Friday, April 1, 2011

Friday Night at 8 PM

This week I enjoyed a mini-reunion with several college friends. As we caught up with news about children (and grandchildren!) one of my friends, Harry Forbes, mentioned that in their weekly "Friday night at 8 PM" conversations, one of his sons has consistently been mentioning a special girl and he was looking forward to meeting her. We all wondered about these conversations and this is what he told us.

Over thirty years ago, his wife Charlotte, began a tradition that every week their family would gather at 8 PM on Friday night and record what had happened that week. Harry now has over 65 handwritten pages full of these entriees; together he and Charlotte used to enjoy reading what they had been doing one year, five years, or even ten years earlier.

When the children left home for college and jobs, phone calls, texting and Skype visits replaced being together in one place. Now the children are literally scattered around the world, but Harry's daughter who is studying in Australia, begins a Friday e-mail and eventually it makes the rounds to everyone else.

Two years ago Charlotte lost a 15-month fight against mesothelioma and this notebook is now a precious journal of their family life.
Charlotte Forbes, 2006
Today is Friday. What are you doing with your family tonight?


Joyce Moyer Hostetter said...

What a great tradition! I remember you sharing this picture with me at the time of your friend's passing.

A beautiful portrait!

Linda A. said...


Thanks for sharing this fabulous family tradition. How special! What a wonderful way to stay connected with each othar and be a part of all that's going on in each other's lives.

Linda A.

Carol Baldwin said...

Thanks Linda and Joyce. When I heard this story I really wanted to share it and wished I had done something like that with my own kids. Of course we had our own traditions, but this one was grand!

Anonymous said...

This is beautiful...and you just about made me cry. It's too early in the day for that. I get all splotchety! :)

Last night (Friday night), my hubby, children and I sat in the living room, ate some scrumptious chicken and onions, pasta, broccoli and sauce and watched a show on globe trekking. During the show, my hubby and I snuggled with the girls and got some good "being-still-with-them" time. As much as my family is on the go, this was a much needed activity! :) For the first time in a while, my middle girl was still enough to just fall asleep (almost!) on my lap. My youngest girl hopped from one lap to the other. And my oldest girlie snuggled up beside her daddy for a long time and almost fell asleep, too. LOVED IT!

The night before, though, we all played trivia pursuit for the first time. The oldest DD won!

Carol Baldwin said...

I'm so glad you read this post and super-glad that you had a wonderful Friday evening with your children. They grow up too fast! I was thinking of your family when I wrote this. Family traditions are so important!

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