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My Friend Mary Jane

July 2005

I was three years old when my father died back in 1953 and five months later my maternal grandfather passed on. Grandma and mom moved in together and we lived in a house about a half mile from the cemetery. Mom and grandma would spend hours there just sitting by the graves. I would play with my friend Mary Jane, we always played toward the back of the cemetery. I wanted Mary Jane to meet my mother and grandmother but for some reason she never wanted to. She was just there to play with me I guess. Anyway I remember she was a bit older than I was, she had long brown hair and wore a long white dress.

My mother was grateful that I was able to amuse myself in such a way as to pretend that I was actually playing with someone. I tried to tell her about Mary Jane but she insisted that she was real only in my imagination. Now comes the really strange part of my story.

Two years ago I started using a computer and discovered the Internet. I was bored one night and decided to look up the cemetery where my father and grandfather are buried, (now also my mother and grandmother) and I should say that the cemetery is tiny. I was looking at things and I find that there is one girl that can be the right age as my friend Mary Jane. My husband and I had just finished lunch when I mentioned that I would like to go there and see if I could find her grave, so we went. we were looking not far from my family graves and couldn't find it so I suggested we look towards the back of the place (where she and I used to play) and we found her quickly. I spoke to her and told her who I was and asked if I could take her picture. I took several of her grave and of the cemetery in general. I took one of my husband sitting on a tree stump by Mary Janes grave and this is the only picture that didn't turn out.
Unfortunately this picture has been lost. My friend had died in 1850, twenty years before my grandmother had even been born. I am now trying to find out how this child died and it isn't going to be easy but I feel I must know more about her.

Parents are so quick to dismiss things as a child's imagination and shouldn't be, sometimes it isn't. I wish my mother and grandmother were still around to explain to that this was real. Mary Jane was as real to me as my other living friends.

Mary Jane was there for me when I was a lonely child and I intend that as long as I am alive this child's grave will be visited and flowers placed on it so that she knows she is not forgotten.

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