Thursday, April 11, 2013

My Girl

One of my favorite movies ever.
It has, arguably, one of the greatest poems of all time (amiright, Valerie?).
I like ice cream a whole lot.
It tastes good when days are hot.
On a cone or in a dish
This would be my only wish:
Vanilla, Chocolate, Rocky Road
Even with pie a-la-mode.   
Didn't even look that up, you guys.
It's my go-to audition piece. 
Seriously though, name me one adolescent girl that couldn't relate to Veda Sultenfuss.
I felt like she and I were pretty similar.
She's sassy and quirky and confident, yet at the same time, totally awkward and insecure.
Has a major crush on an older man.
I can not even list all the old dudes I had/have crushes on over the years.
Suffice it to say, there have been many.
Her best friend was a boy.

About two years after this movie came out, when I was in middle school, my best friend's name was Brendan.
On the evening of March 9th, after school, he was playing near some railroad tracks with a couple of our other friends.
Truthfully, they were standing near the elevated tracks and spitting on the commuters as they walked to their cars after work.
Boys...
We lived in the south suburbs of Chicago, so a lot of people commuted into the city on the "L".
  One of these commuters, and an unfortunate victim of their prank, turned around to yell at them.
So, of course, they ran.
Brendan was ahead of the others and ran across the nearest tracks to avoid an oncoming commuter train, but he did not see the freight train coming on the far tracks.
He was taken by ambulance to the nearest hospital where they tried, unsuccessfully, to revive him.

This was my first experience with death.
Not a grandparent.
Not someone who had lived a long and fulfilling life.
My best pal.
A 6th grader.
A tragedy.
It happened 20 years ago.
Honestly, it doesn't seem like that long ago because I remember every detail of the following morning when I found out like it was yesterday.
I also remember my mom buying me this book (it's wonderful) and renting My Girl from Blockbuster.
This time when I watched, Veda and I connected on a totally different level.

I think it's safe to say that we all love a good coming of age story.
They can be lighthearted, charming, heartwarming, and entertaining.
They can also be powerful, compelling, influential, and completely cathartic.
This one, to me, is all of those things.
Which is why it's priceless.

3 comments:

Candice Jenkins said...

I love reading your blog.

Michal Thompson said...

how sad. That is a hard thing to go through in 6th grade! I love that movie too! oh, and i love toms even though they can smell. And trying the tea after you've used it isn't a bad idea

Southern Belle said...

oh my gosh that is the saddest story! I also love reading your blog! I can't imagine having to go through that:(