The north wind brought me a touch of Abilene this weekend. Jerri and Roland Orr came to a family wedding here, and I got to spend some time with them. It is often hard to realize how much a part of your life people have become until you leave them.
Roland is an elder at Highland, Jerri is retired from the Abilene School District. They have been friends since I placed membership at Highland 14 years ago. They are members of my small group there, plus being just good friends to pal around with. My "group" of friends in Abilene were somewhat younger than I, all married and all linked in some way with AISD. They allowed this widow to tag along with them on trips, events, meetings, etc. I miss that. Often widows get overlooked socially because they don't have an escort and the numbers don't come out right. My friends didn't let this matter. Because they were younger, they challenged me to do things I might otherwise think I am too old to do. I miss that. There was always a place at church to sit beside them--I even persuaded some of them to move closer to the front. I miss that. They consistently thought about me when things came up and always invited me to go. I miss that. I was always included in dinners, luncheons, holdiay celebrations. I miss that.
Thanks to them and my group for many wonderful memories and for good friendships this side of heaven. Sooo glad to see Ro and Jerri and to know that miles do not negate long-time friendships.