Jody


It all started with a phone call. We were young little skinny things. I was 26 and she was 35. We both had boys. And went to the same church. We happened to be cutting up fruit in a mutual friend’s kitchen who was hosting a friend of ours surprise birthday party who we both knew. We had individually offered to come early to help out.

We chatted shyly, not really knowing each other too well, asking all the “get to know you” basic questions back and forth. When the phone rang, she was closest to it, so she answered it.

I didn’t mean to eaves drop but I couldn’t help but overhear her side of the conversation. When she hung up, I was dumbfounded. “Was that your husband?” I inquired. She smiled and nodded. “Did he just call you to apologiiiiize?” I marveled.

“Yeah, she answered looking kind of embarrassed. “My husband would NEVER do that!” I said.  (And he wouldn’t have. Apologizing was not something he did easily. Let alone call me to do it!!! At that very minute, I wanted a husband like that!) It was a funny thing that caused us to really start talking.  Somehow it broke the ice. We started chattering and laughing and found out that we had a lot in common. And that is how our 29 year friendship began.

I have since had a daughter and changed husbands who by the way is the kind that apologizes and has called me many times to do it over the years. Our friendship has taken us on a path filled with many twists and turns caused by life, but the journey we have gone on together is one that I would never trade in a million years.

We have had a billion shopping trips, and learned to stretch many a dollar!

and have had some of the greatest “foodie” moments together ever!

We have gone through births and deaths,  and have become mamas and grandmas all  through the years we have shared.

We have been there for each other in the happy

and sad times and have prayed and cried together a thousand times over the years.She was in my wedding and did all the flowers, lugging them an hour away and not missing a beat, attending the rehearsal dinner and standing up for me. She has been a wonderful Auntie and Best Friend and I can’t imagine having gone through any of my life without her Having her share the journey has made my life better and I don’t doubt just how different it would have been without her.

Recently my daughter who is 24, and I were talking about friendships and she was kind of reflective and envying my relationship with Jody. And I told her that I hadn’t even met Jody for two more years when I was her age….and she thought about it. And I have no doubt that she will have a Jody in her life too! They just come along when you least expect them to, and you pretty much know it the moment you meet them.

 I have some amazing friends. I have been very blessed in my life.  But Jody really knows me and doesn’t judge me even when I am pretty stupid or grouchy. She knows all of my secrets and still loves me.  I love her like a sister.

 

I look back and remember that first talk in that kitchen long ago and realize that it was not by chance that we were there that afternoon almost 30 years ago, it was a Divine Appointment. And oh yeah,  that guy who called her? I love him too! A lot!

Just a few weeks ago…          “Auntie” Jody with me and my baby ~ who wasn’t even born when we met…

The Gift We Almost Missed


When you found me, I was tired and weary. I had forgotten how to dream and I had walls up all around me. Some you helped build long ago, the same ones you helped me take down in our times together. You gave me back something that I had lost…  you gave me the gift of my youth.

The memories we shared were like the best tasting honey ever, and I remembered with an old weary heart, soaking up all of it until there were no memories left to remember. Every day was better than the last, we danced the dance of getting to know each other all over again… the one I once knew so well, had memorized and then tried to forget with the exact same passion I had loved you with.  And yet, we worked through it, all the painful memories. You asked for my forgiveness and in giving it, my heart healed and my world seemed to somehow feel more aligned with everything around it.

I began looking forward to your words, to your affirmations. Your words were like salve upon a wound, they had healing powers and I was lost in a world so rare, so right and yet so wrong.  And so… …..   all in the click of a key, my life changed. It all started quite innocently, the catching up, the remembering… so innocently…

But you wanted something  more, something that I could not give… In-between the youth that you offered and the life that had happened in-between the past and the present, the path had changed. I had changed. You had changed, yet we hadn’t changed enough. Slowly I tried to back away and even though you would say that you knew you weren’t entitled to be angry about any of it, you still were. And even though I wanted to go back and make it alright for you, I could not change the past. Though I was not sure what to do. I did not want to abandoned our newfound friendship, I continued to reach back through the distance but we knew nothing was going to make it right.

And you must have seen the writing on the wall because all of a sudden you weren’t there anymore. It wasn’t me this time. It was you.  I waited for your reply and wondered if you were okay.  But then I realized, you nor I were ever going to be okay when we weren’t in touch or when we were. Even though it felt so right sometimes, we knew the truth.  I had taken a thousand opportunities to just stop over and over again, and something always would happen that seemed to make it impossible to stay away. Neither one of us could “just” stop. And so the Merry Go Round kept turning.  Both of us, in our own way, would try to stop riding for a while but in the beginning,  the pain was so raw, the sting was so painful that a new  panic would set in. I remember feeling so wild with grief one time, that I felt a little  like Hellen Keller must have felt  in the Miracle Worker, floundering in my blindness, seeking to understand. And the thing that gives me hope is that Hellen Keller later, actually became one of the wisest souls to live. She literally gives us new meaning to: “I was blind and now I see.” (Hopefully in the places that I was blind in my life… I will see things with the same clarity that Hellen did.)

