Pre-pre-pre apocalyptic “feels” have been the vibe today… I’m reflecting after a short drive to see my three boys. (because when there is a mass-hysteria blanket covering the world, a Mamma needs to hug her sons, see their eyes and feel their hearts) The morning started off hopeful. I really thought (hoped) people would flock to church…it is Sunday ya know. (no judgey-ness) I get it. “They” are telling us to stay sheltered inside. But what better shelter to be in than our church? During times of stress and pressure, (fear, crisis, panic) people used to run toward God. (ex. The Gulf War and 911). Today was different, and not in the good way. It was weird… a heaviness was present… as if all the joy in the universe was sucked out of everyone and everything. Thankfully, it lifted for a while as we sang the Lord’s praises and heard His word preached. Our church folks came out, but less than normal. To be fair, it’s also Spring break and several of our folks are sick with the common flu. So who knows the true reason for all the absences? But the vibe was a little sad at the start of both services, reserved, fearful. As we walked around to visit – with no shaking hands, no hugs, and very few smiles – I became immediately overwhelmed with a burden. A heaviness had set upon us, the fruit of the fear. The whole entire universe, literally, seems to be afraid. I mean, it’s like This Present Darkness (Frank Perretti) type of heaviness and oppression. There was a deficit of JOY! And this time, it’s not over there somewhere, it’s here among us. It’s not that we are all “fraidycats”- because there is a real danger out there – and it is scary! As, I drove after church to see my three sons, it was weird out there, too. The Interstate was not busy. The normal traffic was not there. And it wasn’t slow because it was a Sunday. They live in a super busy, sleepy, little town that has grown out of proportion. (busy all the time y’all!) But a somber shield had set over the horizon. My kids were less cheerful, less funny, too serious for my taste… weirdsville! Also, the restaurant we went to made a decision today not to use straws… ugh, why? It seems safer than drinking from a glass their servers could touch! I mean really? Finally, I found out the straws do not have covers.. ok, I get it. (flashback to ‘70-80’s working in restaurants, slinging those plastic straws to and fro without thought of the germs, ewe) I’m good with the rule. Side note: they did make a great Chinese chicken salad! So, I left my sons with full tummies and equipped with packs of toilet paper, which they swiped out of my car. (I’m not hoarding those two packages. I’m just too lazy to carry them in the house) So they took them off my hands! I drove the whole way home feeling lonesome from the loss of joy in the atmosphere. What will the next few days and weeks hold? Will this pandemic get worse? (what’s the word they use for worse than a pandemic, apocalypse maybe?) I pray not. I pray that we will catch a break, the arc will flatten, this virus will go away, no more people will die and the best-case-scenario will be that everyone will wash their hands, not just more, but all the time! That has needed to be the norm for a long time! Just ask my Mamma! My faith is in God alone. I will not live in fear. I will have joy, in the high places as well as the low ones. HE is there with me. Is it scary? YES! Will I allow it to swallow me up with fear? NO! I am fortunate to have married my boyfriend, who it turns out, loves the Lord and the Lord loves him right back. He speaks to him and uses him to help us all. He knows scripture and how to discern the seemingly smallest verses into what God is saying. He’s pretty smart, that one! I know his heart is to lead people to the Lord and to have confidence in our Savior. We must rely on God’s covering during these times, when the whole world seems out of control. It’s not. God has His hand on us. He will see us through, and in the duration, I will find joy. And Lord, please send us the sun, at least part of the time. And let Spring be warm and bright, please. Because these overcast skies make it all the more creepy.
Recently, I was reminded of a very important scripture (yes, they all are equally important) but, on this day I’ve had the realization of what my heart and mouth via my words really tell about me. Although I am a “glass half full” person I do tend to talk with a voice doubt. I realize that my mind and what I think should align with my heart and with what the scripture tells me, so……. think on these things.
Well….. I’m sunk already! I don’t struggle so much with things that are true, I always want truth.. not a fan of fake in anyway! Then with noble and just, I’m good because I’m a defender of the humble, pride is a killer. Pure, lovely and a good report can be treacherous since I tend to be a bit cynical but I try anyways…then with the subject of virtue, I hang my head in shame every time I consider the virtuous woman; I stand amazed. Praiseworthy is probably the easiest for me, all I have to do is look at my life and see what all the Lord has done for me, my family and my life. So I have some work to do, I need that Grace that He freely gives.
