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Aug 1, 2012

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Best 98 Year Old Friend

Mrs. Sophie Martin

If you’re 97 years old and my friend, you get an afternoon treat of Muffins, Coffee (compliments of Starbucks) and Blueberries fresh from my own bushes in my Driveway Garden – that’s another story!

Mrs. Sophie Martin has been a friend to my family for over 19 years.  My children and I meet her and her husband at their garage sale where I spent all of my $20 Mad Money on a prized antique sewing machine, gardening tools and decorative wood items.  That small investment developed into a relationship which as seen us through many challenges and celebrations.

Mr. Martin passed away 17 years ago.  Mrs. Martin was able to maintain an independent lifestyle living in her own home – taking care of her garden and housekeeping until a bad fall last summer.  Thankfully, she has found a wonderful, safe and caring adult private care home.  She says I’m her best friend – ahhh, that’s so sweet and I try to visit her as often as I can.

We have been kindred spirits since that first day at the garage sale.   The Martins were not blessed with children and she has few living relatives in the area.  She’s watched our children grow into young adulthood, even insisting on paying for the corsage for My Caboose’s Prom date.  She loves to call him “Andy” because of fond memories of a childhood friend.  She always asks about them and couldn’t be more proud if they were actually related to her by blood or marriage.

Our elders should be a treasured part of our lives.  Most don’t ask for much . . . usually only our time.   Sharing her love of flowers and gardening each special holiday day that God allows her to still be in our lives, I take her flowers to let her know that she is loved.  Valentine Roses with an extra one for the small vase besides Mr. Martin’s photo.  Easter Lilies with at lease seven blooms to represent the days of the week.  Fall Mums to celebrate the change of seasons and the cooler temperatures.  Rosemary Topiaries for remembrances of our strong friendship.  Christmas Poinsettias to bring joy to a season that can be full of so much hustle and bustle that we miss the true reason for the season.

Magnolia - Oil on Canvas

Magnolia – Oil on Canvas, by Rhonda Bellamy Hodge, 2003

Nearly ten years ago, she insisted that I needed to learn to Oil Paint.  Saying she wouldn’t die until she made an Oil Painter out of me!  I’ve been taking my time and have a few painted canvases under my belt.  Here’s one I painted under her gentle guidance and approval.  I’ll never forget her saying, “Rhonda, be proud of your work – always sign your name to it!”

Friendships are an important part of any community.  Even those which bring together people at first glance, with limited common interests.  But with a little time and effort, we can make some special relationships that can last a lifetime.   I challenge each of us to look for opportunities to care for and about those who can share their love, wisdom, humor, knowledge and talent to benefit the community even a community of two.  Consider places of worship, elderly relatives and friends, nursing/retirement homes or like me . . . garage sales!  Do you have a Mrs. or Mr. Martin in your life?  Tell us about them!

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wife, mother, sister, friend. Business owner, writer, photographer. Yes, it's a lot but life is full of opportunites and we should take full advantage of them.
Scripture Memory Verse:
SMV: Commit your actions to the LORD, and your plans will succeed. Prov 16:3