Let me guess, you’re a housewife.

tumblr_m71urbHAfe1qbhkvgo1_1280I do not take vacations without my family and grown men do not ask me for my phone number.

Well, except for that one time and that was a fluke. I swear.

The airport staff at DFW forgot about me and left me sitting at the terminal in a wheelchair with a broken ankle. Not that I knew yet that it was broken, but still.  I am certain that if a stranger had not taken pity on me, I’d still be waiting at gate 32 C.

All I want at this point is to find my seat, order an adult beverage and pretend I am still on my cruise with my girlfriends.

 The window seat is open, I take it and the cabin steward takes my crutches.

So what if I’m supposed to be in the middle, I want the window. Surely whomever has the window seat will see my plight, take pity on me and not make me move.

Turns out he too is tired, wants to find his seat, and order his own adult beverage and we recognize each other immediately.

I, the stubborn redhead sitting in his seat and he, the tall stranger standing in the aisle announcing confidently, “I know you are going to move over, right?”

He is right. I move. Broken ankle and all.  Granted not without a sassy “Oh sure, make the cripple move.” We like each other instantly right up until 22C arrives.

He spends most of the flight talking to her. Over me I might add leaving me to feel like odd woman out. Yes that bugged me. Don’t judge. I was tired, and feeling well… middle aged.

I don’t blame him. She is young, cute, probably single and in town for a short business trip. Watching him work is very entertaining to say the least.

I’ll be honest, it takes everything I have not to pop off with a “Shoulda let me keep the window seat.” but my drink arrives and I have bigger things to figure out like explaining my broken ankle to my husband.

As we get ready to make our descent to Tulsa, Mr. window-seat remembers that I am in the row and says to me, “So let me guess, you’re a housewife.”


He strikes out with 22C and that’s the best he’s got for me?

I know, I know. I’m married. I shouldn’t care but crimony the dude could at least TRY!



I already know – because it’s hard not to eaves drop when you are stuck in the middle – that Mr. window-seat’s name is Tim*, he is a physician’s assistant / surgeon who is just returning from taking care of his old sick mother in Atlanta and he had two brother’s who have died leaving her alone with just him to care for her…

blah blah blah gag me.

I mean she got the “I’m a rich doctor who loves his mother.” pickup, and I get “housewife.” like I’m some kind of consolation prize or something.

At 40 something years old, this cuts me to the quick. He’s not exactly a Spring chicken himself mind you. I have zero interest in this man and yet there is no way I’m letting housewife go unchallenged. Even if it is true.

“As a matter of fact, I’m a stand up comic.”

So there Mr Bigshot!

What happens next is a blur.

Within three minutes okay maybe 60 seconds, he is wanting to know where I do comedy in Tulsa and asks for my phone number so that I can let him know when my next gig is.


I give him my number.

He even sends me a text when we land so that he doesn’t lose it. Oh boy. I am so in trouble.

It has been at least 20 years since a man has asked for my phone number. I can’t remember how to make one up. This is going to take some serious “splaining” as Ricky Ricardo would say.

I’ve taken two vacations ever in my entire life with my girlfriends and I come home from the second one with a broken ankle and now some guy I just met on the plane has my phone number.

This should be interesting.

I do quick introductions in luggage. Mr window-seat waits with my wheelchair while my husband gets the car and we never see each other again.

Who says life after kids is boring?

*Name changed to protect his identity, not that I believe he gave me his real name in the first place. I’m not even sure that he’s a surgeon.  I did get the text he sent me on the plane asking for my next gig and I sent him the link to the Comedy Parlor where I hope to be performing soon and left it at that. I had surgery shortly after my trip and I’m still in a boot. It’s going to be a long time before I get to do comedy again.

I am also fairly certain that it is going to be a LOOONG time before I get a weekend pass to go on a vacay with my girlfriends again as well.

25 Random things about me.

Rules: Once you’ve been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose 25 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, it’s because I want to know more about you.

1. I was born near Syracuse NY and raised in: Buffalo NY, Bridgeport NY, Endicott NY, Cleveland OH, Cincinnati OH, Columbus OH, Atlanta GA, Fort Walton Beach FL, Detroit MI, Southfield MI, Redford MI. – I’e also lived in Sweden, IL and OK.

2. I’m an artist – I love scrapbooking, photography, and designing jewlery.

3 – I have a knack for speaking first and thinking – eventually – making my husband laugh from under a lot of tables and my pastor to hang his head and blush. – I call it being a UFO – Unintentionally Funny Orator. Basically that little filter from the brain to the mouth – doesn’t work.

