiful creatures, called grandchildren are here.  They are all precious and a sign from above that all things work together for the good.

Our lives were enmeshed and our families entwined, but it is our hearts that bonded as only sisters could.  I have learned a lot from Mary Frances.  I have experienced much of my adult “growing up” with her and we have seen the good things in life and felt the bad like a heavy steel door slamming shut.  We have loved and lost.  We have laughed and cried.  We have celebrated and grieved and never lost that pulse that beats between us, as sisters.

I read once that “A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart, and can sing it back to you when you have forgotten the words.”  I hope to always be that friend to her and she to me.  It won’t matter how long between our visits because time and circumstances will never erase our hearts.

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