Today I celebrate the life of one of my most treasured friends. I often say that she has been the friend with the greatest influence on my life, but in fact that title belongs to her mom hands down. When I was 19 years old and fresh out of Medical Assistant school I took a job in a surgeons office and Loie was the insurance clerk. Well, she was actually the office social worker, fix it chick, peacemaker, and comedian. She was the one and only redeeming piece of that job, but because it hooked me up with her, that job was life-changing for me. If you were to do a genogram of my friend family, Loie would be the first and foundational block.
Because of Loie I met her daughter Suzanne and because of Suzanne I met Linda and because of Linda I have an Aunt Francie and a host of other women who have shaped my life. Faye was Linda’s neighbor and some of you who read this are my friends solely because Faye shared. I am forever indebted to Faye for the circle she drew me into, and that’s another whole post! Suzanne invited me to join a book group and I showed up. Pitiful as my memory is, I can clearly remember that first night and I am struck with how you never know when one step across a threshold is going to alter the course of your life.
That book study group went on for a good ten years with many women moving in and out and back into it, and a core of steadfast hangers on like myself who knew it was my life raft. I don’t think I’ve had an original thought since then. Sadly, we have now reached the point in life where we mostly just see each other at funerals as we all lose our parents and loved ones. Let me tell you though- if I were in need, as long as I could make a tiny sound in my throat, those sisters would be all over me.
The unofficial queen of this group was and always will be Suzanne. She is hands down the funniest, most creative, most insightful, most committed friend ever, and I feel like the richest woman in the world because of her. She taught me so much about life, parenting, being married, bringing color into my life, saying yes even when it scares me, not giving a hoot if others think I’m a fool as long as I’m having fun, and how to be a servant of Jesus.
Suzanne has made a move or two over the years and who knows if we will ever live in the same city again this side of Heaven. Thanks to the blogging world, I now get a little dose of Suzanne almost every day and it really makes me happy. Happy Birthday to the Queen of Fun. I love you!