|The Birthday Girl and Her Husband|
The picture is of my good friend, Zoe and her husband, J.D. Today is Zoe's birthday. Because I am her true friend, I won't reveal which one it is.
I often urge you to write your family stories and I always will, but a part of your own story is the stories of your longtime friends. Do you have some friends that you might write about and include in your Memory Book? I bet you do.
I met Zoe when Ken and I moved to Rockford, IL in the early 90's. She was one of the first people I met in the Newcomers Club, a fellow Bridge player. We lived only a few blocks apart. Zoe invited me to join her in early morning walks along the Rock River three mornings a week. We took turns driving to the river, chattering all the way. Once parked, we set off along the winding walking path that followed the river. Zoe's little dog, Heike, accompanied us most mornings. On that first morning, Zoe strolled along and I kept moving a bit faster and faster. If we're doing this for exercise, I told her, we need to move at a brisk pace. Soon, we were moving at a faster pace on each outing.
We walked summer and winter, and in inclement weather, we walked at the mall. When you spend 30-40 minutes walking with someone, you also talk, and in our talking, we learned about one another's lives. Zoe's husband had held jobs in Algeria and Brazil as well as parts of the USA. I learned a lot about what life as an expatriate is like, and I learned some things about each of those foreign countries. We discussed the families we grew up in, our husbands, and our children. We became grandmothers close to the same time and reveled in talking about our wonderful grandbabies.
In 1997, Ken retired and we moved back to Kansas. Only a year or so later, Zoe's husband retired and they moved to Phoenix, stopping at our house as they made the long auto trip to their new home. We've kept in touch via e-mail, skype, and an occasional visit. I know her story and she knows mine. I've worried over some serious illnesses she's had, and I've rejoiced when good things happen to people in her family. We send one another small birthday and Christmas gifts, one more way to keep our friendship alive and well.
If I wrote a story about Zoe, it would have to include our many shopping trips, lunches and bridge games. Also the online scrabble games we play which allows us to add a note on each play. We are a part of one another's life. I love her positive outlook on life, her sense of humor, her love of God and family, and her caring attitude.
Happy Birthday Zoe!