Memory Monday presents us with the challenge today to talk about our first friend, so I'm introducing you to LaVerda. Thanks for hosting!
We have to really turn back the clock on this one, because I met my first friend at the age of three at Sunday School at St. Peter Lutheran Church in Emden, Illinois. We were both country girls, descendants of German farm families who attended church in this very small town. I have so many memories of our relationship through the years.
One of the memories from third grade (and I can still picture where I was in the old grade school when I heard the news) was of the death of LaVerda's dad. He was killed in a farm machinery accident, and I was so totally stunned. This made such a difference in her life, as she and her mother, Lillian, had to move into town. Lil' had to go to work to make a living for them. So LaVerda became a 'towny', and I was still in the country.
As we grew older and started dating, there were many times I spent the night at LaVerda's, where I would then get to go uptown after school for a coke at the restaurant. We could meet our friends there and we could have guys over to her house for a short while in the evening. Many times we would pile into a car with other friends and drive to Lincoln, where I met my first husband.
Our last big event in high school was the senior prom, which both of us attended with now ex-husbands. We had a couple of rough roads for a bit of time after graduation, but managed to mend those differences later on. LaVerda was never a big fan of my ex, rightfully so, but she was always there as a confidant for me. We lived back in the same small town for several years where we celebrated new babies and enjoyed many a house party. After her divorce, she moved away, and I struggled on for several years until my own divorce.
Long story short, LaVerda worked at a construction firm where my current husband was also employed. Before my divorce was final she invited me to join some of her single friends, including my current hubby, to go out to eat and dancing. Introducing me to Jerry was the probably the greatest gift she could have given me. We were married six months later, and that was almost 30 years ago.
My BFF married a guy from her office and they together moved to Minnesota. We visited them once after they had moved. She called me several months later to let me know that Byron had been killed in a plane crash. Within a few days I was in Minnesota to help her pack things up to move back to Illinois, along with the help of some other friends with a truck.
We have shared troubles with children, we have lived many miles apart in totally different lives, and we have managed to still have that link that reminds us of that deep connection we share. I called her before I wrote this to tell her she will be on the blog, so we had a chance to catch up. She now lives in Florida, I in Texas, and we both have a standing invitation to visit when we can. Otherwise, there is always the phone, Facebook, and email.
Love you, LaVerda! (Verdie, Birdie)