But slowly, as we began to play the game of jumping on and off, over and over again it suddenly got very old. And we realized it wasn’t fun anymore, but we kept riding, until one day, one of us just quietly got off. And this time it was you. Who woulda thought? There were no words of anger or tears cried, there wasn’t even a goodbye. The door closed just as quickly as it had opened.

And we were okay.

We still could breathe and we even  lived through each day, one at a time~ Though some were harder than others…  And we still looked in the places we used to go to find each other. Recently, I even caught myself looking at a star and “willing” you to look at the same one. Or found myself listening to the same radio station and wondering if you had just heard the same song.

And I can’t say that I haven’t wanted to reach out to you again, sometimes many times a day. To make sure you are really okay, to ask you what made you finally strong enough… But I know that it would hurt us more than it would help me and so I remain silent… remembering…

The love will never go away. The places you once were ~  still feel pretty empty when I look and you aren’t there, and  just perhaps, they always will.    I just know that I will never look at them the same way again…

You are still in my daily thoughts and prayers and I hope I will always be in yours… not so much as a possibility of anything more but a sweet memory of a gift we were given. One that few ever get to experience. I am not sorry for the time we shared nor am I sorry for our unspoken goodbye because it was all meant to be…..to remind us of God’s love. The perfect Gift. The one we almost missed.

Do you guys realize if it weren’t for Thomas Edison we’d be watching TV by candlelight?


I couldn’t help but laugh when I saw the above quote and HAD TO use it as my title here today. We are living in an age of tech brats, all so spoiled and entitled. The other day I saw a homeless person texting as he sat next to his WILL WORK FOR FOOD sign. Maybe it should have said, WILL WORK FOR MINUTES! I know, I know, there before the grace of God go I,  but Really? We have become SUCH  a technical world.

In my archives, I have shared stories about my dad taking me to his office when I was a little girl. We would go up to the top floor of his high rise building so he could print me SNOOPY calendars for my friends at school. He had moved from being Vice President in a division at Mattel Toys to an up and coming computer company. I remember him saying. “One day all these disk drives that fill up this whole room will all sit on one desk, and maybe even in our lifetime, they will fit in our hands! I am sorry to say that my daddy did not live to see his prediction come true but he knew!

Today that little computer that he spoke of back in the late sixties is what we now call our cell phones. Funny how we complain about the reception or the texting not working correctly. When back in the day, when I was a kid, we marveled over pulling a string in the back of our dolls and hearing it talk! As a “Mattel Tester Kid” once upon a time, I can tell you that we have come a long way! Where once we tied two cans together and talked between houses with my nextdoor neighbor and we were ecstatic to hear what we believed to be words coming from the other end. What have we come to? I will tell you…. to giving our eight year old kids Iphones!

Recently, I have signed up as a leader for a program called Team Kid. It is kind of like a weekly Vacation Bible School and since  my kids are grown, I’ve been kind of out of the loop about what kids are into now days.  And it has kind of been fun getting to know my group of kids. I wanted to go buy  prizes for incentives for different activities and asked them what they were into and one of the things that they said was “Angry Birds”  And a number of other things that I hadn’t heard of. Where have I been? (Smile). I guess most of the names that they supplied me with were either video game characters or names of Apps for their cell phones which were also games.

I remember when staying out until the street lights came on, playing who knows what till then, was my idea of fun. It all leaves me wondering…am I just totally out of it?

or….Are they missing out??

We have come a long way. I remember when each house had one phone and it was in the kitchen and not until a lot later, was it even normal to have a phone in the Master Bedroom. If you had an extra long cord it was really cool because then you could take the phone and talk in a different room! When cordless phones came out, they weren’t that affordable and cell phones were still just a far off prediction my dad made…     Until one day something called car phones came out! Boy were we impressed! Back then, we didn’t even know how funny it would be somday that they were as large as a shoe box. Just being able to talk on the phone in your car was a hit! Though the idea of being able to remove them from our cars was just a dream.

Which leads me here today…

I was trying to google the reviews on The Razor and Galaxy, verses the Iphone and realized I have fallen into getting mad at my poor little phone for having battery or reception problems and almost feel guilty when I make my poor little phone call herself “dumb phone” when I text it back to the person that I am trying to explain that “my phone” got the text wrong.

I found it such a crack up the last time the newest Iphone came out, observing the lines of people wrapped around the building as they were either talking or texting on their cellphones, waiting for the store to open.

Maybe next time we start to complain about those little miracles we have in our pockets we will stop to remember where once we came.