Remember that girl in high school? The one who had everything? Beauty. Brains. Athletic ability. Rich parents. The straight-A student. President of / Captain of Everything. One of the so-called popular girls. Popular meaning envied, I suppose, because girls (and boys) like her were inaccessible, unobtainable (meaning as friend or girlfriend) by those who weren’t in her circle. But she was different from the other envied ones. She was graceful, gracious. And smiled on us all. She was likable, more liked, I think, than envied.
I never saw her after graduation. She went on to Ivy League universities and medical school, married a bright, handsome man, had four children (one of whom died from a fall), and a distinguished medical career in our hometown.
Well, she’s dead. Parkinson’s. I didn’t recognize the girl in the photos of the woman she’d become. What I did recognize, however, was this—in every photo, she was surrounded by people, including the handsome young. She was liked. She was loved. And her gracefulness and graciousness were mentioned by those who wrote tributes.
The other so-called popular girls? The scornful ones? I have no idea.
Rest in peace, Martha.