I think the first time I ever felt pure jealousy was in about 1980 at the home of my best friend Susan Turner. I was 3 years old and I wanted Susan’s mom to be my mom.
I cried every time my mom picked me up from the Turners’ home on Gordon Drive.
Ginny Turner was – and is – so beautiful and sophisticated. She always had makeup on and her hair done. There was always good food on the table. She was so kind and elegant. I thought she was Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis serving cookies on a platter in a Crockett, Texas, kitchen.
And while Mrs. Turner maintained that elegance as the wife of a congressman – and now the mother of a congressman – at some point I guess I realized that she wasn’t Jackie Kennedy and she was probably not ever going to be my mother.
There are few people I’ve known since birth who still love me, people I can text message about any stupid thing, people who will let me in when I show up at their home unannounced. Ginny Turner is one of those people.
My friend Susan asked me recently to send over a recipe for a book she’s making for her mom’s 70th birthday. Ginny was always a great cook and loved sharing recipes with my mom and another friend, Betty Nash. Those ladies taught us how real friendship spans over decades and job changes and relocation, tragedy and triumph. I’m honored to have grown up in their presence.
I do not have a recipe to share with Ginny Turner. I do not believe my cheese grits or banana pudding – pretty much the only things I know how to make without the aid of Blue Apron cheat cards – are going to make it into Mrs. Turner’s recipe card box.
But that’s OK.
She’s in my heart, and I believe that I am in hers.
At Susan’s rehearsal dinner the night before her wedding several years ago, someone read an email that Susan’s then-fiance Danny wrote the day after their first date. It said, in reference to Susan, “She’s Miles Davis cool.” I thought that was just about the sweetest thing I’d ever heard, hoping that someday I’d find someone who thinks I’m Miles Davis cool. I’ve remembered that moment many times over the years and I’ve always been struck by the fact that whatever elegance and kindness and class Susan has, she probably learned from her mother. I hope I picked up on a little bit of that too.
Happy birthday, Mrs. Turner. To me, you are perfect, and you will always be Jackie Onassis cool.
April Towery is the managing editor of The Sealy News. She can be reached at 979-885-3562 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.