As I meditate on these things I realize that it’s not so much hard to stay in tune with goodness when I do it. It’s the doing that’s complicated, staying still, listening and receiving grace to be the person I want to be….the person God wants me to be. I know prayer works… I know it more than I know anything, so why do I stutter my way through the day waiting until the right time. Anytime is the right time, all the time is the right time!
I will take note of those things, days, moments and people who are true; that are lovely; that are praiseworthy. This preacherswife will be more observant to the world around me and stop allowing the little foxes to bring me down, there are too many to catch anyway… I’ll leave that for the “glass half empty folks”, they seem to enjoy the drama! Peace
Who can this be
He makes a way
Where we can’t see
When waves are great
When we lose hope
His grace prevails
God has spoken
Just a real girl
In a real world
Looks toward a miracle
Without a way to know
Just a real girl
With a strength she
Has not known
Her heart has been
The love like none other
Days of Glory
The Son came down
Days of Glory
The Son came around
Lead us home
Lead us home
Just a real girl
With a gift to give
The Angels sing
The Angels bring
The newborn King
R. M. Fritts
I must start this post off with a little comedy. Picture this – three adults and one five year old go on a trip! Everything works out perfectly, all the bags are packed, put in the vehicle with room to spare, and we are right on time! Eeeeeerk! Wait a minute! What?
Oh Well, that’s how it played out in my head, at least. Actually, it went pretty good, but this may be a one-and-done-trip. Not that I don’t love to take a trip. I do. And I love these people in our vehicle, along with the ones we are going to meet. But, my big mistake was feeling sorry for them all having to go out to eat for Thanksgiving!
I had Mom guilt. Ugh! You see, years ago when our kids were young and we lived in East TN, we changed it up and went to Thanksgiving weekend at a TN State Park. (NOT CAMPING! But sort of the “Fritts” version of it). Of course, I’m not an outdoors person for any length of time. I mean, a camp fire is fun but that’s as far as I go. There has to be nice cabins with modern equipment, etc. The difference is, back then, we would have our Thanksgiving lunch at home and then travel. But this year, I cooked it all and we are hauling it there! Ugh! Again! (Can I get a witness?) Plus all the other treats – sausage balls, pigs in blankets, cheese ball etc., etc. – this truck is loaded down with enough food to feed a army. But, ya know, we are piling in and hanging out, playing games … and I will be smack in the middle of it with a huge grin on my face! Because, this is my heaven on earth! I have a gorgeous, kind husband (He puts up with a lot. I ain’t easy! I am smarter than everyone else and I tend to show that I am daily. My opinion is number one, don’t-cha know! I come from a long line of “smart” women. Pray for him, he deserves better). Next, I have an identical twin (not sister but daughter). She’s as smart as me, or at least she thinks so. Then there is one more ingredient in this mix. My granddaughter is “smarter” than all of us! I realize all this becomes ridiculously frustrating for all the rest of the world. But through it all, the preacherman just watches the action. Like I said, he needs prayer.
As hard as it is for a day, I must admit now that all the cooking is done, (please Lord let my turkey be moist) that I am satisfied that we don’ t have to wait in a long line at Cracker Barrel to eat food that is not as good as mine (my opinion). There are seven of us, so that means a big table is needed. And that makes us have to wait, and wait. So, when I see these faces of the people I love the most on earth eating our food and laughing, it’s all worth it. I’m not saying that I will haul all this food the next time … Jesus will have to talk me into it. But to be sure, any chance I get to be with these sour patch kids, I will take it.
The car ride has been content. The little one finally took a nap. So far, so good. And all’s right with the world … until we have to unload it all!! Yikes! I am thankful, so very thankful to my God. I live for Him. And when I allow Him to make me a better person, I want to be kind and less bossy. (Skinnier too, Lord? … oh, that’s up to me? Ok, thanks, and ouch!) I am thankful He gave me my family. They are my reason for being here! I’m thankful for our first President, George Washington, who started the Thanksgiving holiday way back when, as a time of reflection, and to honor the God who created us. Thanks for giving us a holiday before Christmas that gets nearly rushed through by most folks. I’m thankful for all the freedoms we enjoy while living in the best nation in the world. I am thankful I was raised to be a good person and friend. And I’m thankful for car rides that give you a minute to breathe, reflect on life and what’s really important. I am so In love with my Lord and my family! My prayer for them is we all eat around the table in heaven together. That is my only goal. So, today is a good day! Of course, I miss my mom, my sister-in-law, and Charles’ beloved dad. But they live on in the presence of God and in our hearts. Thanksgiving is a family thing, in whatever shape or form the family finds itself. So take a car ride with them, connect, agree to disagree even … just take the the time to take the time. And I just remembered another item for my gratitude list! I’m also thankful I don’t have to fly in a plane anywhere. Every year I feel so sorry for all those people stranded in snow storms and what not! Kinda makes a car ride seem like a fun idea!
