A Connection of Solace

There are many people we will meet during our lifetime. These acquaintances are not by accident. Each one has a particular purpose for crossing our path. However, truth be told, we can consider ourselves fortunate to count our true friends on one hand. These are the friends that you can turn to for any reason. They are there for you always in a spirit of love and without judgment, in good times and in the difficult times. Linda was eleven years old when Holly met her. They became instant friends and often had sleepovers. In fact, Holly considered Linda’s house to be her home away from home. Growing up they developed a bond that would continue into their adult lives and prove to be the instrument through which Linda would draw upon for comfort after a devastating tragedy. After many years of friendship the girls knew each other like the back of their hands. Together they shared secrets, as well as tears of joy and tears of sadness. Holly even dated one of Linda’s brothers when she got older. She was quite comfortable with the relationship she had formed with Linda’s family and genuinely cared for each and every member. It was because of this bond that Holly felt equally as devastated when Linda’s brother, Jarod, committed suicide. Although he was not the brother she dated, Holly had still been close to him. Suicide can be especially troubling for family members. Over and over they question how their loved one could have done that. How could they have prevented it and why didn’t they recognize the signs? A great...

Timely Intervention

Submitted by Stephanie Boyett August 2010 It had been not even been a year since Stephanie’s best friend, Stevie, had been killed in a head-on collision on his motorcycle. As a tribute, one of his good friends handcrafted a beautiful 7 foot cross made of cedar. He then burned the names of Stevie’s friends and family onto it. A deep love of hunting led to the final touch of mounting deer antlers at the top. Placed at the crash site, the cross had become a monument to Stevie’s memory and once erected people would randomly stop by to leave small tokens expressing their love for him. Stephanie found herself visiting it often just to talk to him and keep him up to date on all that was going on. Feeling closer to him when visiting the site, it had become something of a ritual for her. Typically, Stephanie would always stop by there on her way home from work. Sometimes it was during the day but most of the time it was at night. Through all her visits, she never once felt uncomfortable or at risk. In fact, she always felt safe and secure even though it was out on a lonely stretch of road. One evening Stephanie was over at a friend’s house just hanging out and reminiscing about their past and in particular about Stevie. They laughed and talked about all the fun things they used to do. Time got away from her all too quickly and it was time to head home. It had been such a wonderful evening and seemed only fitting that it end...

A Promise Between Friends

Submitted by Cheryl Cathey June 2010 Friends come and go in our lives and often we lose touch with them. Cheryl is of the firm belief that we meet people at the time that we need them in our lives. Sue Hunt was such a person. Cheryl first met Sue when she went to work for a local credit union. At first they did not get along so well, but it really didn’t matter since they were in totally different departments. Their contact was minimal. After about six months, however, that changed. Now working together, they learned to tolerate one another. Everything changed between them when they began playing soft ball on the company team. With the opportunity to really get to know each other they became fast friends. Sue was a very devoted Catholic that took her lunch hour every day to attend mass at a church close to where they worked. Cheryl herself had been raised in a Catholic home but after the death of her brother the family basically stopped attending. Even though Cheryl had drifted away from religion she could still appreciate her new friends’ devotion to God. Sue respected others and never forced her beliefs on anyone, or judged anyone. But if you asked her, she was happy to discuss her relationship with God. On many occasions Cheryl and Sue talked about God. As a result of some of their conversations they decided to take a trip. They traveled to Georgia, just the two of them, to a place where it was reported that Mary sometimes appeared. That trip became a defining moment in...

A Message From Beyond

Submitted by Stephanie Boyett April 2010 Sometimes in life there are people that we forge an instant bond with. Their friendship feels like an extension of our selves. Spending time together is comfortable, it’s easy, and you know that you can share absolutely anything with them. Throughout our lifetime we will have many good friends, yet there are precious few that will be our best friend. Stephanie’s best friend was a young man named Stevie. For about 4 years there wasn’t a day that went by that they didn’t talk or text one another. They did everything together; hanging out, riding around, and spending countless hours talking. They never judged one another. When one or the other had a problem, or was just feeling down, they would ride around on the back roads with the rock and roll music blaring as loud as it could. By the time the CD finished their whole mood had changed. The stress would be gone and at that point they could talk about it. Before you knew it they would be laughing and having a good time just being themselves. There was no one else that she was closer to. Stephanie depended on Stevie for advice and moral support for every event or aspect of her life, and he looked to her for the same. Although they cared about each other deeply, after about a year circumstances changed and Stephanie found herself not agreeing with some of the things Stevie was doing. Distance began to grow between them and they found themselves busy with their own lives. In spite of the fact they...

Yes, Elizabeth, There is a Heaven

It takes a special person to work in the hospice field. They are entrusted to care for very vulnerable people and so it is vital that they are trustworthy. Elizabeth worked in hospice for awhile and she had the added benefit of being a very sympathetic and caring person. Throughout that time she saw and felt things that some people couldn’t even imagine. It was sad at times but what an honor to be trusted by so many strangers. Elizabeth and her best friend, Lin, found themselves living in different cities but still remained close. She was aware of her friend’s illness but was not notified of her passing until the day of the funeral. The people handling the funeral arrangements were having a difficult time with the music selection. Someone remembered that Lin’s friend, Elizabeth, was a music therapist so they called her for assistance. Her advice was to check in Lin’s car and home CD players and choose songs from there. She also informed them that Lin, who loved the group “The Doors,” had insisted that when she got to Heaven she was going to be with Jim Morrison. She expressed her desire to have the “Doors” song “Break on Through to The Other Side” played at her funeral. Now, that’s not your typical funeral song, but what better way to honor a person then to play what best represents them. Elizabeth knew Lin approved of the service, even though her best friend was unable to be there. After her phone conversation Elizabeth felt all the emotions rushing in and tears began to flow. She wasn’t angry...

From Tragedy to Triumph

Submitted by Marcel Williams October 2009 Marcel attended a local college but chose to live at home. Her best friend, Rachquel, went to the same college. They actually met in the 10th grade where there was an instant connection. It didn’t take long to establish a special bond. They did everything together. If you saw one of them you knew the other was close by. It had been like that since they met. One day Rachquel stopped by after class and asked Marcel to please run some errands with her. Of course, Marcel agreed like she always did, but she was a little puzzled at the vibes she was getting from her friend. It seemed as if Rachquel was almost pleading with her to go. Marcel jumped in the car and they left. First stop was Rachquel’s grandmother. They visited with her for awhile then they went to Rachquel’s mother’s house. While they were there they decided to eat. Normally Marcel would just make herself at home as instructed by her friend, but this time Rachquel fixed her a plate of food. Again, her behavior was odd. It felt as if she was waiting on Marcel, thankful that she was with her. They left and spent the rest of the day hanging out and reminiscing about the past. It was getting late by the time Rachquel had to go pick up her boyfriend, Jamie, from work. Normally Marcel would have accompanied her but this time she had to excuse herself. She had a paper due for class the next day so Rachquel dropped her off at the house. An...