By Sharon M. Kennedy
When summer finally arrived in the Eastern Upper Peninsula, my sister and I looked forward to spending hours in the sunshine. We donned summer clothing that looked much the same as our winter wardrobe except our blouses had short sleeves and our overalls were thin and unlined with flannel. Jude held her favorite cat and I hugged a doll as Mom snapped a picture of us. Then, as now, the sun’s rays were too bright for me. I loved its warmth but closed my eyes or raised my hand to shield them. Even as an adult, I wear sunglasses every month of the year.
The photo of me with another little girl was typical of my early childhood. My friend, Lorraine Frisk who lived down the road, loved animals while I preferred my dolls. Lorraine was a fearless child, afraid of nothing. I was a chicken and feared everything. We were the best of friends even when our daily arguments sent her home as I ran to the sanctuary of my playhouse. When she moved away a few years after that photo was taken, a piece of my heart went with her. My sister might have filled the void, but I was eleven and Jude was fifteen. I spent summer days playing with my dolls. I don’t know what Lorraine did, but I know my sister and I no longer sat on a blanket and sunned ourselves. The days of sweet childhood and sisterly bonds had drifted away as quickly and silently as a sunbeam.