4. I met my husband at work in Chicago 20 years ago and wouldn’t go out with him until he told me that he played guitar in a rock band – true story.

5. I love a lot of people but don’t get to spend nearly as much time with them as I would like.

6. I used to be an actress, my “claim to fame” was a Work Place Issues video filmed while I worked for Williams Companies. Depressing really, but I still have the video. It was my only paid acting gig, ever.

7. I used to think I knew who I was until I realized that I spent the first 40 years of my life defining myself by how I thought others saw me. I lived to please others, and hurt myself a lot in the process.

8. If God lined up all of the teenage boys in the world and told me I could pick whichever two I wanted, I would pick Charlie and Dillon every time.

9. I love God with everything I have and I‘m learning to believe that the feeling is mutual.

10. Raising boys is harder than I thought it would be. I find myself saying things I never dreamed would ever come out of my mouth – phrases like “No you cannot drive your go cart off the roof to make it look like it’s flying for your video.” and “No you cannot send that frog into space. Please untie the helium balloons and use a GI Joe instead.” There are other phrases, but you get the gist.

11. I have a half sister I never really knew.

12. I left corporate America to be a stay home mom, and learned that staying home is harder than working for a corporation – but the benefits are fabulous and I’d do it again in a heart beat.

13. I am a bibliophile and have a room in my house dedicated to books and reading. I want to be an author and study other authors to learn how to write better.

14. I’m a really good cook – but don’t take the time as often as I’d like.

15. I actually love public speaking – I’m not sure if it’s because I was raised an only child by a single mom and think it’s all about me – or what. I tend to crave attention – mostly though – it’s just really fun for me today because it used to scare me.

16. There was a time when speaking in general terrified me, even if it was just to say hi to someone. I used to be so shy and so scared that I would literally shake in new situations. I preferred to be invisible, but secretly wished someone would notice me. Learning how to overcome that took years of prayer and practice.

17. I love facilitating Beth Moore Bible Studies (personal hero)- and I love going to our Mom’s Group at Church (Bad Girls of the Bible) and just hanging with my friends.

18. I love praise and worship music and I love the old hymns. I believe that both bring pleasure to God. He looks to the heart of man, and I’m thankful for that because my singing ain’t all that great.

19. I wasn’t raised in the church – and when I finally joined one, it took me years to get over the fear of being kicked out. – That’s what happens when you look through broken glasses. – I didn’t really know what Grace was until I experienced a personal failure and then got drowned by Grace in ways I still cannot put into words. – I actually turned in my ministry resignation to God that year – funny thing is, he acted like he never saw it and just kept pouring out more and more gifts and opportunities to serve. I’ll never figure him out.

20. When I was growing up I wanted to be, a circus clown, an actress, or married to a rock star. – uhm.. Goals were not my strong suit. – so I married an up an coming rock star – who is now a praise and worship leader on top of his full time corporate career – and is strongly studying to be a worship pastor and I’m thinking God has an amazing sense of humor.

21. I love Oklahoma, but wish we did not live so far away from my family. We’ve been here for 16 years and we didn’t’ get to see our nieces and nephews grow up, and my boys don’t know their cousins. And I think that’s sad.

22. I have the heart of an artist – and weird (eclectic) taste in clothing.

23. I sometimes miss my corporate job – I audited line costs and kept track of regulatory pricing, negotiated local contracts with Bell Companies, designed long distance circuit layouts, and installed switches. I felt smart when I worked there – I have had to remind myself sometimes that smart is smart no matter what you do and a career does not define my value. But I still miss it.

24. When I was 15, I wanted to be an exchange student. I didn’t’ think I could, but I applied any way. The essay question was tell me about your life. I wanted to throw it away but an adult friend told me to tell the truth and turn it in. I lived in a single parent home, my mom only made about $10k per year and she was a recovering alcoholic. I’d moved almost 15 times in my life, my grades were B’s, our house was only about 1,000 sf – I knew the competition – kids from two parent homes with stay home mom’s and straight A’s. – I didn’t think I stood a chance. He knew all the lofty “right” answers – his favorite author was Shakespeare and mine was Erma Bombeck. I really thought there was no way.

After the essay – I was first runner up – then came the interview – this is what they told me – “Because of what recovery has done for your family, and the life issues that you have overcome, which have made you stronger – we believe you are the right candidate” – And just like that I got to be a Rotary International Exchange Student and live in Sweden for a year and they paid for the whole thing – I even got to go to the Nobel Awards and meet the King (which would be when I told him he was shorter than I thought he’d be. ) That’s when I really learned that my past can be my greatest asset.

