Judy

I have lost another friend. Judy. Judy We’ve known each other my entire married life. She was fun, cute, full of energy, creative, and committed to Christ. She and Bob were married a couple years ahead of Jerry and me. Judy and I would both turn 80 in October of this year! Judy and Bob celebrated 60 years of marriage last summer, 2017.  Jerry and I will celebrate 60 years next year, 2019.

Judy’s oldest son, Dennis and my oldest daughter, Pam, were very good friends growing up and right up until Dennis died, as a young man. Judy’s next son, Chris, and my son, Ted, were best buddies when they were kids. Judy’s daughter, Margie, and my son, Tim, were very good friends clear up through high school. Our whole family has so many memories of Judy and her family.

We were pregnant at the same time with our second babies, Ted and Chris. Oh my,  was she sure she was going to have a baby? She didn’t look like it! I did! She was so slender and carried her babies inward! I was slender but I carried my babies outward! I wish I had pictures to show you! Judy’s Chris was born about three weeks before my Teddy!

Bob & Judy family  Archer family 4 kids        These family pictures are from our church directory, 1970! They are even in pretty good order! Chris and Ted on the left of both pictures and Dennis and Pam on the right in both pictures. They were very good friends.  Marjory and Tim both in the front row were very good friends! Marj beside Judy and Tim beside Jerry. We had added Christy to our family and she’s beside me in our picture. Then we added another son in 1972!

One favorite memory of mine is of Judy and me going Huckleberry picking! There were so many good places for us to pick. We’d pick buckets full for baking pies and for freezing. Huckleberries and Blueberries are almost the same, except that Huckleberries are wild and smaller and more tasty! So much more tasty! They grow on bushes in the woods. With all the new subdivisions being developed here many of our favorite places to pick are gone! One day we were riding in the country together, Bob and Judy and Jerry and me. Country in Michigan means lots of wooded areas. All of a sudden Judy said, “Stop, Bob, there must be huckleberries in this woods!” He stopped and Judy and I got out. She had buckets in the trunk! We went into the woods and sure enough, there were huckleberries! We happily picked our buckets full!

Judy was very creative and loved decorating. She kept their home and yard very attractive. She also decorated our church up until just a few years ago. For a while we were both into Macrame. One year she came up with a clever idea for our church Christmas decorating. We each made matching white hanging tables! They were hung on each side of the sanctuary platform with evergreen boughs and large red candles inside clear glass chimneys as a beautiful center piece on each one! It was very festive and attractive! Macramae tables Mine is on the right side in the picture. For many years Judy kept our church decorated so lovely with her creative ideas!

Judy was attractive and very slender. I was okay in our younger years. I wish I had pictures of us but we just weren’t into taking pictures, like we are now days!              Here’s a recent picture of Judy and Bob. FullSizeRender (86)

Judy Funeral flowers These beautiful flowers were at her funeral. I’m posting them here because they were so Judy! They were created at the business where she worked. They knew exactly what to make and how to make them to represent Judy!

There is so much more I could write but I must stop. Judy was my good friend. The best thing about her was her faith in God. She was a committed Christian. Today she is in heaven, no doubt about it!

I’m Ready, Are You?

Another funeral today… the sister of my very close friend. I barely knew the person who died so suddenly, but yet I considered her a friend. We saw each other mainly at family functions: weddings, anniversaries, and funerals. Today was her funeral, her death was so unexpected. She was 78 years old, about a year and a half older than I am.

So another funeral today. There have been so many…! Lorraine, Joan, Lynne, Dean, Norma, Oates, Twila, Jim, another Jim, Jack, Bob, Margaret, Carolee, David, Evelyn, and there are more. These are just the names that came to my mind just now as I’m writing.

These are also close to my age! I didn’t name the folks who’ve died in their old age, upper 80’s and 90’s! Yes, I’m in my middle seventies. But, I don’t feel old! I know I must look old! I get offers of help at the supermarket! When I was in Haiti in June of this year, the wonderful Haitian folks wouldn’t allow me to do anything! They would hold up their hands and say, “Oh, no, Grandma. No, no!” They would then do the task I was needing to do! I do admit to having aches and pains that are new to me, but I’m not ready to die!

Well, physically, I’m not ready to die. Spiritually, I am ready to die! I’m forgiven, I’m born again, I’m living in praise of my personal Saviour! What a wonderful place to be! When my day comes for me to breathe my last breath, I don’t want anyone to wonder if I’m  ready! New haircut  Praise God, I’m ready! Are you?

My Good Friend, Lena

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  Today was the day of the funeral of my good friend, Lena. She was 97 years old.  On New Year’s Day, 2015 she would have turned 98.

Sometimes at funerals a time is given to stand up and give a tribute for the person who had died. A year or so ago a friend of mine died and when a time was given for tributes I sat shaking and hesitating before standing up. Well, I waited just a second too long and the opportunity was gone. I still regret my hesitating. I missed the opportunity to tell what my good friend meant to me.

So, today I was ready. If a time was given, to share a few thoughts, I was going to stand up immediately. But, alas, it wasn’t to be.

So here is my tribute to my friend, Lena.

Jerry and I were married in Winona Lake, Indiana. Few folks from here, other than family, were able to attend our wedding. A few friends did: Dick and Barb, Cathryn and Leroy. Jerry had lived here his entire life and was a member of the Free Methodist Church. So when we came to our new home, after our honeymoon, the church put on a lovely reception for us at the Community Center. I still remember Lena and Dick working so hard to make sure everything was just right! We have a movie of the occasion. I didn’t know Lena before that day! But we were friends from that time on until her death, November 10, 2014. That was 55 1/2 years ago!

I went to visit her a few times after she moved into a nursing home. The last time was just a couple of weeks ago. She had moved, to a different home, out in the country. It took me a while to find it, but I was so glad I did. She recognized me right away and we had a delightful visit, reminiscing over the years we had been friends, 55 years! I promised her I’d come again…

So, someday when my time comes to depart this world, Lena and I will have a wonderful time praising God and renewing our friendship!