March!! Let’s talk about friends in March! Maybe I’m feeling nostalgic. thankful. my heart is full…. maybe it’s the February valentine effect. It’s just been on my mind a lot lately.
Its funny about friendship. Doesn’t it seems like the greatest friendships are formed when we’re not looking?
As a girl, I watched my mother in her friendships.
Mom had a close friend, honestly, as I look on it now, an unlikely friend.
Karen was the single mom to a rascal of a boy about the same age as my little sister. I’m not sure, maybe their friendship began as one where my mom saw someone who needed something; help, or maybe encouragement. I’m not sure. I just remember hours of our families together sharing meals, moms talking, crafting, helping each other with projects around their homes. Each woman giving equally to the other.
I say Karen was an unlikely friend because, as a wife of a pastor, I almost wonder if it was ‘looked down’ on, that my mother was spending so much time with an unwed, possibly even a welfare mom. And yet, I love that my mother didn’t let that stop her. She didn’t worry about what other people thought, she just became a friend.
Mom also had a great friendship with Thelma. Now my memories of Thelma was that she was old. Most likely, she was in her late forties, early fifties to my mother’s late twenties. (Ha, Fifty! So young!! anyway, I digress!!)
I remember the admonitions as we would accompany mom to Thelma’s house…Do Not Touch! Be Good. Now Thelma was a different kind of woman than Karen.
I remember Karen’s house as always different. They must have moved frequently. And as we would go, I seem to feel there was a sense of shabbiness. Or at least a need for some upgrade. If my memory is correct, the moms would be painting walls, or sewing curtains and us kids, would be given tasks such as to haul sticks and clean up the yard…which of course would turn into a game of make believe. But as long as we didn’t pick and fuss at each other, I think it was no matter.
Anyway, going to Thelma’s home was different. Hers was a fine house. In the eyes of an elementary aged girl, I saw a spotless house, fancy and cream. They had china cabinets, in the living and dining room. The ones in the living room were filled with porcelain ladies in pastel gowns. They also had these velvet swivel rocking chairs. We spent many hours spinning, deliriously close to those fine breakables in cabinets, waiting for the conversation in the kitchen to wane.
Friendship with Thelma must have been one that gave to my mother. A place of retreat. comfort and care. I know mom was always giving in so many facets of her life – to her family, people of the church, her neighbors. Instead I saw Thelma give to her. Baked goods. Probably a little parenting advice. A motherly kind of love.
I’ll stop for today, there are more. I think friendships like this are a lot like Mary, Jesus’ mother, going to Elisabeth after her meeting with the angel. Receiving this earth shattering news, Mary went to someone she could trust to hear her, help her, prepare her. We’re not so different these centuries later. We still all need these kind of friends.
And it’s such a good reminder, there are ladies all around us who need a friend. Not pity. Not judgement. More like cookies and conversation.
And we have it in our hands, sometimes to give, sometimes to receive.
Prob 27:9 Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart:
so doth the sweetness of a man’s friend by hearty counsel.
Thanks so much for stopping by, friend!!