There are not a lot of relationships that last a lifetime. Sooner or later even the best of friends drift apart, when the challenges of raising a family, a change in career plans or a move across country causes a tightly knit friendship to wane.
That was not the case for a couple of Old Town Laurel girls, Denise and Ruth Ann. They were born about six weeks apart. Ruth Ann, whom most folks still call Sissy, was the oldest of the duo. Denise came along five or six weeks later. The year was 1953.
They were raised in houses separated only by the Patuxent River. They played together, went to school together, and when the time came when they'd get married, they landed a couple of local boys, who just happened to be best friends as well. Denise and her husband soon had a couple of boys. Sissy and her beau had one of each.
Folks always assumed that the ladies were sisters. I suppose in so many ways they are. While there is no blood relationship, they are joined at the heart. To be fair, they look alike.
Fast forward to the here and now and you don't have to be a mathematical wizard to figure out the girls, now women, are in their early 60s, though both look younger than their years. While you might not guess it, they have more than a couple of grandchildren and wear the title of Grandma proudly.
Denise's life took a dramatic turn in October 2013 when, after several visits to her physician, she received a diagnosis of stage four lung cancer. In the world of sports, that is called a game changer.
Her family and friends have planned a benefit to offset medical and other expenses not covered by insurance.
Sam & Elsie's Restaurant, 9994 Washington Blvd., will be the venue for the event scheduled for Saturday, July 26, 2-7 p.m. Admission is $5. The fundraiser promises to be kid friendly. There will be special activities to keep the little ones entertained.
Raffles, silent auctions, music, games and good food will be the fare of the day. Overflow parking will be provided that afternoon by two businesses, Laurel Bottled Gas and Caton Auto Body, which are next door to the longtime eatery.
It's only fitting that of all the restaurants around the area, Sam & Elsie's host this event. The aforementioned benefactor of the day is Denise Watts Thompson, granddaughter of Sam and Elsie Watts, founders of the well-known establishment. Denise has worked several long stints at the formerly family owned eatery.
Her lifelong friend, Sissy, is none other than my slightly older sister, Ruth Ann Dudley Amis. If there ever were a couple of soul mates, it's the two of them.
Here's hoping that you can take some time out of what is your busy life and show some support to someone who means so much to so many. See you there!