We celebrated my parents 60th anniversary yesterday. One of the things it was such a pleasure for me to witness was the meaningful relationships my Mom, Dorothy has with her friends. Here is Mom with her best friend Millie.
Millie and Mom grew up on farms across the road from each other in Drake Saskatchewan, went to a private Mennonite high school together, to college together, and have kept in touch with each other their whole lives.
This has to be my favorite picture ever of Mom and Millie. They are so happy, so lovely, just stepping out the door of their youth into lives that will be rich and full, very difficult sometimes, but ultimately meaningful and made easier by friendship and love.
Six years ago my Mom had been very ill and had been in the hospital for a long time but she was determined to attend our son’s graduation from Canadian Mennonite University. Millie was also at the event and she and Mom were so happy to see each other they sat side by side holding hands through the ceremony.
Here is Mom with her good friend Selma. My Dad and Selma’s husband Bill went to college and medical school at the same time and although they practiced medicine in different Manitoba towns the two couples remained very close. Both Selma and Bill and my parents had cottages at Moose Lake not far from one another. They also did a term of medical mission service together in South America.
Mom and Dad went on many trips with Bill and Selma. Here are Mom and Selma in Mexico in the 1960’s trying on sombreros. Selma’s husband Bill passed away quite a number of years ago, and now Selma lives in an apartment just across the street from my parents in Winnipeg so they are able to see each other more often.
Two years ago I spent a week with Mom while my Dad went to work at a Mennonite camp. One afternoon I took Mom to visit Selma and have tea with her. The two women talked for hours reminiscing about all their experiences together. There was lots of laughter, a few tears and non stop conversation. It made me so happy to witness the special bond my Mom shared with her good friend.
Agnes Gerbrandt lived on Kroeker Avenue in Steinbach at the same time we did. My Mom was raising four children, and Agnes, who was a widow was raising ten children on her own. She and Mom got to know each other almost 50 years ago and remained friends even though we moved to a different part of town after two years. Every Easter Agnes would bring our family beautifully decorated paska, a special Easter bread covered in icing. She made one for each member of our family.
I thought not only of how fortunate my mother is to have been blessed with such good friends but also what a special person she must be to have earned their sincere affection.
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