25. For this decade in my life, I’m exploring the world God has called me into – studying everything I can get my hands on – learning public speaking, writing sketches and learning stand up. I’m learning how to find the courage to say “I want to learn from you.” I’m learning about who I am – and more and more about who He is – and I feel like I’m falling in love all over again.

Nashville or Bust

We did it! We faced the snow, rain, and ice and we made it to Nashville. Driving through Kentucky had me white knuckled and tense, but Rena and I made it in time to see everyone.

I can’t write about the video taping other than to say “Wow, I had no idea all that went into it.” You’ll just have to wait for the release in March to see the final cut for yourselves.

Meeting my Turbo Girlfriend’s face to face was so much fun. Here are some pictures for you. This is our Turbo Gang. We coordinate the volunteers for Chonda’s comedy concerts when she comes to our cities. People kept asking us if we were a fan club or groupies and even though we tried to explain what we were, they would just smile and nod, so we left it with “Yes, we are Chonda Heads, we travel the country and sleep in tents.” This is honestly, the greatest group of gals (And one guy) you would ever want to know. We came in from Ohio, Indiana, Tennessee, Missouri, and Minnesota to help support Chonda.

Chonda’s best friend Alison is our Turbo Coordinator. This is the gal who recruits, encourges and strenghtens all of us. I can see why they are best friends. Alison is a screaming riot. I loved meeting her face to face.

Sir Richard – is a man of many hats, from the web page, to merchandising. I’m sure he has an official title, but we just call him “Thor-god of the turbos.” 😉

This funny man, with the freakishly huge hands is LeLand Klassen. LeLand was one of two opening comics that night. He’s hilarious. And please know I am not making fun of him when I call his hands “freakishly huge,” that is actually his line in his act. He uses his hands a lot as a comedic prop if you will. He is also a true professional. He completely blew his knee out just four weeks before filming and hobbled his way, in a leg cast, through the acts of the DVD and did a great job.

Goosing should not be allowed, but hey when you are standing to a wirey, ornery blonde, things are bound to happen. Zan was discovered when she won a radio contest in Florida to open for Chonda and she’s been traveling with her ever since. Zan is also in the video and I can see why. This girl is a total crack upi.

Of course me and Chonda. It was almost midnight when we took this picture and that poor gal had to get on a tour bus right after this and go to Shrevesport. I do not envy her schedule. Sorry about the bug eyes. I was tired to say the least.

Now for some simple random shots of me and Nashville. We had time to kill after the show and a few of us got silly on main street.

Surround Yourself With Mentors Girlfriend.

If I were to have taken out a personal ad seven years ago, it would have read: 30 something year old Christian Female desperately seeking a mentor, male or female. Must be willing to stay around my whole life, love me for who I am, never correct me, forsaking all others, having time only for me, taking my side in all disputes, and must be willing to let me make you God.

I had mentors when I was younger. Every summer, I would sit with my Grandmother and her friends while they quilted or drank tea. Women used to be surrounded by other women who taught them by example. I’ve lost that. A lot of women my age and younger have lost that. Today’s generation has lost that connection, what with moves and careers. Our families are more and more extended and farther away than we like to admit. In losing that connection, we’ve lost our mentors.

I wanted and needed a mentor but my heart’s requirements were very immature. God in his wonderful wisdom – answered my unwritten want ad – with radio silence. Ever been there?

Eight years ago, my pastor and his wife took a call to St Louis. He had a dream of being a seminary professor and chose to follow it. We all saw it coming, but I was crushed. I’d never belonged to a church before, and they were my first taste and what Christianity at it’s best looks like. Both are brilliant people and both have a heart for leading, shepherding and teaching. There were still strong leaders within our church, who stepped up to teach and lead women while we waited for a pastor. And then they too followed God to other cities.

My tradition does not have an organized women’s ministry department per se’ . They do however have a women’s missionary league called LWML and they became my staying point for quite a few years. LWML as they call it is a wonderful group of ladies with a heart for God and for missions. These ladies work really hard at what they do. They were a safe place for me to spread my wings, and grow. They let me serve and they let me teach for a season. I just did not want to make a career out of it at the time and moved on for now. I’ll come back to it later. LWML is a wonderfulorganization with young children I just could not properly devote the time needed.

