". . . little shall I grace my cause

In speaking for myself. Yet, by your gracious patience,

I will a round unvarnish'd tale deliver . . ."

(William Shakespeare's Othello, I.iii.88-90)

Sunday, September 30, 2012

And Then Again, Some Are

A few days ago I posted about friendship. It's a topic I have written about before that for various reasons has lately come back into focus. One of those reasons is something that happened last weekend. One of my oldest friends, a best friend from my junior high days, found me on Facebook. We only went to the same school for three years--sixth, seventh, and eighth grades--before I moved again. But when we met we immediately connected and even though we lost touch somewhere along the way I have never forgotten her. I have looked for her over the years on Facebook but couldn't find her under her maiden name. I am so glad she was able to find me!

We have spent the last week catching up on each other's lives and recalling the past. I don't know why, but I have never seemed to have a very good memory when it comes to past events, even extremely significant ones. Some months ago my husband showed me on Facebook a photograph of a church sanctuary. He smiled broadly, waiting for my reaction. He didn't get the one he was anticipating. "Nice church," I said. It turned out it was the church we got married in. Sigh. I felt so bad (but in my defense, we moved shortly after marriage and have not been back to that church since then).

Anyway, my long lost junior high friend--her name is Kathy--has blessed me with so many memories this week. A few I don't personally recall, but others I do now that she has prodded them loose. We have had fun remembering . . . .

Having a fan club devoted to filling scrapbooks with pictures and clippings about our favorite stars (mine was Barbra Streisand).

Going camping with my parents.

Signing up to play doubles tennis and losing horribly in the first round of the tournament (we were so very bad and the "coach" offered us no instruction at all but focused entirely on those who already knew how to play).

Performing in the school talent show. Kathy sang with several of our other friends and I played piano. What song did we do? "Sing" by The Carpenters.

Visiting our English teacher's home on the spur of the moment and having her invite us in and cook for us. Something that could have only happened in the 1970's in a small Texas town.

A few days ago I got this note from Kathy:

We will keep in touch. You were my very first friend growing up. You never judged me because we were so poor. So many happy childhood memories because of you and your family. I still remember the first time I invited you over to spend the night. We cooked steak and became best friends. I still have a recipe you wrote out for strawberry shortcake on a recipe card. I don't think we made it, though. I remember all your Archie comics we would read at your house and we would write short stories and we loved English and our English teacher Mrs. Powell and we even ate at her house once . . . . Life sure was a lot simpler back then. . . . I sure did enjoy listening to you play the piano and your concerts we would go to in Austin. I remember my favorite was at your house and I would bug you to play "The Sting" . . . . When I come for a visit I will bring that recipe!

I wrote back to Kathy that the not judging works both ways. My father was a good man but he was an alcoholic and when he drank, his behavior and language were very harsh. I remember frequently feeling embarrassed when my friends were around to see it. Kathy told me she remembered that but also remembered all the things my dad did for us and the places he took us. 

Kathy, I can't possibly express what a blessing you have been to me this week. The title of my last post was "Friends are Friends Forever . . . Not." But this week I was reminded again that some friends are indeed  forever. They may fade for a time, but when you least expect it, they come back and bless you all over again! More and more I am understanding that God gives us the friends we need when we need them. Our calling is to be thankful in this as in all things. "The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord." (Job 1:21) 

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