We met in 8th grade, when she sat behind me in History class. We didn’t really become friends until 9th grade, when she noticed I was reading the Star Wars novelization while waiting for my mom to pick me up from school. I can remember that day more crisply than almost anything else that happened in high school. Martha had seen the original Star Wars movie over the summer, just like I had (more than once!). We made a date to see it again as soon as we could get a ride to the theater. We have been friends ever since.
Last week I wrote about how Martha suggested I shouldn’t go to Detroit alone to poke around cemeteries. Since she volunteered to come along, those excursions have been some of my favorite parts of my trips home. I borrow my mom’s red Buick and we cruise in air-conditioned comfort to some quiet green space to chat and catch up and enjoy each other’s company as we explore.
Martha’s father used to make stained glass. He’s elderly now and can’t cut the glass any longer, but Mart absorbed a lot of knowledge at his elbow as a teenager. She can see more in a stained glass window than I will ever see. She was telling me about the kinds of glass in this lovely window.
I’m so glad we’re friends. I don’t think she knows what an inspiration she is to me.
Another of my cemetery adventures with Martha.