We changed churches so that my husband could be on the praise team, and I jumped right in to teach women’s Bible Studies, lead a prayer group, and went to work in a church across town as a receptionist. My confidence in God was growing as I spread my wings and trusted him with the results.

Then, through just a simple fact of life more men and women that I’d come to know and learn from died on me. I unexpectedly buried 14 friends in 18 months. I know it’s not as personal as I make that sound, but it sure felt like it at the time. I suddenly felt very much alone. These were my mentors, men and women I’d relied very heavily on to help me grow in my Christian faith and to help me learn how to live life on life‘s terms rather than my own. I had no idea what I was going to do without them.

What I didn’t realize at the time was how reliant I’d become on all of them to tell me what God really meant and who God really is. I had placed all of them above my relationship with Him. While answering my personal ad for myself, I did try to make mentors out of other people, pastors mostly, but I didn’t trust them like I did this original group and it wasn’t pretty. What with my never ending list of questions, my insecurities and fears of rejection and my inability to be transparent. I honestly went so far as to accidentally set my dress on fire (small fire) to hide the truth. When they proved themselves to be human and let me down by not being God – I didn’t know what to do. When God did place strong Christians in my life, I shook so badly it made them uncomfortable and I literally ran away from one or two people that He gifted me with.

I’d shared with someone a few years back that my husband was thinking about becoming a pastor and that I was terrified at the prospect of being a pastor’s wife. I wasn’t sure I was able to walk that path with him. Her advice to me was to surround myself with mentors. Easier said than done, I replied. My mentors have all moved away or died. How on earth was I going to achieve that? She smiled and gave me some things to ponder.

There are many types of mentors. The side by side mentorship that lasts a lifetime isn’t the only kind. Some mentors are simply seasonal, people God brings into your life for a certain time. I definitely had those. Then she asked me to identify my “shadow” mentors. A shadow mentor is someone I learn from whether I meet them or not. They aren’t friends, but rather people in the faith who teach, speak, or simply live. I can follow their examples, and learn from them as well. I discovered that I have a lot of those. Most are private people within my life that are a silent example of over coming. Joy – the gal who leads our mom’s group Bible Study “Bad Girls of the Bible” is one of them. She has a great gift for teaching and just has an awesome testimony to the power of God. I’ve read all of Liz’s Curtis Higgs books and even though we’ve never met, I count her as a shadow mentor as well.

I’m guessing you have shadow mentors as well and maybe like me, don’t realize it. In looking through my list of books, studies, web pages, conferences, and classes I found I had many mentors. God’s radio silence, was temporary. He filled that cup to overflowing in a way I could not have imagined. He did it, only after I made a fool out of myself with a few people and finally let Him be the side by side for a lifetime mentor that I craved.

Some of these I found in the library, some through other women, and others by being willing to be of service.

I haven’t met most of these people, only a few, and yet they are my mentors. Who are yours?

– I belong to a private board that has many women on it and we learn and share with each other.

Flylady – I read about a woman in Dear Abby who helped other ADD women get organized. Her mantra at the time was do you live in CHAOS (Can’t Have Anyone Over Syndrome) and at the time it fit me. Having failed at almost every other attempt at organization I’d tried, I decided to give this a go. Once I joined and started doing it, I found out that several of my friends use her system as well.

Kay Arthur Lisa, my first pastor’s wife, taught precepts. I was so frustrated doing my homework that I whipped my Bible against the wall and busted the binding. I stuck it out, and Lisa took us to a conference where we got to meet Kay. I was so terrified that all I could do was shake and I couldn’t speak – that poor woman signed my book with Joshua 1:9- “be strong and courageous.” and even though I haven’t met her since, I consider her a shadow mentor. Not only have I studied precepts for years (inspired by my first pastor‘s wife), I get to teach others how today.

Beth Moore – with Living Proof Live. I “discovered” Beth when our new pastor arrived and his wife (another Lisa) led one of her classes. I’ve never met Beth and yet I’ve been blessed enough to facilitate several of her Bible studies and see her speak with LPM. I also keep her CD’s in my car to listen to while I drive.

Alicia Britt Chole – has mentoring moments on her web page and I’ve facilitated her bible study, Choices, at my church. Never met her, but God uses her in ways she doesn’t always see.

Women of Faith – need I say anything about them? I took women to that for several years. They also did a mentoring series for a year that I took advantage of. They mentor long distance through transparency, sharing, and writing. Wonderful organization.

Extraordinary Women Conference – again it’s a great conference, loaded with wisdom and grace.

