So many of you have written to ask how the Women of Jesse West survived their life trials. I had prepared a chapter for each woman since our lives remain intertwined. This is the first of 6 Chapters on the adult lives of the Trials of Jesse West.
Each woman now had her own way, with men they loved, most returning to home towns, some with family. We would wander further from each other until general spying techniques by me brought us together. We surprised to learn that we had suffered similar fates and had created a kaleidoscope of parallel lives without knowing.
And those early pranks, jokes, pangs, and falls were the price of being truly and fully within one’s life. Even as we cuddled our small town roots, all of us but one settling in Nebraska, for a time.
We were called to rise above again and again. We performed tasks as we were called, not shirking from difficult duty, but sometimes wondering who to tell when we failed, or excelled. Our old songs reechoed as each woman labored to bring new life to our families and classrooms. In the days of 1980s, letters were in fashion and one could expect an occasional note in the mail. But the frequency diminished until we were all lost from each other.
Somewhere in our souls we felt tattered, missing the pieces of that first imprinting that college students gain from each other when they leave their parents’ guidance. Our reunion is electronic, for now it has been enough. We can still find the echoes of our laughter. As our personal histories enfolded over 3 decades, we all laughed to learn that the names of the 6 were common vocabulary in our homes, though our new families had never met. Our stories lingered into each home and we could easily remember much of a singular and unique love that we experienced as we grew together toward something resembling adulthood. We became less a story of six women coming of age at a small college but also of the extent of their bonds. Streamers would filter through moves and name changes to find how we still needed those ties, knitted three decades past.