Tonight I ate dinner with a dear friend. I met Rita years ago when we both volunteered at my church’s health clinic. I loved her immediately. She would prove herself to be a true friend to me. She walked with me through some dark days. She was never too busy, never too bothered to be my friend. I am so grateful.
She worships differently than I do. She is a Catholic girl, and me, a baptist…sort of. Somehow we are able to talk about God instead of religion. He speaks to both of us, sometimes in similar ways. We talk about things like passion for God, life missions and following the still small voice. Sometimes she comes and worships with me, and I love it when she does. When she leaves she always says, ‘Oh Stephanie, God spoke to me today. It was so good.” in her beautiful Cuban accent.
Her place in life is so different from me. Her son is grown and she has beautiful granddaughters. I am in the throes of teen years and college kids. She listenes intently while I tell her about my busy life. I ask her about her grandbabies and watch her face light up in a megawatt smile. She tells me the are “perfect”. Sometimes she gives me advice, other times she smiles and says “you are doing a good job.”
She shares my love for smelly, dirty people. We call them “Our People” and we both know the stories they tell would leave most people flabbergasted. But not Rita. She has seen it all, and heard it all. Not much left to surprise her. She has a huge capacity for compassion.
Tonight after dinner, when you turned to walk down the sidewalk to your car, I watched you and thought, she is a really good friend, a treasure. Next time I will tell you that before I say goodbye. Thanks Rita.