‘You were my favorite memory’

BoJangles

New BoJangles at night. Mr. Blue MauMauCC BY

Spring arrives amid a flurry of wings, bird voices rising with the morning sun, daylight hours stretching perceptibly longer, the first warm breath of promise to come.

On such a day, two years ago, my youngest son’s lifelong friend died in an accident.

She was eighteen.

She was one of the prettiest children I’ve ever seen. Big, brown, doe-like eyes in a round cherub face. Musical, like my son. They grew up in children’s choirs at church, were in band together throughout high school. She played the flute. My son occasionally accompanied her and their other childhood friend on the piano during worship services. All three of them sang:

I’ve had many tears and sorrows

I’ve had questions for tomorrow

There’ve been times I didn’t know right from wrong

But in every situation

God gave blessed consolation

That my trials come to only make me strong.

Through it all,

Through it all . . . 

Their voices blended beautifully. Hers was high, clear, pure, almost ethereal.

I wrote to her, told her so. Said that she needed to sing more often.

Perhaps that note was in her things, still, when her mother began going through them after her death. I do not know.

But an essay she’d written in high school was there.

Its title: My Favorite Childhood Memory.

Her mother copied it, sent it to my son and their other friend—for she wrote of them.

I wondered, when I first learned of this essay, what the memory was. Maybe a birthday celebration, as they were all born in August of three successive years. Maybe working Vacation Bible School or Bible Sports Camp together as youth. Maybe it was the time they went shopping and bought two betta fish that my son named after gospel bass singers, or one of the summer beach trips they took, growing up. The three of them even went to the prom together, once.

My son let me read her essay.

She wrote of Sunday nights when the three of them would go with her family to BoJangles for supper, how they told hysterically funny stories, how she laughed and laughed. She said these were the best times of her childhood, that she would always remember them . . . .

She is gone. Her words, her love for her friends, remain:

You were my favorite childhood memory.

It seems almost like a thank-you letter, now.

My son says once in a while, when he’s out walking laps around the church, exercising his body, easing his mind and his soul—he can hear her singing.

It’s two years today, a Sunday. Tonight her family and friends will gather at BoJangles in her memory.

23 thoughts on “‘You were my favorite memory’

  1. Wow, Fran. I am wordless. This is such a beautiful slice to remember your son’s friend. I don’t know how to say how much I appreciate every word on it, and the photo at the end. I won’t say more because I am afraid I will ruin it. All my love, and peace to your son and his friend’s family. Wishing you a peaceful Sunday.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I so appreciate your warm and caring response, Pia. The family and friends have received so much love and encouragement this day, and the need to remember is so important. My son is doing well. Deepest thanks 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh. I shed a tear for her, her family, her friends, for your son and family…for us all, for the world. You’ve found the words to describe something that goes far beyond words, so eloquently too.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I remember your post from two years ago, I remember struggling to reply. I had a new driver in my house. I had just lost my mom. Your post was too close to home. It is amazing how your writing came rushing back to me this morning. That photo – tears streaming. Your son is so strong to celebrate and honor her memory. Shouldn’t we all live our lives in hopes of being someone’s favorite childhood memory? Thank you for sharing your heart – beautifully crafted as always.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Clare, I’m amazed that you remember the first post. Thank YOU for sharing your heart here in response, about the new (now more experienced!) driver and the loss of your mom – my heart goes out to you as you must be marking an anniversary, too. Thank you for your beautiful words and your beautiful, compassionate heart. 🙂

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  4. “You were my favorite childhood memory.” What a tribute; it IS like a thank-you note. Such a beautiful and touching slice today, Fran. That the friends will celebrate her memory today at Bojangles–so heartwarming.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I have a memory of the three of them fishing in my backyard. The Cadillac Man was wearing a Krispy Kreme donut hat while fishing. The girls were taking pictures of everyone. It seems like yesterday, but I was holding my daughter so it was long ago. 🎶 Precious memories. 🎶

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  6. I held my breath while I read this slice and the comments that followed. These past few months have been marked with death for those around me and myself, more so than usual, it seems. At this time of year, it is particularly jarring, given the backdrop of spring’s new life–a point you illustrate beautifully from the beginning of your post. I am sorry for your community’s loss.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. There is a huge lump in my throat.. such sadness, such a void. Yet such peace, such hope, such comfort, such steadfast love remains! You showed us the depth of it — in a shared song “.. through it all I’ve learned to trust in Jesus…”; in her words from an essay “my favorite childhood memory”; and in a picture of three young “silhouettes” holding hands forever as they look into the brightness of their eternal future. Blessings to you on this Sunday.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Fran, this is so tender and raw. My heart breaks for all of you It says a lot about your son as well that she cherished those memories of time spent together so much
    This blog is a lovely tribute to a beautiful soul. Your title for this piece is so perfect, and so fitting. My insides go cold at the thought of losing a child. God bless her family.

    Liked by 1 person

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