Friendship – what a great creation that was! To have at least one, really close, long lasting friendship is an absolute treasure. In Girl Scouts, we used to sing a song with this refrain: “Make new friends, but keep the old; one is silver and the other gold.” I think about those lines every time I talk with Marty or Virginia. Marty is my “silver” friend. At 30, she is a generation younger than I. Virginia, at 93, is my “gold” friend, because she is about a generation and a half older.
I met them both at church. Marty was in high school and active in the youth group. I happened to be one of the youth leaders for that group. She and I just hit it off. I’ve always admired her artistic talents and sense of humor; we stayed in touch while she was in college. She came back to the area after graduation, started working and we were in the same knitting group for a while. Now, she’s married and living about an hour or so away. We stay in touch via email and Facebook and try to get together a couple of times a year. I told Marty (and her mom) that I would claim her as my daughter in a second.
Virginia and I always seemed to end up sitting on the same pew (we both preferred to be towards the back). She sat next to the aisle and I probably sat about mid-way down the pew. It was an evolution of sorts as we got used to seeing each other, then speaking, then finally, sitting next to each other. She called me her “other daughter” and I felt like I was with my maternal grandmother who had passed away years before. Virginia’s daughter lives in Miami and several years ago moved her mother there so they could be closer as Virginia aged. We stay in touch through telephone calls and handwritten notes.
We’ve shared joys and heartaches over the years. I’ve learned more about graceful acceptance from both of them as Marty’s first baby and daughter died at birth and Virginia left her home, friends and community, without complaint, to live in Florida at her daughter’s request.
This picture was taken at a baby shower for Marty held in August. She and I are holding a photo of Virginia. On her lap is an old family teddy bear she has been keeping for her first great-grandchild. Since this photo was taken, we have celebrated the safe arrival of Marty’s first son and Virginia’s first great-grandson.
May the blessings of silver and gold friendships be a part of their lives and yours!