Stellie Pearl's Thoughts......

I Keep Hoping That My Tomorrows Will Catch Up With Yesterday

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Mom and Donnie; Me and Dawn

(Mom is 3rd from the left)

My granny, Stella Pearl, came from a big family. She had 3 brothers, Harry, Alvie and Cecil; and a baby sister, Ruth Virginia.

Stella Pearl had six children, Ruth Virginia had five. My mom grew up with one of Ruth Virginia's daughters...they were a year apart in age, and besides being cousins, they were best friends. Her name was Donnie Lou.

While growing up, Mom and Donnie Lou were inseparable. They spent nights over at each others houses, ran wild playing outside in the creeks and hills of Aarons Fork, in West Virginia where they lived. They smoked their first cigarettes together, went to cheerleading camp together and double-dated together.

(Donnie is far left, Mom is far right)

After they graduated from high school, Donnie married her high school sweetheart, Jack. They settled down in Charleston to start a family. My mother Katie went to business college, and worked for a CPA. She met my father at a New Years Eve party in 1959. They married, and moved to New York. Mom and Donnie lost touch....for a very long time.

Ruth Virginia and my granny lived just right around the hill from each other. When we would go to WV each summer to visit, we would go over to visit Ruth. It was amazing how Mom and Donnie never ran into each other over there. I had heard all about Donnie, and how she and mom played in the very yards and hills where my brother and I played every summer. Waded in the same creeks, played in the same woods...I wanted to meet her. More importantly, I wanted to meet her daughter, who I had heard was close to my age.

Then, in the summer of 1976, it happened. Donnie and her daughter, Dawn, came out to my granny's house for a visit. Dawn had a huge bandage on her leg. She had wrecked her bicycle over at Ruth's....ran off of the bridge into the creek below. Our mothers had done the same thing when they were little, in the same spot! Dawn was two years younger than I. We talked non-stop in my bedroom, while our mothers talked non-stop in the kitchen.

We liked the same music...the same clothes....the same tv shows. It was amazing. I had found a friend, a sister, a soul mate to visit with when I spent my vacations in WV. Donnie invited us to go with them the next summer to their beach house in North Myrtle Beach, SC. I couldn't wait!

From September of 1976 forward, Dawn and I wrote letters to each other. On rare occasions, our moms would let us call each other. We couldn't wait to see each other again.

It is amazing to me, still to this day, to think about how close Mom and Donnie were growing
up, and how close Dawn and I became, and how we played in the same yards that our moms played in. Ruth's other daughter Joyce, lives in a mobile home on the other side of the garden from Ruth's house. Joyce has three sons. They all played in those yards, up on the hill, in the Joyce's sons are grown. One lives in Ruth's old house, one built a home where the garden used to be. They have children, and those children play in the same yards and the hills and the creeks.....generation after is comforting in a way.

My granny's house sits empty, there on the other side of the hill. The ghosts of the past wander her yard, her garden and her home. Donnie and my mom have lost touch once again, because of where my mom is, and the state of mind that she is in. Donnie calls once a week to check on mom, and is so sad that she can't talk to her anymore.

Dawn and I have drifted apart a little...we talk maybe twice a month. She is a mother now. She's busy working, and raising her son.

I am thankful for what I had growing up; security, love, a cousin who was like a sister to me. I am thankful that we were able to follow in the same footsteps that our mothers did. I am sad that time must move forward, and, even though the love and the memories are still there, the time that we spend together is short and bittersweet.

1 comment:

  1. Missy. I am so touched by this post that I am almost speechless. I'm brought to tears. Really. Because you have the CONNECTION with your roots, and a history with these people and this piece of earth, that I had so desperately wished for in my past. Thank you so much for sharing this.