We were back in Tupelo last Saturday, helping our dear friends, Dan and Frances Brasfield, celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. And this Friday, August 8, Robin and I will celebrate 56 years together. Doesn’t seem possible! Those are a lot of years to hang with one fellow! : )
Life is strange, though. Sometimes our saddest times are mixed right in with our happiest times. This weekend we’ll be bidding farewell to two other dear friends– Sherry Barefield and Dottie Montgomery.
In 1956, Sherry and I graduated together from Byrd High School in Shreveport, Louisiana. Later, during the 1960s, Sherry and her husband, Woodie, and Robin and I all attended the same little neighborhood church, John Calvin Presbyterian Church. The four of us and our young children were active members there. However, Robin and I moved to Tupelo, Mississippi, in 1971, and we didn’t see the Barefields again until we moved to Hot Springs Village in 2003.
One day soon after we arrived, Robin was playing golf with a new group, and the guys had played several holes before Robin and Woodie even recognized one another. They were talking about once living in Shreveport, and Woodie said, “Yeah, and you went to John Calvin Presbyterian Church!” They both laughed, and that was the beginning of eleven more years of great times together.
Several months ago, Sherry discovered she had ovarian cancer, and she slipped away from us on July 17. Her memorial service will be at Presbyterian Kirk in the Pines this Saturday morning on August 9, and we will be there with all her friends to say “farewell” but to also celebrate her life.
My other dear friend is Dottie Montgomery who will be leaving, too, but who is moving to be closer to her family. Dottie has been my “role model” at the Kirk—actively serving others well into her eighties, singing in the choir, and sharing her time and talents with so many in our church and community. Our congregation will honor her with a special cake during the coffee hour after the worship service this Sunday, August 10.
So celebrations and farewells– all mixed together this weekend. Tonight I am thankful for many happy memories.