Ten years ago, not many hours after my husband passed away, I heard a car pull up in front of the house. Still in wrapped in the numbness of shock, I saw through the front windows a woman hop out of a car, hurry up the walk, and bend to set something at the door. It took a while to get up and go look. The corner of a white envelope stuck out from under the welcome mat. Jane and Steve from church had left a message that they didn’t want to disturb me but wanted me to know they prayed for me, shared my pain, and hoped I would call if I needed anything. And so began one of the most poignant, remarkable, and horrible weeks of my life.
So often we hear or whine about how the world is rotting away, people are hardened, uncaring of others. It’s then that I remember the weeks after John died. My brother, Karl, immediately drove my mom from Illinois to Indiana to be with me. Only days after, my writing buddies brought food and themselves for a diner party that lifted my spirits and started to bring me back to life. Cards and phone calls poured in from my church. Flowers, more cards came, but that which lifted me most were the prayers. A choir member, Helen, a widow herself, told me that I would know when the prayers for me stopped. I woke up one day, almost a year later, and felt the absence of the cocoon of prayer that had buffered pain and loss, but by then, I was healed enough to make it on my own.
Then there are the friends of childhood, Connie especially. It’s hard to believe that it’s been over fifty years ago when our aunts introduced us. Instant friendship. I admired her bright, lively mind, musicality, and the kindness that pours out of her, her stubbornness to accomplish a task and do it well, her romantic heart. Mostly, I love the fact that I can tell her anything, everything, and know that as kind and sweet-natured as she is, she would stand stalwart at my back through any trial or problem.
The wonder is that Connie is not my only friend like that. There were theater friends who stood by me during my first horrific marriage. Coworkers over the years I’ve never forgotten and still hear from now and then. Linda, a new friend from my part-time job, didn’t hesitate when I called. She gave up her day off and took me to the ER for sciatica pain, sat with me, and took me home, constantly cheerful and patient. And in the last decade, I lucked-out and joined Summit City Scribes, a band of determined writers, finding more brothers and sisters, like Judy, my critique partner. I trust her judgment implicitly, admire her ethic, her clean writing style, and ability to plot with deadly accuracy. Imagine a tall, red-headed, dark-eyed warrior with a quick laugh and quicker mind. She is someone else I can say anything to and she will instantly and completely understand—more importantly, she will contradict or readily spout a differing opinion. How I love that about her.
It is because of the blessings of so many amazing people I can call friends that I started the regency series about friendship. I lost my dearest friend when John died but have so many others and know that in the future, there will be more.
A Rogue for Miss Prim, now available and 9th book in The Friendship series:
And check out Judi Lynn’s webpage and Mill Pond Romances