This being my “reflective weekend” and all, I am once again mindful of my days on earth, all sixty of them… that’s weird to actually write, anyone out there been around that long? Is it just me that struggles with the truth? I’m not sad, just astonished it’s already passed me by. It’s a lot of years, but if I think about it in other ways it’s not so bad …like sixty kisses… not near enough from my dear preacherman or my granddaughter. Or what about sixty seconds? That’s only one minute, no biggie but do the math and sixty years is 1892160000 seconds!! I’m not really sure how to say that! Sixty hugs are magical but sixty Goodbyes are melancholy .
So the days are long but the happiest of days I have lived. I had parents I adored, they had clay feet as do us all but they gave me strong morals and grit. I grew up with big sisters and one big brother, they were valiant protectors as I was annoying and problematic at times, being the youngest, but they stuck by me and I have been truly loved by one husband, I married “up” and he has given me the privilege to live my dreams while he pushed the cart up the hill most times alone; but I had my own cart loaded with four blessings and I’m not even sure they know what they mean to us. There are moments in time when they are as they were(like tonight), just babes, when I get a glimpse of them like they were at which I revel in, the sweet love they give to me. Then there is the sweet chaos of the third generation. The force is strong in that one, so to speak.
I guess I was a “cusp” ’50’s kid, but grew up with the unsettling 1960’s and the Disco 1970’s ( I loved it don’t tell anyone) yet I loved the classics, The Beach Boys, The Beatles and Dolly Parton. I was a latch key kid and tv was my salvation against loneliness. Our third “gen” kid is a “cusp” “the kids are going wild” years. They are growing up without strong voices of plain old good sense. But we all try to teach them and love them with equal parts. But Lordy they are smart (there’s that force again!)
The blessing of age is actually a blessing, I do want to see how it turns out, I want to see my Jesus come back to take us all to heaven, I want to see if my kids get married(ever) a mom can hope, I want to see if I could actually not eat carbs for a long period of time(don’t hold your breath) and weather or not the cable company will ever stop crashing and leaving us without tv( remember I’m a tv girl) or WiFi when it’s at the peak of the evening and ugh it’s awful!!!! I must buy an antenna or something! This situation reminds me that when the Apocalypse happens and the cable companies loose the ability to keep my tv going, it will be a mad house and life as we know it would be quiet and not in a good way… heads will role! I’m joking of course(not really) I can live without tv, but I prefer not to. I’m old and if I’m left with just my thoughts, well prime example here!
I have exhausted my run on sentences for now, let me hear from all the old people out there in the blog world… I’m listening as long as our WiFi stays on just savoring the days of my long life!
During these perilous times, when our country is in a upside down inside out, constant discussion(argument) about everything from soup to nuts, and that describes it to a tee!, I find myself looking within to find resolve and peace amidst this crazy world. At this crossroad I find myself in, I can only imagine what life was like way back when, let’s say sixty years ago, when life as I know it never even existed. I wasn’t even born yet!
What was the world like in the year nineteen fifty nine?
January 3 – Alaska is admitted as the 49th U.S.state (see History of Alaska). January 7 – The United States recognizes the new Cuban government of Fidel Castro. … February 17 – The United States launches the Vanguard II weather satellite. February 22 – Lee Petty wins the first Daytona 500. January 29 – Walt Disney releases his 16th animated film, Sleeping Beauty in Beverly Hills. Miles Davis‘ influential jazz album Kind of Blue is released. October 2 – Rod Serling‘s classic anthology series The Twilight Zone premieres on CBS.
