Old Faces on New Friends

Every morning,
the “Walkers” powered past my house,
merrily chatting away as they exercised. 

Trim and fashionable in their cute outfits,
and bright athletic shoes,
this cluster of women was oblivious of
my longing to be included in their lives.

New to the neighborhood and
new to parenting,
I was desperate for a friend.

Still dressed in my pajamas,
with my hair in a wadded pony,
I wanted to holler out the window,

“Hey! I’m lonely.
Would you be my friend?”

Figuring that strategy might make them walk even faster,
I devised another plan to intercept them.

Many evenings after supper,
I put my baby in his stroller and casually traced their route
hoping for a chance meeting that
would get me invited into their circle.

Instead, I encountered Bob,
an elderly man with thick, white hair and
sparkly blue eyes.

“Who’s this big boy?” he asked, tickling my baby.
“This is Jake, he’s 9 months old,” I answered.
“Hello, Jake, would you like a sucker?”

And so it began.

Bob introduced us to his wife Marie,
a sturdy woman who loved cats and kids.

It wasn’t long before we were regular visitors at their home.

She’d bring out a wagon of wooden building blocks and
we’d watch Jake play as we talked.

I learned that Bob and Marie had lost a 5 year old child to leukemia,
collected Hummel figurines on their travels to Germany and
built a successful sign company together.
They were full of great wisdom and entertaining stories.

I met many of my elderly mature neighbors
on our strolls around the block.

Patient Women.

Women who took me in and settled me down
when I locked myself out the house.

Women who sat with my sleeping infant
so I could pick up my preschooler.

Women who let me borrow their car
when mine wouldn’t start.

Women who shared their time,
recipes and
wisdom with me.

Women who invited me into
their kitchens and into their hearts.

I never did get invited to join the “Walkers”.

But, if you’ve spent any time with me,
you know I’d rather have dental work than exercise,
so maybe that worked out for the best after all.

Friends come in all
sizes, shapes and ages.

You never know where you’ll find them or
how they will effect your life.

Don’t overlook the friendships of the
generation above or behind you.

Now that silver hair,
crow’s feet and laugh lines
are part of my physical identity,
you can be sure
I’m looking for women to pay forward
all the comfort,
hospitality and council
that was showered on me.

Where do you find your
best advisors and new friends?

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.