From a photograph by Solomon D. Butcher of four daughters of rancher Joseph M. Chrisman, at their sod house in Custer County, Nebraska. From left to right, Harriet, Elizabeth, Lucie, and Ruth. Photographed in 1886.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

A Great Friend

Someone to count on


Today, a little white-haired lady came to my cash register. In the course of ringing up her purchases and visiting with her, I learned that she is 84 years old.

As the conservation continued, my elderly customer stated that she is driving to Nashville tomorrow, though the weather forecast predicts a cold day. "Oh, my

," I said, marveling at the independence of this senior citizen. "Could you not go another day when the weather will be nicer?"

"No," she said. "I'm driving my friend to her cancer treatment."

I asked if she had a good set of directions to the medical center.

"I know exactly how to get there," she said. "I've been driving her to her treatments for four and a half years."

My amazement was probably evident. "Your friend is very fortunate that she has you," I said.

"She knows that she can count on me," my customer said.

In a few moments, she left with her purchases, but she remains in my thoughts. I wonder -- is any ingredient of friendship more important than loyalty, when the chips are down?

A friend in need
Is a friend indeed.

Photo by StuSeeger

4 comments:

Mark said...

When I read this I thought of my mother, but not for the obvious reason of the goodness of the lady. My mother just turned 84, and my mother in law is 80. Neither one of them has any business driving, and especially not in busy areas. It's really unfortunate that in this country people have no choice but to drive, even when it would be better if they didn't.

Genevieve said...

I know what you mean, Mark. My husband's mother is no longer able to drive at all, but we had some worrisome years when she was in her 80s. She ran into a mailbox once, and another time she lost her purse when she drove off with it sitting on top of her car.

I did shudder at the thought of that little lady driving in busy city traffic. I hope she makes the trip safely today.

We do have a cancer treatment center in Hopkinsville, but perhaps the friend needs something that is not available here or she thinks that she gets better care in Nashville (which may or may not be true.)

Larry said...

A very touching post, Genevieve!

Genevieve said...

Hi, Larry. I have thought a lot about those two ladies. The lady who is driving knows she's very important to someone, and that helps her stay strong. She's really an example of how it's "more blessed to give than to receive."

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CONTENTMENT: Keep your heart free from hate, your mind from worry, live simply, expect little, give much, sing often, pray always, forget self, think of others and their feelings, fill your heart with love, scatter sunshine. These are the tried links in the golden chain of contentment.
(Author unknown)

IT IS STILL BEST to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasure; and to be cheerful and have courage when things go wrong.
(Laura Ingalls Wilder, 1867-1957)

Thanks for reading.