December 13 – Three years after its first telecast, MGM‘s The Wizard of Oz is shown on television for only the second time, but it gains an even larger viewing audience than its first television outing, spurring CBS to make it an annual tradition
Okay, now let’s stop for a moment to reflect on this important date…October 14th! A day that will live in emphamy!! Oops …no sorry about that, that day is D Day! Any-who, it is still a special day at least to me..I was the last child my Mother gave birth to, the baby of the family and of course thats my birthday!
Also, Marie Osmond was born on the day before Me and the coolest swashbuckler in the movies, Errol Flynn died on the 14th. Many famous people were born the same year, Danny Bonoduce (Partridge Family kid, I’m impressed!) as well as Jason Alexander(Seinfeld, still impressive), Mike Pence(the V.P., eh!) and even Magic Johnson! A pretty good year all in all.
A good year for movies, Gidget (Sandra Dee of course, one of my favs) Have Rocket will Travel (The Three Stooges, I’m giggling)Imitation of Life(please watch, so good)and the wonderful, Miracle on 34th St, need I say more! This was a good year, maybe not the most historical or even entertaining but a decent year. It has been sixty years since all these things happened, since then many more epic events, wars, peace treaties, births, deaths, family and friends come and go, after this many years we start losing our parents and we become orphaned, not so fun but then we become the grandparents beloved to a few sweet kids, honored finally by our own kids(that takes a minute until they grow older) and the sweetness of time replays over and over in our minds.
It was just the other day when we were young, free from the aches of longevity when life was up in the air. What are we going to be when we grow up? What..? we grew up already… ?..wow that was fast! Did I “become” yet….did I miss it? It is suppose to be about the journey not the destination but why is it such a big deal to figure it out? I don’t think I have actually and I’m okay with that. My journey isn’t over and I intend to enjoy the rest of it. Taking the steps into my sixtieth year on this planet are somewhat odd, a passage into what the kids call “old age” and I’m not loving it all together. I’m not hating it either, it’s kind of like a bottle of Coca Cola that fizzes when you open it but flat when you drink it. Same taste but no sparkles and fizz. Just a little flat.
I feel like I have lived many lifetimes, childhood, adulting, marriage, children, grandchildren BOOM! Old age! Looking back is not the best way to live, a glimpse of a memory is all that’s safe and I have many great ones, looking back too long can cause discontent and that’s not me, I live a contented life. I know the blessing that is and I know where that blessing comes from. I’m not that smart to get here on my own. The only sad part is how fast it happens. Look out ya’ll, the years pass fast….the sixty years are gone in sixty seconds!
Every year when football seasons rolls around, my mind goes to the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Not because of the stunning wins the team has had in the past years(sadly since the days of Peyton Manning it’s been tears and jeers!), but mostly because by September I harken back to the unlikely event that occurred twice on the same day exactly nine years apart.
On this day, Saturday, September 21st, the University of Tennessee played Florida, on both of these Saturday’s and The preacherman and I had our two last sons… nine years apart, 1987 & 1996 respectively. Needless to say I have no idea who won the games, I was a little busy, two more C-sections under my belt so to speak! My Doctor who was the Chief of Obstetrics at The University of Tennessee Hospital was of course a huge fan, but he set the day and time. I had nothing to do with it and even more was not really coherent during the game(probably the only time I didn’t interrupt the preacherman during the games!)considering I had MAJOR SURGERY! Don’t mind me I just had a baby!!!
I’m just kidding, my sweetheart was the best at taking care of me, thankfully I was easy, more meds please! The first September 21st was a joy, our little Samuel was born, last of the liter (or so we thought) and we had three kids in about four years… whew! We were definitely done! I thought I was finished but I didn’t want to close the door just in case, there was the future to think of, possible alien abductions or the preacherman may really see he got himself in a pickle with me and choose to take a walk(I knew neither of these things would happen) but ya know I may want another girl.
One big happy family we were and we were blessed beyond measure and then long about eight years passed and I was feeling like I wanted to relive the precious baby feels all over again. We had about six different women in our church become pregnant of which many weren’t supposed to ever be able to have a baby(miracles do happen) and it was just a beautiful time and the itch hit me, my heart was preparing, then one day.. boom! I was with child. Hello baby Nathanael, what a joyous time this was, our first three seemed thrilled and it was a family adventure. Who knew this little one would be our sweetest joy and he was born nine years to the day, nearly to the minute, same Hospital, same Doctor, same Saturday, same football teams playing! What a cool “kawinkidink” and it was a beautiful family day. We all, our whole village came out for him, laughter tears and love flowed on this day. I knew then I was finished having babies, I was old! At almost thirty-seven I was nearing the “OMG you are pregnant again stage! Really who’s kidding, I got that reaction nearly every time.. people can be stupid!
