She Thought I Hung The Moon

(these thoughts are quick and might seem random. it’s the only way i can get them down. being with them too long is still hard.)

I met my best-friend-in-the-world in 1973. I was pregnant with my first child and my husband and I were building our first home in Schaghticoke, New York, across a country road from where Sandy and her family lived; five kids, a ordinary husband and an ordinary wife.

We developed an extraordinary friendship between the two families over the 12 years we lived as neighbors.

The five Howd kids ranged in age from approximately twelve to five. They became our main method of birth control as we heard Sandy yell, doors slam, stomping on stairs, boys fighting, girls fighting and kids crying. It was a lively and loving home.

We did everything together.

Vacations, meals, laughing, coaching girls softball, bowling, golf lessons, tennis, laughing, shopping, garage sales, marketing, dieting, laughing, exercising, beauty shop trips. Sandy’s oldest daughter was our first babysitter. I was her “second” mom and eventually her matron of honor.

Then we moved away. A sadder day would come, but at the time we thought moving day was the saddest day anyone could ever live through. Sandy and Harvey would be our first visitors in each new home we moved into–and we moved a lot.

Sandy thought I hung the moon.

Each time I tried a new hobby she thought my projects were brilliant. I tried painting with the t.v. painter, Bill Alexander who “fired it in”. Sandy wanted my first finished painting because she thought it was amazing. It was horrible! Oh my gosh. I held it up for my Dad and he thought it was a waterfall. I held the ocean scene upside down.

She thought my writing was brilliant. I was a beginner taking English Composition I. She would have flipped-out seeing me get published.

I don’t think about today’s date often. I don’t think about the endings. I like beginnings and middles.

Sandy gave me a book on friendship for Christmas twelve years ago. Her inscription: “Suzi, This book just seems so “You”. I hope you get as much pleasure from it as I have from our friendship. Love ya, Sandy”.

The verse over the dedication:

Close to my Heart you’ll always be.

Friends Forever, you and me.

My best friend has left my side but never my heart.

She has left a gift with me, though. She never could get her left and right straight. Pointing out to right field she’d instruct a girl “Go into left field!” The girl would start for left field and Sandy would yell, “No, left field!”

The day she died, May 19, 2005, I inherited her left and right issue. I thank her every time I try to give someone directions.  She was 65 years young and I miss the way she lived life with me.

(that’s Sandy in the chair being amazed at me for being me)

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Did You Ever…

try to ignore the obvious?

Not “obvious” like the three extra pounds that appeared on the scale which you chalked up to the extra salt you used last night on those french fries or the “obvious” fast food bag of empty wrappers left in the parking space you’d like to use at your favorite store?

We often ignore the pounds and the bags.

A friend sent me a prayer request email last week. It was for a stranger. I opened it, since praying from my desk is pretty easy to do, and read a story about a young single mom who grew up in an orphanage and foster homes, some were anything but fostering. Her story includes an illness that forces her to leave school when she was 15, earning a GED and marriage at 16, abuse, divorce, children out of wedlock, more abuse, poverty, a good job, an apartment with donated furniture, child support payments gone wrong. Looming debt and active cancer.

Shit. I can’t just pray here at my desk for this 35 year-old stranger.

Damn. I sit and I think. What if this were my kid, relative, friend or neighbor’s kid?

Then I told myself to “Shut up and just pray. Let somebody else take care of this.”

At that point, I prayed, sighed, and wrote back to Nancy asking for more information and a phone number for this woman. Thanks a lot God.

So, I called her. She has cervical and ovarian cancer. She’s 35. She has a two year-old who is staying with her brother while she’s recuperating from her second surgery in two months. She tried to go to work the day after she had this scraping/cutting but started to hemorrhage so she’s off without pay.

A hysterectomy will be in her near future. She’s scared. She doesn’t want to have chemo and lose her hair because she doesn’t want her boys to be afraid of her. They are fourteen and two.

She had to give money to the hospital before they’d do surgery.

Her rent is due today. $525. I talked to the agency and they’re giving us a long grace period.

Her car payment is due May 4th and is $88 a week. Her mechanic paid the last week for her.

I’d like all of us to help her pay May’s rent and a car payment or two. Her family isn’t in a position to help monetarily. They’re keeping the baby when they can and trying to help her get to appointments. Her babysitter is a big help, as well. The mother is contacting The United Way and a local agency today to see what they can do for her. A dear friend of ours donated diapers, personal hygiene and some grocery items.

If you’d like to send some help, our church has set a Benevolent Account up for her.

Checks can be made out to Journey Church, memo – Benevolent Account for Dawn Dawson.

Please mail them to me at Susie Dunham, 407 Meadowcrest Circle, Franklin, TN 37064

or drop them into the offering boxes at church with your envelope marked Benevolent Account.

Elephants ~ you’ve gotta face those creatures sometimes.

Thanks for reading. Oh, and please add her to your prayers.

Blessings ~ Susie