November is chock full of birthdays for me and Julia. In addition to our own birthdays, two of our sons’ birthdays and our social media guru Frannie’s birthday, we are remembering our friend Judy Thomas Stacy’s birthday.
Most people probably remember a family like Julia and I remember the Thomas family from growing up. They were the kind of good-natured, active and involved family with lots of siblings that always seemed to be around. The mom, Mrs. Thomas, was Julia’s mom’s best friend. The youngest sibling, Susan, was one of my younger sister’s BFFs. The oldest daughter, Caroline, was friends with Julia’s older sisters and she also happened to be one of the girls I most admired on my gymnastics team. The Thomas sibling closest in age to me and Julia was the second youngest, Judy. I remember her being in my Brownie troop way back in elementary school.
Judy grew up to become a beloved teacher at the middle school, Beaumont, where Julia and I met back in the early 1980s. Judy taught many of the kids of our friends and peers, and we’ve been told that many of those kids remember her as one of the best teachers they ever had.
Four years ago, Judy was suddenly and tragically killed in a highway roadside accident in Georgia on her way home from a family vacation. In Judy’s memory, her family has turned her birthday—November 18—into a day for spreading Good Juju, or positive energy, by doing something kind for someone else. That’s a message the Language of Friendship can wholeheartedly embrace by encouraging all of us to dedicate the rest of November to spreading as much good Juju as possible. Join us! We’d love to hear about your good Juju in the comments below!