Chonda Pierce – This was God’s deal. I signed up for her newsletter at a WOF concert and wound up leading the Tulsa Turbo Hostesses when she came to town. Not only did I fall on my face my first try at that, I literally ran away from her. Her best friend Ali gave me a second chance. This time the concert sold out, and I didn’t run away. I still get to help her with concerts and I consider it an honor.

Thelma Wells – mentors with intent on the You Go Girl Network and I get to be a part of that simply because I was willing to volunteer at a local conference that she spoke at and she kindly shared a part of herself with me.

Speak Up with Confidence – I am an intentional student, and not rostered speaker with them. SpeakUP is loaded with mentors and life coaches. This is part personal growth, part career growth for me. Excellent teachers here.

Ken Davis has a Professional Communicators Summit as well as Dynamic Communicator’s Workshops every year. – I’ve yet to be able to go and this is my year to do it.Because I do speak and do teach – this is a must attend on my wish list. I’ve never met him in persona, I have however, learned from his books, and dvds and I hope to keep learning from him. – This, like Speak Up, is a career choice mentoring deal for me. You may have other organizations that you learn from. Look for them and go to them.

That’s just a handful of people and opportunities out there. There are authors like CS Lewis, Phillip Yancey, Max Lucado, Billy Graham, not to mention books written by missionaries or evangelists or even by your own pastors. There’s just too many to name here.

I’m still in touch with my original mentors. They play a huge part in who I am today. God used them in a mighty fashion to plant seeds. He took those seeds – and many of us – and while it seems we are scattered across the nation – we are all connected in Spirit.

I begin 2009 with gratitude to all of my mentors: seasonal, intentional, and shadow. May God bless and keep you this year and always.

Philippians’ 1:3-11

Thanksgiving and Prayer
I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart; for whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me. God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.
And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.

I did not send them

Jeremiah 29:11-12

For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. 12 In those days when you pray, I will listen. 13 If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.

The spiritual gift of prophesy is a sticky wicket to me. I’ve had people tell me at various times in my life that they “have a word” for me. Some ask if they can share it, others… well they just share away. This used to confuse me, until I learned to put things on a shelf and pray about them.

I have a very interesting gal in my life. She’s very pentecostal/charismatic. She prays loudly and uses a lot of words. Some people love to pray with her because she says great things, is “encourgaing” and “makes it feel like God Himself is present.”
I want to like her. But I’m not sure I do. I get my feelings hurt around her a lot, and I’m not sure why. I do know, that when I pray with her I feel hurt by her audacity. The most recent prayer that comes to mind, “Dear Lord please return love to this marriage.” – referring to my husband and I.

I found myself wondering, who told her love had left? And then I started questioning, “had it left and I just didn’t see it?” All I know is I don’t want to pray with her anymore.

I have another friend from Assembly of God and man can she pray too. When she and I pray together, she hears my heart. When I pray with her, I don’t get my feelings hurt and I don’t feel intimidated or overshadowed, rather I feel connected in Spirit with both her and God.

Something is different.

I took my concerns back to God and asked him why I felt the way I did. I wanted to know if maybe it was jealousy. I mean she adores my husband and says wonderful things when she prays over him.
That’s when he showed me another part of Jeremiah 29, this time verses 8 and 9.

“This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says: “Do not let your prophets and fortune-tellers who are with you in the land of Babylon trick you. Do not listen to their dreams, because they are telling you lies in my name. I have not sent them,” says the Lord.”
I love it when God answers my prayers and concerns like that. I can call a lie a lie when I see it, and I don’t have to receive every word that comes at me as if it comes from God, because it doesn’t always. And when it does, He’ll tell me that too.

Finding Friends

A friend of mine died last fall, and it got me thinking. This is one way I process, I write things out trying to make sense of them. Have you ever had someone in your life who just lights up when they see you? Feels good doesn’t it? Bill was like that. He’d light up when he saw me, pour a cup of coffee, say “hi kiddo,” sit down and just talk about anything and everything. I’m gonna miss Bill, he taught me a lot about friendship and about life.

I’m sure everyone has seen that email chain that’s gone around that says “friends for a season, a life time… etc” and listing the purpose of each. I get it about once a month or so, and now when i want it, I can’t find it. Figures.

Having moved over 20 times in my life, it wasn’t until I came to Tulsa that I really started makeing friends – that lasted more than six months, and got attached to people. I mean really attached. But then something happened, several died, and I was beside myself because I’d never had to experience that before. When you move a lot, friends ships are kind of like – fraternity rushes. You rush in, make as many surface friends and possible, but you don’t have time to get close because you know you’ll be gone again in a few months or a year. Good byes don’t hurt as much if you aren’t vested in the relationship.

