Sunday, October 28, 2012

sweet friends

When I was in college (the first time) I had two friends who spent every waking minute with me.  Or maybe they just put up with me, I don't know.  They were (are) very smart and beautiful and talented.  Both of them Who's Who and a slew of other honors.  I'm pretty sure they just let me hang around out of pity.  This picture was taken our senior year, as in '87-'88, and landed in the yearbook (hence the crease). I could explain to you why we were dressed funny but you wouldn't get it.  Had to be there.

Letha is the blonde.  I think she was already married in this picture - not sure.  She got married over Christmas break that year.  I sang in her wedding.  Three days before the wedding I lost my voice.  I mean, it was gone.  The day of the wedding, I was drinking fresh squeezed undiluted lemon juice to try to pull it off.  I don't remember much except thinking "whose voice is this?"  This year, she became an empty nester and a mother-in-law.  Time flies.  She was an accounting major.  Tonight I texted a picture of my online accounting homework to her.   HA! This is so typical...

Linda is in the middle.  She is incredibly intelligent and loves Jesus, who has blessed her with trips all over the world.  She eats the cake and leaves the icing behind.  Weirdo.  She is the principal of a middle school.  She was an art education major in college.  This is a piece I have from her Senior Art Project.  It's a print made from a metal etching and was originally a picture I took of a spring house on my grandparents property.  I wish I could find that picture.  So she drew the picture, then made the metal etching, then made the print.  It's really wonderful and this picture doesn't do it justice.  Come to my house and see it. 

So, anyway, here they are a few weeks ago when then they met up near DC.  I am incredibly jealous as I haven't seen Linda in several years.  (sigh)

It occurred to me tonight that these two set up my expectations of how the world is supposed to work.  We enter relationships and we are meant to keep them.  It's hard when it doesn't work that way.  I met Linda in the first few days of freshman year and Letha just a little while after that.  We ate nearly every meal together, met up between classes, played sports.  The summer after our junior year we took two weeks and drove from Greenville SC to Pensacola  to Detroit to Indianapolis and back to Greenville, visiting each of our families and seeing where we each grew up.  Priceless. Four years of constant face to face contact.  Laughed until we cried and sometimes cried until all we could do was laugh.

Tomorrow Letha and her family will sit through a ceremony in which her mom will be honored as an organ donor.  Her mom was precious.  I called her Mommy-poo.  She was also hilarious.  She sang "Davy Crockett" in pig-latin. "Avy -daaaaay, Avy-day Rockett-Cay."  Her death was not supposed to happen.  Letha and her sister and dad are not supposed to suffer like that.  You're not supposed to lose your mom unexpectedly and then try to be happy for the person who has your mom's heart.  It's not natural.  It's broken.  You're not supposed to get a call that your younger brother has died tragically either, as Linda did.  And your marriage is not supposed to end after 21 years.

So we have all suffered and still hurt. Those young girls up there knew so little of true pain.  We were so spoiled with happiness and sweet friendship and excitement in the future.

But now we have something dearer.  We have hope.  We know we are broken, that the world is broken.  But we know that God is good.  We can rejoice in other people's happiness and get surprised by true joy in our own hearts.  We can grieve losses but smile at the future.  We have Jesus.  He will be enough.