There are some people you meet and intuitively know you’d like to be friends. What I discovered yesterday is that you can reconnect with people you’ve not seen in forty-six years and have that same insatiable desire for more shared time.
Our lives intersected as students at Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene. Docena was from Snyder, Larry and Becky were from Wichita Falls and Mike was from Kansas. Larry and Mike lived in the same dorm I did my first year at HSU. In fact, Larry and I were on the same floor in Anderson Hall.
Of the four, I knew Docena best. She and I were part of the same college age youth group at church. Of course, Hardin-Simmons was a small school, so I shared classes and occasional social contact with all four.
During the course of the past year, Docena has commented on several of the blogs I’ve posted. In addition, she has offered the ongoing gift of encouragement. Her words of affirmation have been music to my ears, “I am always encouraged by your words! Keep writing, my friend!!” At another time she wrote, “Keep writing making us laugh & think!” Of course, she has repeatedly suggested that I invite the General (aka – my wife) to share the rest of the story (or perhaps the real story) to some of the personal reflections I’ve shared. However, I still maintain that what you see in print reflects the facts, or at least my perception of the facts.
Docena sent a text message on Sunday evening thanking Treva and me for the time shared earlier in the day. Since I was at my computer, I responded immediately. “I am grateful to you for orchestrating this reunion. I’m currently sitting at the keyboard of my computer attempting to carefully craft my thoughts, but the time shared with you folks is beyond my ability to describe. It was a meaningful day for me.”
An hour later, I’m still sitting at my computer mulling over my thoughts to capture the significance of the day. I still don’t have the words. I am greatly humbled that folks would negotiate an hour-and-a-half to two-hours through Austin traffic to Worship with the family of faith I attend and share time to visit with us.
How do I say this? I was provided the opportunity to share a portion of yesterday with four former college classmates that I have not seen in forty-six years. They are not the same people they were forty-six years ago. They are infinitely more. There lives reflect joy, a sense of calling, contentment with life and a sense of gratitude for all they have been given.
Becky mentioned in passing that she’d heard that I write a blog and that I’d written a couple of books. She expressed interest in reading my blogs. She did not mention that she is also an author. She didn’t mention that she, too, writes a blog. Later in the conversation I learned from one of the other four that Becky previously received a Distinguished Alumni Award from Hardin-Simmons University for her accomplishments as an inspirational writer. Later in the day yesterday, I did a Google search related to Rebecca Barlow Jordon. She co-authored a best-selling series with four other women. Those books sold over 200,000 copies. She has written or contributed to the writing of eleven books plus a host of other effective and highly sought out written inspirational communications. http://www.rebeccabarlowjordan.com/about-rebecca/faq/
How do you describe success in life? The four friends from long ago that I shared time with yesterday have all been highly successful. I know that not from what any of them verbally shared. I know it from their countenance and spirit of contentment. When we visited yesterday, they didn’t call attention to themselves. Their journey has not been about themselves. They have invested their lives in a pursuit to help others. In the process, they too, have found fulfillment. With a spirit of humility and an openness to simply talk about life, family, vocation, retirement and delight with life, I found myself drawn to them and to the gift of their friendship. I know them better today than I did forty-six years ago. I am both grateful and honored to be included in their circle of friends.
All My Best!