As I comb out her beautiful white hair she reminds me to take her hearing aids out before I spray it.
She has family coming in from out-of-town so she wants to look her best.
She asks me to find her favorite pearl necklace out of her jewelry box and as I hang the pearls around her neck my mind goes back over the last eleven years of our friendship.
We have joked for years asking, “What did God think an eighty-two year old Italian Catholic would have in common with a thirty-one year old hillbilly Bible thumper?
I met Landi eleven years ago when I moved in next door to her.
When we first met she’d pop over unannounced, tap on the door, walk in and call out my name. I remember the first time it happened I was making my bed and thought to myself:
“Did she really just walk in?”
I was a little ruffled by it, I mean in our generation we just don’t do that. We have our privacy walls and fences for a reason, amen?
I remember one day in particular when she came by, she asked, “Would you like to come over for a glass of my husband’s homemade wine?”
I politely declined being I’m not a drinker and she looked up at me inquisitively asking, “Why is it because you’re Baptist?”
I chuckled and right away I was taken in by her eager desire to get to know someone and knew I was going to love her.
From that day on we have been inseparable. She always tells everyone, “We just took to one other.” She has become my mentor, best friend, and second mother. She introduces me as her adopted daughter who is now “officially Italian.”
I use to imagine when God brought adult best friends into my life we would be in the same season of life, I never imagined there would be fifty-one years between us. I’m so glad His plans are way cooler than mine.
Looking back on our friendship we’ve learned differences in age, religion, and backgrounds do not have to divide us, but can enrich each other’s lives.
One Palm Sunday Landi brought me over a palm. She explained that one of the symbolism’s of the palm is a sign of peace. She placed the palm in my hand and lovingly put her other hand on the side of my cheek saying:
“May there always be peace between us dear friend.” And because of our deep affection for one another there always has been.
We have learned that if you love something, then that’s enough for me to respect and value it because you do.
As I said earlier, we’ve always joked and wondered what God thought we had in common. But I’m realizing friendship is not always about what we have in common, but more of what we gain to learn from one another.
Landi has a back bedroom that she piles her junk and papers in. She never wants anyone to see that room because she says that is her “mess.”
The other day someone left the door open and she asked me to close it. When I got up to close it, she yelled out, “Thank God love covers over a multitude of sins!”
I laughed out loud thinking to myself, yes it does.
And love also can cover our differences if we choose to let it. And when we do, God not only brings the friendships we never imagined, but the friendships we needed.