Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Tapestry of Friendship Under the Tuscan Sun

There are tapestries all over Italy rich with color and content, but none more beautiful than the one the true Master Weaver wove one glorious week under the Tuscan sun ~ a tapestry of friendship.

For my 50th birthday, my husband gave me a Girls' Getaway to one of my favorite places on earth ~ Tuscany, Italy. The group consisted of me, my daughters, my sister, my cousin, and eight girlfriends.

It was idyllic. Truly. A week of stunning beauty all around us and beauty from within our group; as fourteen women's hearts were intricately woven together by threads of love, respect, friendship, laughter, and shared experiences into a striking tapestry more splendid than any medieval masterpiece we were privileged to see. This tapestry was interlaced with old filaments from childhood with my sister, aunt and cousin, contemporary fibers from many different friendships, some of which spanned thirty years, and of course, the distinct and strong strings of a mother-daughter bond. All of these strands were hemmed in with a brand new thread ~ our tour guide, Leo (pronounced Lay-o).

A new friendship was instantly fabricated. Leo fell in love with us and we with him.

A movie buff, Leo dubbed us his "Steel Magnolias." He was so intrigued and inspired by the deep, real, abiding friendships among our ladies, much like M'Lynn, Ouiser, Clairee, and Annell. He commented time and time again on how extraordinarily special our friendships were and even relayed our wonderful relationships to his own friends.

That was six years ago. Time erodes our connection and continents separate us; however, our friendship has endured.

Here is an excerpt of an e-mail I recently received from Leo ~

"Last night I saw on TV a very nice American movie, HOW TO MAKE AN AMERICAN QUILT, starring Anne Bancroft and Ellen Burstyn among others - what a jolly good film. It reminded me of our friendship, we may be miles away but we're so close in our hearts. You all really changed my life, had a great impact, I think that things do happen not just by chance, maybe somebody, UP THERE, had our paths crossing, don't you think so dear Becky? I do...




As I was writing about our paths crossing, a beautiful, warm, sun ray just got inside my room....

Thinking of you all....always"

Under the Tuscan sun, the real Son shone through radiating His love with gossamer strands of the Holy Spirit weaving a tapestry of friendship, old and new.

Visit the adorable, talented gals at http://anneandmay.com/?p=1132 for other celebrations of friendship.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Strength for the "Do-Not-Die" Program


That is a word that epitomizes my Grandmother. She needed it. Little did she know the amount of strength she would need to run her race.

Physically ~

She almost died at childbirth with my mother at age 20.
She had three more children.
She raised her children during the Great Depression.
She sold candy door to door when she became a single mom at a time when they were virtually non-existent.
She took care of her bedridden sister for many years.

She helped raise her granddaughter so her son and daughter-in-law could establish their business.
She worked in her son's restaurant until she was in her 80's.

And I'm sure there's a lot more of which I am not aware.

Emotionally ~

She lost one of her daughters at age four tragically to electrocution.
Her house burned.
Her husband left her for another woman.

And I'm sure there's a lot more of which I am not aware.

Spiritually ~

Her body ravaged with age from decades of living, I "yelled" in her ear, "Life is hard, but God is good."

Without skipping a beat, and an instant nodding of her head, she replied with much conviction, "Yes, He is merciful."

Anna Virginia Yocum Moore's endurance is extraordinary.

Her spirit and humor still intact, seemingly indomitable.

Easter Sunday, as I talked to my mother,

"How's Grandmom?"

"She's good."

"Does she know it's Easter?"

"I told her. She wanted to sing "In Your Easter Bonnet." So, we did."

One day not too long ago, she told my sister that she thought the nursing home was trying to get rid of her. Kathy reassured her that they are not.

"Well," she said, "you better bring me the Vermont Country Store catalog so I can order some new nighties."

One day, as my Aunt Ruthie was wheeling her down the hall of the nursing home, she laughingly said, "Pull in to one of these closets, so I can 'kick the bucket.' "

Although she did not "sign up" and is more than ready to go be with the Lord, she has declared:

"I must be on the 'DO NOT DIE' program."

I can understand why she thinks that.

She will be 104 on her next birthday in August.

Dear Grandmom,

You don't need new nighties from the Vermont Country Store.

You are clothed with strength and dignity.
Your fortitude and gracious demeanor with which you lived all of your 37,595 + days, without complaint or self-pity, is more beautiful than the most dazzling gown ever made.
You can rejoice at the days to come knowing you have left me with that legacy which I hope to exemplify as well, pass on to my children, and then to their children.

Thank you for all you've done for me and all you've been to me.

Happy Mother's Day....for the 83rd time!!!!

I love you more than words can express,


Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she smiles at the future. Proverbs 31:25

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