I’m not sure where that quote came from but, it’s true.
Through the years, and let’s face it there have been many of them, Cliff and I have been blessed with many, many, wonderful friends. Friends that we’ve laughed with and cried with. Friends that we’ve worked with and built relationships with. Friends that we’ve known forever, and friends that just seem like we’ve known them that long.
Some friends have left a lasting impression. One couple in particular was like that for us. I’ll call them Fred and Ethel, not their real names, but the first funny friend couple that came to mind. Ethel’s response to situations was usually quick and priceless. Fred, though funny without knowing it, just went along with her.
I met Ethel first. I’m not sure how exactly, but she was a neighbor to a friend that we knew. Ethel was, and I’m sure still is, one of the sweetest ladies I’ve ever met. We ‘clicked’ immediately. Part of our ‘clicking’ was Ethel’s love and concern for people. No matter who they were and the many different situations she found herself in. Here are just a few of her experiences.
Going into New York one night to see a play. She and Fred got caught in gridlock traffic and soon realized they were going to miss the performance. It was winter and bitterly cold in the City, so they just decided to make their way home. While stopped at one point for an interminable length of time, Ethel saw a homeless family around a flaming garbage can in a vacant lot trying to stay warm. Only the children had shoes. Ethel never hesitated. She rolled down her window and asked them if they wanted shoes. She quickly gave them hers. Then she gave them Fred’s. They drove home in their socks.
One winter night she saw an older woman walking around the streets of her town, seemingly lost. Ethel pulled over and spoke with the woman realizing that she knew her address, but didn’t know how to get there, she gave the woman a ride home. Speaking with the woman’s adult son, she found out that his mother, Franny, suffered from dementia and often wandered from home. Ethel offered to watch her for them. She brought Franny into her home and cared for her during the days and sometimes overnight. Franny enjoyed folding clothes and eating chocolate. So Ethel would hide chocolate kisses in the laundry for Franny to find while doing the folding. It kept Franny busy for most of the day. This was the essence of Ethel. She enjoyed people, all people, in all seasons and walks of life.
She also had a quick wit. Before her days with Franny, she told me she had worked as an Aide in a Nursing Home. One of the patient’s there was an older man with advanced dementia. While straightening his room one day, they had the following conversation.
“You have million dollar breasts.”
Amused, Ethel replied, “Thank you.”
Then he asked, “Can I touch them?”
Her nonchalant reply, “For a million dollars.”
I’m not sure where ‘Ethel’ is living now, but her stories always lighten my mood. I hope they did the same for you! Friends! Where would we be without them? They help us to remember that much of life is really not that big a deal!