ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

My Friend Pam's Birthday Party When Being Just Like All The Other Girls Mattered

Updated on August 8, 2016
Sallie Mullinger profile image

Sallie is a retired mother and grandmother who has written short stories for most of her life. Her stories are from her heart to yours.

We are the sum parts of so many people from our pasts. I thank all of them for helping make me who I am today

On my first visit to my best friend Pam's house a couple of years ago, she had a photo framed in the guest room where I was staying. It was a sort of "welcome Sallie and do you remember this?" It was a photograph of a group of young girls, dressed in their little girl "go to church" dresses all clustered around the star of the day, my friend Pam, on her birthday.

For someone who can describe every room, every stick of furniture in Pam's house and everything we ever did, I had to admit I dont remember this birthday party.

But I sure could name every, single one of the girls in that picture!

What a blast from the past. I think this was probably her 8th or 9th birthday and seeing that photo brought back more than memories of a birthday party.

Right next to Pam, on her left if you are looking at the picture is Holly who was another of my very close friends. My parents invited Holly to go to Florida with us for a few summer vacations so I would have someone to play with since I was an only child.

I lived with her and her family in those last months of my Dad's life because my Mom was always at the hospital tending to her dying husband. I will never, ever forget the love and kindness from Holly's Mom, Mary, and their entire family. They welcomed me into their home and made a very sad and dark time for me...bearable.

My Dad adored Holly and the night before he died he asked if she and I could come to the hospital to see him. I think it was to say goodbye because the next day, he lost his long battle with cancer.

Ive lost track of Holly and wish with all my heart that I could find her. I know she would have memories of my Dad and I would love to hear them.

To Holly's left, again if youre looking at the photo, is Allison who for most of grade school was my arch enemy. I remember she and I were very competitive. I have no idea why and once we were out of grade school and into different high schools, I never saw her again. But its funny how much of an impression she made on me. Once, in 2nd grade, she and I argued over which one of us could sing the song "Itsy Bitsy Teensy Weensy Yellow Polka Dot Bikini" better. It's odd to me that I remember this so vividly.

The cute little pixie brunette sitting in front of Allison is Nancy. Again another one of our group and one of 10 kids. The epitome, especially in those days, of a good Catholic family! I spent much time with her family also and always felt warm and welcomed when I was there.

They had a live in maid/nanny/housekeeper whose name was "Jeanette" and Jeanette was a rather large black woman who would crush me to her ample chest whenever she saw me and hug me til I thought my eyes would pop. I know she's long gone by now, but I have warm memories of her. That sweet woman took such great care of that family and everyone loved her. Its hard not to love someone who is so loving themselves.When I most needed to be hugged, there was Jeanette who would seem to be the most unlikely person to offer me those hugs yet always did.

Pam's mother, was June Cleaver and Donna Reed and Harriet Nelson all rolled into one. When I was at Pam's house, which was often, without saying too many words, her Mom conveyed warmth and caring to me. I suspect that on some level, she knew that home for me was sometimes dark and scary and she made me feel loved with tuna casseroles and tomato soup in her cozy kitchen.

Had it not been for the love and caring I had and felt from the mothers of my friends, and Jeanette, I am not sure how I might have gotten through those years when I knew that my life was vastly different from my friends lives. Having a Mother who struggled with alcohol and a Dad who was battling cancer, changes you even at a young age and these women all showed me what "normal" could look like. I give a lot of credit to all of them for helping me then as well as later in life when I became a wife and mother myself.

I know that they have all left this world and I wish I could have thanked each of them for their kindness, love and generosity. This is my tribute, in a way, to those sweet, sweet ladies of those days gone by when they seemed to know exactly what I needed when I didn't even know what I needed myself.

As an adult, when I told my best friend, Pam, of how I often felt like such an outsider in those days and knowing I was different, she said that she wished she had known what I was going through back then. I love her for that thought, but I wouldn't have wanted her, or anyone else, to know what my life was like. Being with her or Holly or Nancy, at their houses, gave me places where I could escape and be just like any other kid

Looking at this picture and the girls I knew during those young, grade school years, makes me feel alternately happy and sad. Happy that I have the memories I have and sad because I know that we can never go back to those days when a birthday party was the most important thing in the world.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)