Yesterday afternoon and evening, I was able to spend time with my cousin, Ramona. She recently lost her husband, and it's been a rough time for her. She came by my house and suggested we go visit her mom. Just driving through her old neighborhood, where I'd spent many happy childhood days, was emotional and wonderful. My mom lived across the street from them, for several years. Her house is still there, still the same color. The only real change was, the rose arbor that went over the front gate was no longer there.
As we walked around to the back of Mary Ellen's home, to go in through the back door, I glanced up at the little window of the garage apartment. We lived there, when I was very young. I remember looking out that window, seeing my cousins playing in the yard below. This was when I first really got to know my cousins, five girls, what fun we had!
Walking through the house, memories kept washing over me. We had a lovely visit with Mary Ellen. Even with extreme health issues, her smile and her sense of humor was still strong. She and my mom always kept us laughing with their stories. I miss those times. I'm so thankful for them.
Next, Ramona and I went to one of our favorite Chinese restaurants, Golden Star. It was just as good as I remembered! That place is filled with memories as well. My grandparents took us there often, beginning back in the late 60's. My husband and I, along with our families, shared our wedding day meal there before leaving for our honeymoon.
Ramona and I talked about so many things. There were tears, some from memories and some from the hot mustard, and there was a lot of laughter. We talked about the past. We talked about what her future may now hold. When life changes the plans you had for your retirement years with your husband, you have to begin thinking about what you will now do. One thing I do believe, she will be blessed beyond what she can even see right now, and my cousin is a woman of strong faith and vision. I'm praying and believing it will be better than she can even imagine.
Before we left Golden Star, I heard a hello, and there was another cousin's wife, Dorrine! She was there with a big group of family. After hugs all around, we chatted a couple minutes. Then another friend of Ramona's walked in, and she got to share a few moments with him. As we were leaving, our cousin Mark was just arriving to join the family, so we got to say hello to him as well. I guess we picked the perfect night to eat at Golden Star.
We decided to text one of my best friends, DeAnn. She hadn't been able to join us for dinner, but she was now available to visit, so we headed to her home. What a fun time we had! More laughter, a few more tears. We talked about everything from family, loss, life, church, our homes, and even clothes. DeAnn showed us her new LuLaRoe clothes, purchased from the lovely Jenn Schram, and even offered to let me try on a couple of her new shirts. Such fun! We took photos of her in one of her new outfits, which led to some laughs because neither Ramona or I were very adept at using the smart phone for photos.
After Ramona dropped me off at my house, and I sat in my family room going over the events of the evening, I felt so blessed. Having family and friends to travel through this life's journey is what it's all about. We can share our sorrows and our joys with each other. We are reminded we don't have to walk it alone. We have our faith, our family, and our friends to make our journey a little bit easier, and a lot less lonely, and that is a blessing.