Friday, July 23, 2010

Remembering Lisa J.

When we were young, we used to spend the summers at our family's cabin on Bainbridge Island. We had summer friends on our street, a group of kids who used to hang out and play together. We spent our days and evenings making rafts, building treehouses, playing baseball, pretending we had a restaurant or were dating the Beatles, swinging on the neighbors' swings, picking blackberries, playing dress-up, hide-and-seek or "Old Man Ghost," fishing, digging clams, skim-boarding, beachcombing, finding Indian beads, doing crafts, taking long walks on the beach or the roads around our neighborhood, and buying penny candy.
The neighborhood, as it was then

We were a close-knit group in summer, though we rarely saw one another during the school year. There was only one telephone on the entire street, and it didn't belong to any of us. We were a pack of kids who were together all summer, and then broke apart for the rest of the year. We accepted this.

One family had a son and a daughter very close in age to my sister and brother. I was the youngest (and the odd person out), so I went back and forth between the boys and the girls. The daughter of this family was named Lisa, and she was just a year younger than my sister, four years older than I am (Gregg's age). Lisa was a very pretty and lively girl.
Do I know who all of these people were, who were allowed into the kitchen as I was forced to take a bath in the sink? No.
I do know a few of them: my sister Debbie and Lisa J. are in the foreground, and grandchildren of our dear neighbors (the Sigurdsons) are in the background.
Me, Lisa and my sister Debbie.

In April of this year, Lisa passed away. I couldn't attend her memorial, but I sent a note to her parents, and have thought of them since.
Deb, our brother Jim, me, Lisa and her brother, Chris
roasting marshmallows on our beach

Tonight, Gregg and I were taking a walk after dinner, and we ran into Lisa's parents. They are a dear, kind-hearted couple, and they invited us in for a visit. Of course, we accepted. It was a treat to sit with them in their condo - they've moved out of the old neighborhood - and to hear about them, see their family photos, and talk a bit about Lisa, and our lives now.

In my condolence note, I sent a few photos of Lisa from our childhood days. In Lisa's memory, I am posting them here. I pray that her parents will have peace and comfort, and that Lisa is now experiencing fullness of joy.


Lakeland Jo said...

what a lovely post celebrating your friend's life. XX

Busy Bee Suz said...

I am so sorry for her family's loss.
I am happy that you have only fun and happy memories of her and your time as kids together.

The photo of your Sister, looks just like Katie.

Hugs, Suz

Kay said...

What a sweet post. Such a loss, but so thankful you got to share a special evening with her family.

I'm with Suz..some of those pix look just like Katie.

Ellen said...

That was a special posting of days of your youth, caught in moments of memories that you have. I am sorry for the loss of your childhood friend...

Jason, as himself said...

So sad. I'm glad you were able to spend some time with Lisa's parents.

Maggie May said...

I love this graceful and tender remembrance.

Allegra Smith said...

Friends like you truly give the meaning of friendship to the word.
I know I have said this before, but I am so glad I can count you among my dearest friends. Hugs from here.
May Lisa smile at your memories as well.

Mary Potts said...

You certainly have captured some wonderful memories in these pictures and with your descriptive words! Ah the days of summer ~ games played with one another, the use of imaginations, time spent just hanging around outside without the need to be connected (one telephone!) at all times... good stuff!

I hope these photos made Lisa's parents smile, in thanks for the good days. This is a lovely tribute.

rebecca said...

i too posted a tribute to a friend today.
she came into my life long after these lovely childhood memories. oh to run foot loose into the arms of summer on an island with a wild tribe of friends. lovely pictures..that come alive even for me...
thank you for this. for taking me in to taste a bit of your summer life.
i appreciate your kindness to the memory of a childhood friend and her parents.

Anonymous said...

Wow! I can't believe how much your sister and Katie resemble each other.

My heart goes out to your friend's parents. So good of you to find all those pictures and send them!

Anonymous said...

Oh, and by the way, I love that you were taking a bath in the sink, and everyone was piled in!!! Isn't that how childhood goes!?

Anonymous said...

When I saw that picture of your sister (with you in the sink ~ we have many pictures of our kids taking baths in the cabin sink!)I also thought how much she looks like Katie. After seeing the comments, I'm not the only one. =]

I'm sorry about your friend - loss is hard. ='[ What a wonderful tribute you made about her, though! xo L