It is September! Hard to believe!! Bring on SEC football!!! Basketball won't be far behind. Yea!
Tom and I think and talk a lot about friends. This week that has been especially true. One night over this past weekend we talked with a younger attorney we haven't seen since leaving Mississippi. It was good to catch up with his family and to tell him about ours. It was good to talk about old times! He even remembered the name of the first band Marty had--Fellini's Raincoat. And, as so often is the case when I talk to someone who is Tom's friend, he told me what a mentor and friend Tom had been to him when he first began to practice.
Sunday the choir sang an arrangement of "Here I am, Lord." The text comes from the sixth chapter of Isaiah where Isaiah responds to God's call with those words. I was listening attentively as they sang, "I will go, Lord, if you need me. I will hold your people in my heart." It was if I was hearing those words for the first time, but not really. "I will go, Lord, if you need me" was my response ten years ago when we answered God's call to go to California. I'm not sure I answered as willingly as Isaiah did, but we went because we knew it was the right move for us. Almost every day since we headed West we have had more and more assurance that it indeed was the right move. At my stage in life there may not be much more "going," but there will always be answering and the people to whom God has called me will forever be held close in my heart. In my mind's eye I saw clearly the friends at Fair Oaks and joyful tears filled my eyes.
On Monday we feasted on good food brought by our Mississippi friends and good fellowship during a too short visit. We shared pictures and stories of grandchildren, caught up on what's going on with our children and talked about the church where we met years ago (they are all still active there). In addition to the lunch they brought, one came with Tom's favorite fudge squares from a landmark restaurant in Jackson (MS) and another brought homemade jam and scones for breakfast. I sent them home with apple butter we had made over the weekend and fried pies we had discovered in a downtown coffee shop. They spent about eight and a half hours in the car going and coming and not quite four hours here. We laugh a lot when we're together and shed a lot of tears when we wave goodbye. It was a grand visit!
If you are reading this as a friend, always remember this: we love you and hold you close, remembering with great warmth and gratitude the moments we have shared.