Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Want To See Something Funny? or Tribute To A Good Friend

I don't have many friends. Maybe I'm not a very friendly person, I don't know. I try to be. I've never been the popular one, so let's just say, I'm not expecting a crowd at my funeral. But what I lack in quantity I make up for in quality. I've got a few really cool, true blue, top notch, you can't beat 'em, friends. Let me tell you about one. Her name is Debbie.

I met Debbie when I was "the new kid at school" in the fifth grade. My family moved into her community just days before Christmas, and when classes resumed after the first of the year, I stumbled, wide-eyed and scared to death, into a strange class room. Debbie was friendly. She was the first kid to speak to me, offered to be my friend, and has stuck to her word for 35 years.

Debbie was the kind of friend every girl wanted to have. She never stole a boyfriend, never talked about me behind my back, never quit hanging out with me to hang out with someone more popular, and when she was a cheerleader in Jr. High, (that was back in the day before they called those awful years middle school) she let me come over to her house and jump around, waving her pom poms, and act like an idiot. We had sleepovers where we talked all night and ate cold fried chicken out of her refrigerator. When we went on field trips and had to pack a lunch, my lunches were always boring, but Debbie always had one of those huge dill pickles in her lunch. And she always shared with me. I was terrible at spelling but Debbie was a whiz at it. She has always laughed at me about the way I can't spell, but she was a great help when we were doing homework together.

As a kid, and for many years after childhood, I had a reoccurring dream about Debbie. I dreamed we were both walking and pulling little red wagons. Then suddenly I would be walking down a long tunnel alone, still pulling my little red wagon. The farther I went, the more stuff would accumulate in my wagon. Toys mostly. Ever now and the there would be a gap in the wall of my tunnel and I would look through it and see Debbie, walking down her own tunnel and pulling her little red wagon. She was collecting toys too. No matter how long the tunnel was, I could always find Debbie across from me, in the gap.

We went to school together only four years, then I moved away. But Debbie was not the kind of friend that would let distance or time destroy a friendship. We wrote letters and kept in touch. We each grew up, got married, had children...our little red wagons have turned into big boats and they are both fully loaded. But Debbie is still there in the gaps. On the wonderful but rare occasions when we get to see one another or talk on the phone it's as if there is no time or distance between us. Yep, Debbie is a treasure.

One of those gaps where I know I can always find my friend is my birthday. I don't think Debbie has missed sending me a birthday card--ever. I don't know how she does it, but there is always a card and it is never late. (I wish I could be more like her.) My birthday was in October, and like clockwork, a card from Debbie was delivered to my home address (poor girl didn't have any idea where my temporary home might be.) My daughter called to tell me it had arrived, so I was happy.

It took some time for my kids to get all our mail together, then get their act together, then find a box the right size, then remember, then get their act together again, before they were finally able to send it to me. Then DHL decided that my box of mail needed to travel about the country more than a week before it was finally delivered to me here in Mobile. So I finally get to see my birthday card from my sweet friend Debbie.
Here is the front of the Shoebox Hallmark card.
And here is the tender message inside.
What was all that stuff I was saying about Debbie being the kind of friend every girls wants?

Okay dear friends, here it 40 something year-old arm dangle. I've got it but I don't think it is quite ready to be flapping in the wind!
I still love ya Debbie. And I can't think of any other girlfriend with whom I'd rather go "flapping" about the countryside in a red convertible!


Sharon said...

What a beautiful story of what true friendship is all about. I thoroughly enjoyed every single word. I have to tell you, my grandfather once said, "The day you die you can count the number of true friends you had on one hand." That's something I've come to realize his was 100% correct about and I assure you, your Debbie is one of those 5 :)

Thank you so much for sharing your touching story and Happy Belated Birthday Dear!


Talkin' Texan said...

Sharon, thanks. Good, forever friends are rare. Tis sad but true. I guess all we can do is make it our purpose to BE one of those rare people.

Cindy said...

I have to agree that the close friends that you have can usually be counted on one hand. I liked the seeing Debbie thru the gaps in the walls. I have a couple of friends that I get to see from time to time thru the gaps. It is so awesome when that happens. I am as well fortunate that you are one of those friends. I have to say that you are a wonderful friend and I am so thankful to God that He saw fit to put us together in the same place to meet each other. I keep telling my girls that there best friend is in the same house as they are. They still do not believe me. Thank you so much for sharing this. I love this story. You are good at writting and I can not wait to read your book someday.

Talkin' Texan said...

You don't know how you bless me. I'm thrilled that you've accepted Christ, I'm glad to know that you were Baptised last weekend, (hate I couldn't be there) but I want you to know that from the days years ago when we were in Bible study together, God has used you to encourage me! Thanks for being one of my "gap" friends too.

Walter Mitty said...


I'd be willing to go to your funeral. But I'm kind of busy this month. The only chance I would have is Friday morning after Thanksgiving. If you aren't doing it then could you wait a few years?

Word: humflu

Talkin' Texan said...

Hey Walter,
Yes, I will try to hold off my passing until it is more convenient for you--and my other four friends and family.
I'm glad to know you will be there. It just wouldn't be a party without you!

Brittney said...

I totally agree with you about having a friend who you see in the gaps of life. It is so wonderful to be remembered. And just think getting that birthday card in Nov. made your birthday last just that much longer.

Hope you are having a great day.

B His Girl said...

Sweet friendship and wonderful humor :)

Anonymous said...

I laughed and I cried, I cried and I laughed. This was so sweet Lavonda and I was honored to be your 'subject'. I'm betting you just ran out of really good topics to write about(!)
I know we'll be friends for another 35-plus years. Arm dangles or not.
Love, Deb

Talkin' Texan said...

His Girl,
Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Come back again soon and often!

Talkin' Texan said...

Thanks for checking out my post and leaving your sweet words.
Yes I know we will be friends for another 35 years. By then my arms will be ready to, you know, make like a flag! I hope we might take that trip together before then.
Please come back often and comment any time! And I'll have you know, I've got LOTS of good stuff to write about! ;)

Losing Myself said...

It's so special to have a friend for that many years!

Joe's job brought us to KS. It was move, or be without a job. We moved. God actually moved us, we are in a very small SBC church. Joe is a deacon and I am the music leader. We love it!

Now, you live in Amarillo, so why are you in Mobile, AL?

You can email me at if you'd like.

Talkin' Texan said...

Ida, (and anyone else that is wondering why I'm in Mobile, AL when I call Amarillo, TX home) you are going to have to read my blog--from the beginning. It's a long story. But the short version--my husband's job. But take time to read the last year of posts. I think you'll enjoy it.

Alene said...

Oh my goodness! this is just too funny. Hallelujah for great friends like Debbie. My best friends name growing up was Debbie as well. Hop on over and check out the give-aways this week. Blessings girl!