The TNGs (Thursday Night Girls)

When I was in the car accident, I lost everything or at least this was how it felt.  Had it not been for the Thursday Night Girls, I would have never made it.

At the times in my life when all seemed lost, God always sent me an angel but when I had my serious car accident, an angel did not come for God decided to send me three; Charlotte Merker, Janice Verlinghieri and Dale King. Along with my mom, these three women are the glue that holds me together. The four of them surround me, on all four sides, and keep me centered.

We call ourselves the Thursday Night Girls. It was a Thursday night, not long after my accident, when my mom happened to have dinner plans. Rather than leave me unattended, she asked if I could join them for coffee (I wasn’t able to sit in one position for too long, so dinner was not yet an option for me). We all had such a great time that we decided to meet again the following Thursday and now, ten years later, we have met for dinner every Thursday, every Thursday night for 10 years and counting…

We are always the loudest table and the last table to leave. Strangers approach our table and ask how long it’s been since we’ve all seen each other “You are having such a wonderful reunion, how long has it been since you’ve all seen each other?” The answer of “Well, it’s been six days,” always prompts the same look of disbelief and a little laughter.

Without the Thursday Night Girls there would be no book, for they brought me through the six years it took me to return to work, after the car accident and anytime I felt like giving up, I had one to take me by the right hand, one to take me by the left hand, one to lead the way and one to stand firmly behind me. Yes, there a few initials after my name but to these four remarkable women, who have changed my life impermeably, I will always be “Ellen Wedemeyer, TNG.”

As you read the book, count how many times I use the names, Charlotte, Dale, Janice and Marie – the TNGs are woven throughout my book and why shouldn’t they be? They are woven securely throughout the fabric of my life…

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