It has probably been sixty years since this event. It was just one day but it stands out as a very special memory that I cherish for many reasons. (Part 1 is here).
With her brown banana curls, flashing brown eyes, and a tendency to stomp her feet with her hands on her hips when she didn't get her way, Linda intimidated most adults and children with her brains and her ideas of how it should be! She was the smartest person I have ever know.
Quickly, she and I discussed how we were going to use the stencils. She decided that I would hold the stencil down on the glass and she would dab the Glass Wax on the glass. This would have worked fine if I had been tall enough. Her mother came to the rescue with a small chair for me to stand on. In no time, we had stars, holly and candles on each pane.
With only two panes of glass to go, she decided we should both do an angel. It was a bigger stencil and harder to do, so I did the first one. It came out perfectly. When it was her turn, she set her mouth and jaw as she did when she concentrated and put her angel on the glass! We were done!
With great delight, we admired our work. Linda's mom said we had just enough time for cookies. Her dad had made Italian cookies like his mother taught him. We got to use as much powdered sugar as we wanted. It was a day to remember. While we ate, Linda's mom checked to see if the decorations were dry and assembled the living room back in order.
We put on our coats and went to the bottom of the driveway. My mother was already at the top of the street. I thanked them and walked rapidly toward my mom. It was getting dark, just as it is today. It was nearly the shortest day of the year.
I think of this little adventure every year when the light grows short for you see Linda's life was a fleeting as the daylight that day.
She died at 14 while bowling with friends, of a massive brain tumor. She had moved away to a new neighborhood when she was 11. I only saw her once after that. She was ripped from my life twice but I will never forget her.
You see, I believe Linda is my own special angel, waiting to guide me into heaven. She looks like the angel in the Glass Wax stencil. Serene, lovely and perfect. I am sure our mothers will be there too with her, waiting on the streets of heaven for us as they did those ordinary days. I hope they miss me as much as I remember them.
Thank you for reading my true life Christmas story.
1953 Cranston, RI City Directory