Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Friends, The Closest Thing To God

Sometimes I think I'm the luckiest person on earth.  It's not that I haven't had tough times.  My share has been ample for a gang.  It's the people that surround me.  I get filled with awe when I ponder my good fortune.  How on God's earth was I so fortunate to be totally surrounded by simply amazing people?  One might respond with, "Well, Sherry, you're good to people so they're good to you."
But it's more than that, way, way more than that.  It's been ordained, I'm sure.  Why me?  Let me tell you about just a few of the amazing people who surround me. 

Candy.  I've known Candy since 1970.  You do the math. She's been there for me at each life changing event.  And, this last January, when Jed's condition was getting worse, no questions asked, she hopped on a plane and came here to help out however she could.  She ran the shop while I was in the hospital with Jed, and she was by my side on Jed's final night.  She was there at the birth of my children, through my divorce and here, lifting me up with her presence when Jed passed.  If she was physically able, there was nothing she wouldn't do to help out. And, when we're together, we make each other laugh until we cry. What I love about Candy is her determination that nothing is beyond her reach.  Candy Rocks. 

Jean.  I met Jean for the first time at a birthday party for James some 26 years ago.  Jed brought me, and that was that.  Jean has the quickest wit and the sharpest mind of anyone I know.  She is so much fun to be with.  She was Jed's secretary so many years ago and the two of them could laugh about the memories for hours.  What I love about Jean (other that just about everything) is her gentle heart that's wrapped with joy and faith and humor.  She's had some real tough times the last many years and has led the way, showing me how a faithful woman lives the life she is given. 

Pat.  We met for the first time almost 25 years ago on the campus of Collett where we both worked.  We didn't like each other, since we are both a bit snobby.  And then, we went to sixth grade camp.  It was critical life time for both of us. We shared, we cried, we drank too much, and we have been dear friends since.  When Jed fell, she spent the night in the hospital with me.  And on his dying night she was right there beside me giving me support and strength.  She made cookies, until she ran out of flour, for Jed's service and rallied other teacher friends to do the same.  Pat and I have taken some amazing road trips together that no one would believe. What I love about Pat is how easy it is to be with her. Pat Rocks. 

Joey.  Joe has been my hairdresser for 25 years, give or take a few years where I couldn't afford it or thought I could do just as good with a $5 bottle of color.  I love my time with Joe.  We talk.  We laugh.  Sometimes we even cry.  And when I leave, I feel beautiful.  He always makes me feel like I'm the only one in the world right then and there.  And, Joey has done and is still doing an amazing video of Jed's life.  I am so blessed by him and his talent that it takes my breath away.  What I love about Joey is how he openly admits his vulnerability and then moves on with a bit of humor and a bit of caution at the same time.  Joey Rocks. 

Margaret.  I met Margaret about 8 years ago when she came in the shop looking for a space.  Little did I know she was, "a legend" as another long timer in the business recently said about her.  Tough as she tries to act, she has a loving heart and has always been there for me when I've needed her.  She sat with me at the hospital the night Jed fell, has rallied the Old Glory team a variety of times, and has been a real support at the shop. What I love about Margaret is her fighting spirit.  Margaret Rocks. 

Cynthia.  As friends go, she's one of the new ones.  I've known Cynthia about 9 years.  What I so love about her is that she doesn't do drama.  There's lots of drama in the antique world, and Cynthia just doesn't do it.  We've had some great fun shopping trips together and can't wait to have more.  She's my real junker friend.  It's dangerous to send us shopping with an empty truck. She spent the good portion of a night with Jed at the hospital when all of us were so tired that we just had to sleep. And, she loves concerts.  She's so independent and has gone to many.  I told her that I've lived a much more sheltered life than her.  Her response was, "well, you'll just have to work to catch up." What I love about Cynthia is not only does she not do drama, she is a wild thing not ready to be tamed. Cynthia Rocks. 

Ubaldo.  He's the real "new one."  I met Ubaldo in the shop about 6 years ago.  He was a customer who I found interesting and enjoyed talking with.  Once he needed something delivered.  Jed delivered it and came back saying, "he sure is a nice man."  Not long after, Ubaldo came in the shop saying, "your husband is a real nice man."  After Jed fell, I was at a loss, when I looked up from my depressed sidewalk stare, and there was Ubaldo and his mother coming into the shop.  The rest is history.  I hired him on the spot and that was the best thing I've ever done.  He and Jed were a match.  Their cussing and laughter mixed with the smells of whatever Ubaldo was cooking, to make our home full of joy.  No one could have done more for Jed than Ubaldo.  He was perfect for both of us.  And now, with Jed gone, Ubaldo and I are learning to live together as wonderful friends, making way for the other to have their space, and yet looking out for one another with loving care. What I love about Ubaldo is that he quickly became Jed's best friend, and the two of them had so much fun just being guys out having a good time.   Ubaldo Rocks

Elnora.  Even though she's been my sister in law for 25 years, I never really knew her until after Jed fell.  She belongs here.  Elnora came down so many times during the 5 years of Jed's fall, and we all just plain had fun.  What amazes me about Elnora is how she listens to me.  She listens and validates and listens more and validates more. She doesn't judge.  She doesn't criticize.  We drink wine together and talk about life and the way things are.   She and Ubaldo have become great friends as well, and we love her.  On Jed's dying night she sat beside him after he passed, and said, "I'm just keeping him company."  She understood Jed.  She knew his beautiful heart. What I love about Elnora is that she really is a wild and crazy woman just waiting for Ubaldo and me to bring it out.   Elnora Rocks.

I have lots of other friends who come in and out of my life with bits of vigor and joy, but it's these who have been here, steady and faithful.  I am the luckiest person on earth.  There is a God and He is in the heart of each one of the beautiful people in my life. 

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