Our two last kids are nine years apart in age but we’re always close. The first one lost his spot, no longer “the baby” he really should have been angry, but he never was. He always was kind and seemed to not hate sharing his birthday with the actual “baby” of the family. He learned pretty quick the roll of the third child, keep your head down and get along… and gave the spotlight over to little brother. It was pretty easy since we all treated him like our little doll baby. He never had to walk, one of us carried him everywhere and he was a great baby as was his older brother. Those two younger boys were great sleepers and sweet hearts. These were good days and I remember it like it was yesterday. We old folks do that, we reminisce a lot and think about how blessed we are.
I wish our children could know the joy they brought to us and still do, I wish they felt the love in their hearts we feel for them, but that takes them walking in our shoes, it will happen. We try our best to give them good lives, happy without harm, but we are not perfect, we learn as we go and the hope is to have them all come out alive. So far so good and tomorrow is the two last ones birthday, Sam is thirty-two and Nathanael is twenty-three and it does not seem possible. I really am old! Both of them are kind men with their whole lives ahead of them, I pray for great women to find them, I pray good health and they find exactly what their destiny is and I pray they make a ton of money! Just kidding of course (not kidding really) but I do know that I may have to crash at their house someday! Prepare boys.
No mother has been more honored to have four wonderful children, I love them all and even though the two older ones and the preacherman call these last two, big pup and little pup(apparently they think I pet them and they are my favs!) so silly I don’t have favorites, I love them all( really I do!) thank you for being my kids… it’s 12:01, September 21,2019, HAPPY BIRTHDAY SWEET BOYS!
What is it about friendship that is so hard? Laverne had Shirley, Abbott had Costello, Heckle had Jeckel, so surely it can’t be that hard to find a buddy! This is a universal situation, which most of us (if we’re honest) would agree is what brings anguish from the get go!
My sweet little grand daughter (or my ‘little sister,’ because she now calls me her big sister… poor kid wants a sister, so tag, I’m it!) seems to have a posse of girls at preschool, all of which yell her name the minute she arrives every day. Yet, if you ask her about her friends, the ones that hold her hand and hug her hello, she will say “I don’t really have many friends” (sad pouty face included). So, is it her inability to realize she is loved? Or, is she wise enough already to discern it’s all mostly fake?
I pray it’s not the later, because those cruel lessons must be learned over time. It’s way too painful to find out who one’s friends really are at such a young age. But learn she will. If I could protect her from it, I would; people are mean sometimes. She greets her potential friends with a huge smile and a hug, with all the anticipation and joy of the possibility of a real friend. I cringe because I feel the same way many times. I, too, meet people with hopes of life long friendships, only to be let down or even rejected. Am I good enough or cool enough or fun enough? Must I stand on a chair and announce to the world I am pitiful, so please love me? NO! Never!
I know I am worth it. I know I am a good friend. I know I have plenty of potential to be the friend who sticks. I know because I have a few friends like that. I have been mentored by women who are amazing women of God, that choose to be friends with God first, and let the rest fall as it may. That kind of wisdom and character is rare. I know I have value. Yet, there are moments that are hurtful, when you put your heart out there only to be ignored. Welcome to GIRLHOOD 101, a rite of passage for us all. I am keenly aware of the pitfalls my dear “little sister” will have to go through. We encourage her to be a leader, to be a friend first, and it will work out for her. The little girl in me wants to cry and keep her home and love her and not let her get hurt… But I can’t. Just like I couldn’t with her Mom. She got hurt, but she has learned good lessons she can pass on to her little mini.
I pray the Lord always gives me new people to meet and become friends with just like my little Ellie. The Bible tells us to have friends we must show ourselves friendly, which I believe, leaves the sticking part is up to us. Even Jesus started out His ministry on earth with large crowds that eventually dwindled down to twelve. Of those 12, most had moments of being less than true friends to Jesus. Some ran from him when Jesus needed them most; some slept when He needed their support in prayer. One left for good. Should I expect better? There is a Judas around every corner, those that will deny us, traitors and doubters. The handful that stick are ones to be cherished. My best friends are the closest to me – my preacherman, my daughter, my three sons. Our love and loyalty has been tried and tested, and my heart is safe with them. Each one of them speak into my life differently, but all with the same purpose. I feel like I have been blessed with women friends from every season of my life, each has been an important part of my journey. Those true friends have been forged in the fires of time spent and shared together. Good times, bad times, happy, sad, those are the times where real friendship is revealed.
