Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Friends are like the chocolate chips in cookies. Friends carry us through the day because we can always pull up in our memory bank a pleasant moment, a good laugh, a smile, a hug, fun times, sad times, and times of endearment. Miss Katherine has been blessed beyond measure with good friends. In order to have a good friend, you must be a good friend. You cannot just hang on to a few childhood friends and not continually make new ones.
Miss Katherine, soon to be 101 years old, has out-lived most of her childhood friends and family. God has blessed her with so many new friends who love and care for her. We will discuss many of her friends as we go along. I do want to tell you about her friend “Carolyn from Savannah”. For the past three years, I have talked with “Carolyn from Savannah” on the phone. The only face I had to put with the voice was a photo taken maybe thirty five or forty years ago. “Carolyn from Savannah” called last week to tell us that she was coming to Jacksonville for a visit. Miss Katherine was so excited she could hardly sleep the night before she came. It was a dear sweet time for two long-time friends to get together. They talked about everybody from Yemassee, SC to Early Branch, SC.
Carolyn was from Early Branch and Miss Katherine was from Yemassee, two small towns about 6 miles apart.. They sounded like little school girls, giggling, recollecting and sharing family news. You can span many years within a few hours. I have talked on the phone with Carolyn for three years and it was so nice to finally put a face to the name and her sweet southern accented voice. (Of course, people say I have an accent, but I don’t think I do.)
From what I understand, Carolyn is a talented pianist and she must be able to sing a little bit because they let her sing in the choir at Skidaway Island Baptist Church in Savannah. Carolyn is the perfect picture of a ‘southern lady’, with all the grace, charm and smile that I’m sure would set Rhett Butler’s heart spinning. (Of course, that is Rhett Butler [Clark Gable] from Gone with the Wind.) Carolyn is also a good cook. She brought Miss Katherine a delicious homemade pound cake. Yum, Yum! I had to sample the cake to make sure it was OK for Miss Katherine, a cup bearer’s job does have its benefits. When it was time for “Carolyn from Savannah” to leave, they would not tell each other “good-bye”. They would only hug and say, “I’ll see you later”.
As I said earlier, Miss Katherine is blessed with many loving, caring friends. Friends think they are ministering, helping and blessing her, but they always leave her feeling more blessed than when they came. Now, you may be sitting back and thinking, “What kind of ’things’ are people doing?” Please don’t call me Forrest Gump, but here goes a list: send a card, call on the phone, mow the grass, bake cookies (she only needs a couple), come to visit, pray with her, pray for her, come sing to her (it doesn’t matter if you are a bit off key, her hearing is a bit off key as well), house repairs, painting, grocery shopping, bring her home cooked meals, balloons, flowers, plants, help with house chores, help with yard chores, remember her on holidays, invite her out to lunch when she is feeling good, listen to her talk as she tells her stories, smile gently and listen intently, even though, this is the tenth time you have heard the same story, tell her how nice she looks, bring her ice cream (don’t forget the cup bearer), bring her CD’s or cassette tapes, bring children to visit with her, bring your grandmother to visit with her, bring someone who can play the organ and sing for her, give her a manicure, a pedicure, talk about the 'good old days', let her know you love her. I could go on and on with this list, but I think you get the general idea.
You are probably saying, Wow!, I don't have time for all this. It doesn't take but a few minutes of your time. In fact, when you come for a visit, don't stay too long. Short, sweet visits are better than long, tiring visits. This list is not just for Miss Katherine. It is for anyone who is elderly, sick or disabled and not able to get out much, someone who is lonely, or recently widowed. Look around you, it could be your neighbor or one day, it could be you.