Forgive my play on a very precious song title; but if we are fortunate, sometimes God jumps up and takes our breath away through friendship love. This happened recently when a longtime missing childhood best friend called out of the blue after over forty years of “whatever-happened-to’s” in my life. I know that there are often seasonal friends. Then there are those like the “Jackson Five” from high school who still love so specially, getting together as a group when possible. Also there are the South of Louisiana heart connects with whom I raised babies and share life still. This particular friend, although loved since childhood, had been MIA for quite awhile! While absent physically, her memory has always been with me. Truth is, I have carried her in my heart all these years and had truly, undoubtedly missed her.
However, as a girl a move from the Mississippi Delta took me away from this sweetest friend I can recall from those years. Her name is Jean. She took me into her heart and life when Daddy stopped farming, and we moved into town. We shared life from the sixth through eighth grades, and her sweetness was the balm of Gilead so often for me and also for so many others. At Jean’s house I drank the coldest skim milk accompanied by THAT Mother’s chocolate cake whose taste is ingrained into my buds to this day. She even taught me to dance! Jean’s heart-shaped face and crystal eyes, her warmth, her compassion, her musical laughter, her sweet spirit, and the thought of the light within her have remained all these many years. I recall her boyfriend once telling me my hands were not soft like Jean’s. Some girls just shine! (AND have the softest hands!). She always has to me.
Imagine my surprise, my delight, when this sweet voice identified herself as my missing Jean! I so often reject strange locale calls, as too often of late they are solicitations or foreigners trying to scam. Indeed, I even recorded the one from the “IRS” the other day threatening to call the “local cops” if I did not respond immediately. So far, the authorities have not rung the doorbell.
Thankfully this call from Jean on a Little Rock number proved to be one well taken! Immediately we fell into a friendship catch-up reacquainting that lasted for an hour. Time and the years flew away as we discussed forty years in nutshells. The minutes flew! My heart was truly full when we finished, although I hungered for more.
Life sometimes takes our breath away. This is a fiftieth year for reunions in my life. There are those friends who call and invite you back into their hearts. Some unfortunately never do. You and I know that “suddenlies” can sometimes leave us breathless. This one call just blessed and the memory keeps on blessing. Thank you, Jean, my precious friend, for taking the time when others loved long ago never did. I love you still now as then, as I do them. It was nice to once again feel the love and have it reciprocated. This one call was enough for me.
Again, dear readers, should God say the same, until next time.
Photo by: Carolyne Howard