Happy Friday, Friends!
I hope you’ve had a wonderful week and have great things to look forward to this weekend. I have been traveling quite a bit, today is only my sixth full day home in the last sixteen, so I am pretty psyched to have very little on the agenda this weekend.
As I mentioned last week, on Sunday I drove my mom from her home in Plymouth, Michigan to Cranberry, Pennsylvania, which is just outside of Pittsburgh. She has very severe COPD and spent Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday mornings getting stem cell treatments. We were back at our hotel by lunchtime and so we had quite a bit of free time. We tried watching TV, but horror of horrors no HGTV, her favorite. We tried watching a movie — Daddy’s Home — but it was incredibly nasty. Mostly we just visited and thought about what we might next eat. I have two girlfriends from high school who live in the Pittsburgh area — one of them actually lives in Cranberry, so I reached out to both of them to see if they might be free.
On Monday night I sat in the lobby for nearly two hours with my friend Jennie. She doesn’t go by Jennie anymore, but she’ll always be Jennie to me. She brought a bottle of wine and we had a lovely time catching up. Her two boys line up with Dub and Nate, and it didn’t matter a bit that I hadn’t seen her in five or six years. It did my soul so much good to be with an old friend. What a gift it was for her to swing by.
On Tuesday I texted my friend Elise, but it turned out that she had a new number. I hadn’t seen her in more like seven years. I persevered though and sent her daughter a Facebook message with my number in it to pass along to her mom. Her daughter copied and pasted the message and sent it to Elise, who was seeing patients. Elise got the message but copied the number down incorrectly. She was off by one digit. Guess who’s number is one digit off of mine? That’s right, Will’s. Is that unreal? She texted Will, who copied and pasted to me. I mean that’s stinking unbelievable. But the story gets better.
After I had her new number from Will, I told Elise that my mom and I were there in Cranberry, staying at the Hyatt Place.
Here’s the surprising next text from Elise:
Elise does not live in Cranberry and only occasionally works in Cranberry, but on Tuesday night she was seeing patients in an office directly across the parking lot from where we were staying. She took that picture from her office! We got to sit in the lobby and laugh our butts off over the whole thing for nearly an hour!
When I go to Michigan it’s a little harder to see old friends because I usually have my boys with me, and I have lots of relatives that I should make time to see. I have quite a few old friends that live within two hours of Chattanooga — and I’ve only been moderately successful in seeing them. But here’s the thing: making time to see old friends is always worth it.
It occurs to me that with both Jennie and Elise we talked about good and hard things. Romans 12 is my favorite chapter of the Bible because it succinctly outlines so much of the Christian life. In verse 15 it says, “Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.” Does this verse paint a picture of your friendships? There’s no room for envy or comparing — only rejoicing together over all that is good, and mourning over all that remains hard.
Time with these old friends definitely spurred me on to greater love and good deeds, and I hope you have occasion to be equally encouraged by an old friend soon. Make it happen. You won’t regret it.
P.S. Please keep praying that the stem cell treatment will prove effective for my mom!