Think where man’s glory most begins and ends
And say my glory was I had such friends. ~W.B. Yeats (1939)
At Thanksgiving, I am grateful for many things, but friendship is especially on my mind today. Last week, the “street ladies” (my neighbors) and my “church lady” friends both hosted happy hours on the same evening. I attended both, arriving early at the first and late at the second. How blessed I am to have such fun friends, whom I know would do (and have done) special things for me in time of need.
Gosh, where to begin? Thinking about the various and random groups of friends that I have accumulated over the years, I made a list that includes (in no particular order): the heathens, IHGLAM, Sunday School class(es), choir parents through the years, the above mentioned church ladies and street ladies, church staff, school friends, extended family (am SO lucky to love my family!), Facebook friends (which include many of the above), office friends, ABA friends, parents of Shannon’s friends over the years and now, some adult friends of Shannon and Kat.
I’m sure there are other groups of friends that I overlooked, but for sure, I mustn’t forget the special individuals who have come into my life that may not quite fit into a particular group.
For instance, I have a friend named Dorothy. She is a woman who attends the same service at church that I do, and sits in the same vicinity as I do. Funny how that works!
Pewpeople are prone to sit in the same place every Sunday, and if someone sits in their spot, well then, it just feels odd to have to sit elsewhere. I don’t get cranky, but I know that others do. (all pewpeople, for goodness sake, just go sit somewhere else and maybe you’ll meet some new friends!)
It began with a simple greeting, and then when I was away or sat elsewhere, Dorothy would tell me she missed seeing me. As we became better acquainted, it just felt right to sit together each Sunday and share the days of our lives. Dorothy is the epitome of Southern charm, and I enjoy visiting with her each week.
Usually, if we have plans to be away on a particular Sunday, we will make sure the other knows. So it was a bit unsettling that Dorothy was absent last Sunday, and none of the other nearby pewpeople knew where she was. So I worried a bit.
The only amusing aspect of this scenario was that when I went into the Sanctuary, I wasn’t quite sure which was “our” pew because Dorothy always gets there first. It was the Sunday before Thanksgiving, and there were a number of folks whom I didn’t recognize (always a good thing to welcome new faces!). I think that one particular couple sat in “Dorothy’s pew”. I’m not sure how she would have responded if she had been there!
I’m also not sure if Dorothy has any other connections to our church other than attending the early service there. The reason I bring this up is that our church’s new theme is that “no one will walk alone”, to try to plug people into various opportunities to grow in their faith.
No matter what Dorothy’s other church connections are, she is now firmly connected to me and some of the other people who sit nearby, because we all worried about her last Sunday. I called her afterwards, and she was ok, but had had some allergies that prevented her coming to church.
Not long ago, a mutual acquaintance told me just how much Dorothy enjoyed our friendship. Lynnda said, ” She looks so forward to her time with you and just will not miss church, as she wants to spend the time with you.”
I’ve got to say that the feeling is mutual. She is my friend, and it makes me smile knowing that she feels the same way.
So here’s to Dorothy and ALL my friends, who mean so much to me. I am grateful for all of you, and I wish you all a blessed Thanksgiving!