My daughter and her daughter will be best friends and that will keep them knitted together. I won’t have it any other way. It will take some tears and boundaries pushed, but as I have experienced, it’s all worth it. If I could teach them anything it would be to have a giving heart, that it can’t be all about them, and to value themselves. We have great worth with much to offer and learn. It’s never too late to be a good friend.
Yesterday I was honored to spend a few short minutes to regroup with a old friend, old because we aren’t seeing each other daily/weekly anymore, no more Sunday after church Mexican food or Valentines Day dinners with our loves. This couple we became fast friends with. They are our people. He made a comment that it’s not been the same since we left, finding a new tribe is a hard task, but that one statement blessed me, and even more for my preacherman. I’ve said a hundred times to people, you will miss me when I’m gone, and this is true, especially about my husband. He is one to miss. I did not give birth to him and I did’t raise him so I take no credit for his gifts, but he is special and he speaks with authentic authority from God, in the pulpit. That is hard to come by and I know it, our friend knows it, we are missed. That is special and I am grateful for his kind words.
I’m not sure why, but they loved us immediately, not that we aren’t perfect in every way and all that (not)! And maybe because the preacherman was just that, THE PASTOR! But I just don’t think that’s why, I mean it’s fun to meet new people of course, but that wears off soon and they see the real us! Not so fun anymore…”oh no, they don’t have halos and angel wings, they are regular just like us, hearts broken, shattered hopes…” they say.
People eventually see behind the curtain and realize we aren’t so special after all. Even after that, some special people love us anyway, they become friends, they make room for us and all our non glory. They get it, they get us…so that’s how you get those friends, the ones who stick. Then we move to a new post and it’s lonesome out here but when we see them again it’s so fun. Even though it’s not like it once was, the love and friendship is still there and when we are blessed to hang with them it’s no different, just like old times.
The longer we live, we accumulate if we are lucky, a handful of these friends, each place we are the Lord gives us our people wether it’s new jobs or school or team we are with, there may be someone looking for us. A friend in waiting! They are few and far between and it’s lonely sometimes waiting for them and even worse when you are taken to a new station in life just when you are having fun but it happens and the test is, are they there afterwards. This is the life people in the military must live, I have noticed that those “old Army buddies” are usually adored.
A long time ago, several lifetimes even I was broken from a last phone call from a friend, me calling her to say what happened, no more association, I was the one who left, it was a job shift, but not a town shift, so why the crickets? On this day she let me know…”out of site out of mind!” Ouchie! Really, that hurts! But it was her decision and I lived with it, carrying that hurt for a while although using it as a learning lesson, I will not be so careless with my friends. I will value them and even though we are not on a daily/weekly diet of each other, I still care. Her loss, as my Mom would say.
Hospitality is huge to God and it is huge to me, it’s not just having company but having room in my heart for more. Being old helps to discern those who are in for the long haul or not. I try to let those folks know they are my people, with out gushing (I tend to do that!) but let them know I wanna be their friend. Sometimes they are in sometimes they aren’t but I’m always open. I find it interesting to meet new people and even more fun to see if…..let’s say, do they love the cheese dip at JALEXANDERS as much as I do, or Mexican food, or brave enough to actually eat all the bread at a restaurant and ask for more (yeah I do, don’t judge) or talk and talk about nothing at all and be there with a level headed advise when needed. Be the lifelong friend that helps me more than I have ever helped you. Some friends are those that immediately click, you just wanna be friends with them.
Pastors( & family) all struggle with the “power play” of how close is too close, we have done the leg work and it’s still hard. But, it’s worth it because ever so often there is that one who is cool with you and willing to love, even like you, even though you are who you are. But sadly it is rare, kinda like a Bigfoot sighting! I think the proof is long after we leave to another post, there are those that keep in touch, just like no time has passed and can take a lunch, catch up and see that we are a part of a big family. I am thankful for those friends that stick. I pray I am that kind of friend too.