I read a pretty cool interview with Reba McEntyre in one of my magazines this week and she talked about girlfriends. It was really a promo piece for her new CD “Duets” and it was more than just a promo piece if that makes sense. Reba opened up about some big losses in her life, like the time a plane carrying her crew crashed and eight people who were very close to her died. She went on to say that after that, she didn’t want to be friends with anyone anymore – it hurt to much to lose them. Somewhere in her healing she discovered that staying isolated and refusing to connect kept her from builiding memories and from growing. People do come and go in our lives, and it’s important that we build memories. It’s the memories that keep us going long after they are gone.

I liked that story a lot. four years ago our family went through too many changes and it was hard on all of us. We changed churches, our school closed down, and ten of my friends died from cancer or sudden heart attacks. My three main circles of support were suddenly, radically changed. To add insult to injury, I was deeply hurt by a relationship and I’d never really expereinced that before either, and I had no clue what to do about that. For a while there, I felt like the kiss of death woman and didnt’ want to attach to anyone ever again. It showed.

Someone tells me I have a “vulnerable” trait about me which makes me endearing? i have no idea what that means. She just smiled and said it’s not always a bad thing you know, being vulnerable. I’ll have to chew on that one for a while. After losing friends and being hurt, I’d decided “vulnerable” must be a a defect of character and I needed to get rid of it completely. My friend disagrees. Like I said, I’ll have to chew on that one for a while.

I’ve slowly and surely started making new friends and the level of friendships are all different. Some are myspace friends, people I may never meet in real life – or I may, but there is still a connection there. We share things and talk about stuff. It’s safe really. I’ve made new friends in my church who are all at different stages in life. Some of young kids, some have no kids, some have grandkids. We all learn from each other. And I’m making friends at my kids school. I don’t work outside the home anymore because of my son’s epilepsy, so finding places to meet people has been a little challenging. Volunteering opens doors though. And I”m doing that now. – I’m not a good stay at home kind of gal, I actually climb the walls. I’m a social bug, I hate being alone for too long.

I was explaining a friendship to someone this weekend. Chonda Pierce is coming to Tulsa, and I’m one of her Turbo hostesses. She has women in each city that helps promote her show and gets to help during the show sometimes. We work with her best friend Alison, and with her promoters. I was passing out fliers at my church and sitting at a table was one of my call me in the middle of the night if you need me girlfriends was sitting there, along with a say-hello-but-not-much-else friend was there too. I handed them the fliers and said “my girlfriend is coming back.” One gal knew what I was talking about, but the say hello gal wanted me to expound on that a bit. We settled on – she knows who I am and I know who she is and we talk when she is in town, and sometimes email each other – girlfriend. I drive her where she needs to be, and we get to talk mom stuff – friend – when she is here. I call that a girlfriend too.

It’s okay to have friends like that too. It’s a step up from say hello, but not quite call me in the middle of the night. But it’s still a relationship.

When I was working in a church a few years back, I made a different kind of friend. Bill was an elder at the church and he was in his 70’s or early 80’s. He’d come in once or twice a week, pour a cup of coffee and just chat with us. I looked forward to his visits. he was always happy to see me, and very warm and very kind. He’d tell me stories about WWII (he was a bomber pilot), about his kids, about golf, and about his brother in California. I’ll admit that at first, I didn’t’ know what to make of his visits, I thought perhaps he was just lonely, and maybe he was. But after a while I really looked forward to them. he was a nice man.

One day Bill showed up and just sat in the hall. It was the middle of the week, and he looked lost so one of the gals went out to ask if he was okay. He said he was meeting someone there to get the coffee made for church (they did that together on Sunday Mornings and this wasn’t Sunday). He got agitated when she told him it was the wrong day, but he went home.

Two weeks later, he did it again. this time we called his son to come get him. And just like that, my friend was gone. He never came back. Old age does that. Poor Bill had taken a detour in his memory, I think they call it dementia. On top of the dementia, he was having mini-strokes they found out and he could no longer live alone. His son moved him to an assisted living place, and I could see him if I wanted but please know, he won’t remember me. I hate getting old.

Bill died on a Sunday and his was on Wednesday. I went to say goodbye to a friend. Saying goodbye isn’t as hard when you can remember the first time you said hello and all the steps in between.

I have good memories of Bill. And it’s those good memories that keep me going. Building positive memories makes saying goodbye worth it.