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Black Friday Memories, With a Tear In My Eye.

Today is Black Friday.  It is a day that I have fond memories of from my childhood.  I hate shopping, I always have, but it was one of my favorite days of the year when I turned 12.  Why would a woman who has always hated to shop love Black Friday?  Great question, I am so glad you asked.

 

As a child, my Dad always had off the day after Thanksgiving, that was my Mom’s day to get away with her friends for a little shopping, a little eating and a lot of talking and exaggerating stories.  My Grandma, my Mom, and her friends would pile in a car and go shopping and then out for lunch at Shreiner’s Restaurant in Fond du lac.  It was big city shopping for those small town ladies.  The details of what happened before I was invited to go along are sketchy, but I just remember the stories she would come home, it made it seem  like the world’s best day.

 

I never realized what a sacrifice it was for my Mom to start including us girls when we were around 12 or 13.  As my daughters approach that age, I realize that by inviting us girls, she did not get to enjoy childless time and she had to share her one girls day out with us.  She was a good Mom, very selfless.

 

There are a few times I remember going with her, but when I was in high school, I had gymnastics practice and I was unable to go.  One of the first times I went I ordered what I thought was a chicken sandwich.  What came was a chicken salad sandwich.  I don’t like mayonnaise, so I did not want it.  The waitress saw my disappointment and was nice enough to bring me something else to eat.

 

A couple of years before she died, she was very sick.  We (her family)  knew she was sick, but she had not shared that info with many others, but her friends knew.  I remember there were 6 of us packed tightly into her car, it was cozy.  I love that her friends knew something was up without anyone telling them.  I also love that they did not ask her outright, but they did grill me when she went in to pay for gas.  (Do you ladies remember that?  giggle.)

 

Another time was the year before she died.   That year was bittersweet.  I was pregnant with Thomas, she was tired and sick.  We all kind of knew it was likely her last year to be there with us.  By this time, everyone was going shopping by themselves and meeting up at Shreiner’s at 11 or 12 for lunch.  This was perfect for me, we skipped the morning shipping and drove together.  It was fun talking during that lunch of years gone by and about life and how it moves on. Almost all the usual ladies came that year.

 

The last time I joined the ladies in this tradition was the year after Mom died.  Thomas was a baby and got to come with me.  The group was small that day.  We ate dessert first in honor of Mom and my Grandma who was no longer able to travel to spend Thanksgiving with us.  It was truly even more bittersweet than the year before.  I am tearing up just thinking of it.

 

Those ladies that spent that one Friday a year with my Mom are a very precious part of my childhood.  I can picture each one of their smiley faces right now.  I love you ladies.  I hope you have carried on part of the tradition with your girlies and the precious ladies in your life.

 

I have tried to carry on the tradition with my girls and circle of friends throughout the years, but it has not taken off like my Mom’s tradition, it is not the same.  That makes me sad.

 

To all the Black Friday ladies, and you know who you are, Thank You.  I love you.  Thank you for making that Friday a priority in your busy lives, it meant the world to Mom and to me.

 

love,

susan

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