This post is part of Think Kit by SmallBox.
January 10, 2016 prompt: "Homies: Friends are our chosen family. They have the wonderful capacity to make us laugh 'til we cry, to hold us up in dark hours, and to keep our secrets under lock and key. Tell a friendship story."
This post started out totally different. And it kept getting longer and longer without getting to the point I wanted to make...
I'm Friend Blessed.
In all areas of my life I have been blessed by my friends.in Junior High, Karen encouraged me to try out for the Girls Ensemble. Although I love to sing, without her encouragement I never would have tried out--and made it. In High School my best friend, Betsy drug me to Band tryouts and 20 mile walks (I have the March of Dimes Battered Boot to prove it). While Kay, Jeff, and Van encouraged me to audition for plays and Mixed Ensemble--again, all activities I would have missed. And Georgie invited me to The Mission--where I saw first hand how my tithes and offerings are handled in a Southern Baptist Church--we benefited greatly as we constituted into the First Baptist Church of Garden City. It will always be remembered by me as The Mission. It was here that I started my Walk. Previously I had a head knowledge of Jesus. Now I have a heart knowledge.
In college my BFF came in the most unlikely person on campus: Darrell was smitten with me. Walking across campus I would hear a stampede behind me: Darrell rushing to open the door for me. In Hardy Hall he would offer to carry my dinner tray. When I tried out for a play, he was there auditioning as well. It was really annoying.
I almost didn't accept a position on the Baptist Student Union Executive Council because he was on it. When I told Tom (the advisor) he asked me to pray about it, and Darrell, who was doing Summer Missions. That summer, as I prayed for Darrell, my heart changed. I grew closer to God and Darrell ended up being my best friend, and my inspiration for my own stint in Summer Missions the following year.
As an adult my friends have been pretty awesome as well.
I met Alicia at work. At the beginning of every shift she would tidy up the cottage she worked. As the only Registered Nurse on night shift I would make rounds on each of the cottages, but I would have a command central on one. The initial problems of the night were almost always on Alicia's cottage. When I was called to other cottages, or just making my rounds, Alicia would stack my papers. I would return and unstack them. One night I dared throw away a scrap of paper and received the cold shoulder treatment the rest of the shift. She had just emptied the trash can. I asked if she would rather I leave the trash on the desk. An uneasy truce formed that night blossomed, and into a friendship that has spanned 25 years. When she moved back to her home town of NOLA she introduced me to the inner workings of Mardi Gras and Barkus--the dog parade--one of Bandit and my all-time favorite dog activities.
The Spadettes are a group of about 10-12 ladies who love playing the card game Spades. We also have been known to play Fast Track, Liverpool Rummy, Chicken Foot, and Mexican Train--but most gatherings it's Spades. Hence the name.
When I had emergency surgery 850 miles away from home two of the Spadettes, Linda and Vickie came and retrieved me. That same surgery High School friends about 90 miles away didn't want me to awaken without friends: Georgie (The Mission) and Sharry (Band) were there before I was settled in the room. They also, along with Betsy (HSBFF) drove 2.5 hours to Mamas to take me to lunch during my recuperation. And, because I feared the larger dogs at Mamas or my Sister Robins homes would eat Bandit, Sheila (HS) kept him.
While writing this, I remembered another operation when Kenneth and Kim (college) drove from Austin to Dallas to bring me to recuperate at Linda's (Spadette) house.
And for the past 18 years I've been "adopted" by Pat, who I sang with in Sweet Adolines, when she found out I was working night shift Christmas Eve and wouldn't be able to go home to Florida. Every Christmas since, if I've been unable to go home--which have been most--I've been included in their family.
This ended up being another long post. But it does recognize some of the friends who have gone above and beyond mere friendship. I am truly Friendship Blessed.