Elsie’s Treasured Friendships

30 May

I think a good book does more than entertain us. I love to read a good historical novel and escape into another time and place for an hour before I fall asleep. I love it when a novel or a biography goes beyond entertaining and challenges me. Many biographies have challenged me to ponder my own life and my goals and habits. While writing Elsie I felt challenged to think about friendships. When I think of the friendships Elsie had I feel as if I have not had great success in pursuing deeply meaningful friendships.   Living overseas has not been a help in maintaining meaningful relationships. Yet there are a few precious friends with whom, when we reconnect, it is as if we have never been apart.  Elsie lost her two closest friends when they were young but I know she worked at friendships with other women through the years. Letters helped her stay connected. As a widow Elsie traveled with women friends to Hawaii and England and had delightful trips.  I will add a picture here of the matching dresses that Elsie and her childhood friend Ruth wore. Ruth was buried in the dress that matched Elsie’s. I love this picture of the two girls in their matching dresses. I envy the deep friendship they treasured.  My sister and I once had matching dresses as children and once again as adults. I have and treasure the “dainty work apron” that Aunt Mamie made for Elsie that says, “How doth the little Missy Bee.” Mamie wrote about the apron in a 1916 letter to Elsie that is included in the book.  I want to stop and go write a note to a treasured friend.  The treasure of a close friend is often not valued until it is lost.

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