A group of women from Georgia, who first met when they were in the eighth grade, recently enjoyed a beach getaway to celebrate their remarkable 40-year friendship.
The six women had planned the trip months in advance, but when the time came to head to their rental in Florida, they were one short.
“We could not make this trip without her,” Sharon Robinson told Good Morning America.
The women met when they attended Charles Lincoln Harper High School in Atlanta.
“Della [Jackson] and Daphne [Thompson] have known each other all their lives; their mothers were friends,” Robinson told AJC.com. “Lisa [Alexander] and I went to elementary school together.”
Although it wasn’t until they were in eighth grade when they met LaTangie Ingram and Denise Williamson, and they formed what they would later refer to themselves as: the “Sensational Six.”
Life after school separated the young women for a time, but they remained friends.
The Sensational 6 with their children pic.twitter.com/tnowsz2eWO
— Jordan Alexander (@Dan_Taichou) June 9, 2018
“We’ve been through a lot in our 40 years,” Robinson said. “We had a 50th birthday party, we’ve been through the death of parents, we’ve been through the death of a husband, we’ve gone through breast cancer—we have a breast cancer survivor—and even graduations and weddings.”
Through thick and thin, the Sensational Six were always there for each other.
In July 2016, a few months after the Sensational Six settled on a location to celebrate their friendship, Williamson shared some devastating news with her girlfriends—she had ovarian cancer.
And just like the group of friends had done in the past, they all surrounded Williamson with love and support.
Williamson shared with her friends that she had cancer.
Their 50th Birthday photo shoot pic.twitter.com/eaeAFIxdWS
— Tyla (@tyla_genea) June 9, 2018
But just two months before the women were scheduled to spend a few days in the Florida sunshine, Williamson passed away.
Despite missing one member of their group, they still went on their getaway.
“She had every intention of being here,” Jackson told Good Morning America. “Even after the bad news … she had every intention on living life to the fullest. She was a fighter, and we’re not going to leave her out.”
Unfortunately, Williamson passed away before the Sensational Six’s trip.
While celebrating their 40 years of friendship, the women made sure to honor their friend, Williamson.
In addition to bringing along a photo of her as a tribute, the five remaining women wore teal shirts and accessories, teal is the color associated with ovarian cancer.
Photos of the women posing with Williamson’s portrait on the beach have gone viral.
My mom and her friends have been best friends for 40 years now. They call themselves “The Sensational Six”. They planned this trip to Florida for the 6 of them. Unfortunately, one of them passed due to cancer in April.
This is the type of friendship I want to have. 💞 pic.twitter.com/WHEtGjyt2o
— Kristin. (@LifeAsKris) June 9, 2018
Although the women have received questions about whether they will change their name to reflect the number of people in their group, Jackson said no.
“No, we’re still the Sensational Six,” she said. “Denise will always be here with us.”