So, the day is nearly over and I am thinking about friendship for several reasons today; three in particular.
One, we went to the AZ State Fair with our dear friends, Ike & Diane Hathcock. Both of our families have been busy raising kids for many years but tonight we went just by ourselves and we were all able to get in at the SENIOR price (Sorry, Diane!! Ha ha ~ you only have to be 55 to get a discount at the fair). So, for $5 bucks each and the price of some food, etc., we had a great time. We have known the Hathcocks for 27 years (lived across the street from each other all these years - our kids grew up together; well, we had a head start and now their youngest is a senior in High School - ours have been out of the house for awhile). Their friendship is priceless.
Two, while we were at the fair we ran into a sweet friend of mine, MaryEllen Simmons, (amazing mom of a bazillion kids - okay - that number may be too high - but she had a bunch and fostered about 10 times that many over the years). She's a fun lady who can see the humor in the most trying of situations and a talented writer and crafter. She's been a delight to know and now she works at the fair helping young people share their talents in the large exhibit hall under the coliseum that she is in charge of. Just seeing her brought back so many memories and made me smile. I love friends that are always friends even when you don't see them that often (of course, FaceBook has gone a long way in keeping friendships alive when you don't have frequent contact).
Third, when we came home, there was a lovely little bouquet of "BJ's Flowers" waiting at the door, left by my sweet friend, Kathy Thompson. When our youngest son, BJ (Brian James Abney) passed away 11 years ago after a five and a half year battle with leukemia, the Relief Society sisters prepared a luncheon after the funeral for our family and close friends, as is the custom in our church. On the tables were small pots of little yellow flowers (still not SURE what kind they are - Kathy is pretty sure they are mini mums, but they have this BROWN center that makes me wonder - anyway, not's that important - they are darling). When the luncheon was over, Kathy took a couple of pots and planted them in her yard and despite not having the best of luck with most plants - these little guys flourished. The following year, and every year thereafter, on or around Nov. 8th (the day we lost BJ) she has brought me a small vase of "BJ's Flowers." There are a few more interesting details but they aren't needed for this post. My main point is that she could be so thoughtful and caring to do something like this that reminds me each year of my precious son.
The examples of friendship throughout my life and especially during BJ's illness and passing are beyond anything you could imagine. I have been SO BLESSED in this regard. And I'm lucky to have such great friends. I know they care about us and that's why they have been so wonderful but I also know that they care about the Lord and because they love Him, they also love me and mine. It's a beautiful thing and so tonight, as always, I'm grateful to have such remarkable friends. You're probably one of them if you are reading this!!
Think about your friends and a favorite memory. And then, call them up, remind them of it and tell them how happy you are to be friends. You'll both be glad you did!