Recently I met an old friend at the Dallas World Aquarium. It was the first of my planned outings since I started having someone come and stay with Strokeman for an entire 8 hours every week to give me a break. The aquarium was absolutely amazing. It gave me two new desires: to become a photographer, and to learn to scuba dive. I was amazed at the variety of different creatures that I had never heard of. Even the ones I had heard of came in such different forms and colors and sizes. It was absolutely fascinating. I found myself wondering, “What do they eat? Where do they live? How do they reproduce?” There is a huge world underneath the water that makes me think that the heavens are not the only thing that declare the glory of God! Such evidence of intelligent design!
While I loved all that I was seeing and learning, the real highlight of the day was getting to visit with my friend, Renee. We have known each other approximately 30 years, and have shared the raising of our children, our spiritual growth, her husband’s battle with cancer, and now my husband’s struggle to regain all he lost with his stroke. While we have worked at staying in contact through all these years, there was much in the timing of our marriages, children, and work schedules that have kept us from being able to carve out time that would work for both of us to get together. We have lived a lot of life between the two of us. It seems that now we may finally be able to spend time together with a little more frequency. I can’t tell you how happy that makes me!
Renee is a person who makes a conscious effort to be a good friend. She is a fervent prayer, she is a confidant that simply will not leak information to others, and she doesn’t take herself too seriously. We can run the gamut of emotions and somehow still end on a good note. I know I don’t have to pretend with her. I can just be me, and she will encourage me and pray for me and stand by me until I get back to thinking and acting like I should.
How thankful I am that one day many years ago I agreed to babysit for a family I hardly knew. What a gift from the Lord they have become! Her husband has been as much a friend to me as she has by letting me spend time with her, helping me with taxes, lending me money, and setting up the lake house for my use (even washing the sky-high picture windows!). Her children have also been my friends throughout the years, and I have taken great pleasure in keeping up with them as they have become functioning members of society.
With friends like this, I’ll get by!