By Lorry Myers
These two friends first met in the 70’s when Janice’s husband, Chet, took a job at Panhandle Eastern Pipeline where my father worked. They came together at a time in their lives when their children were growing, going, or gone and when their husbands discovered they were both fishermen, their friendship was sealed.
ette and Janice became best friends.
My parent’s friendship with Chet and Janice took them many places. Fishing trips and Lake stays and cruises on the ocean. They went out to dinner, and frequented the casinos and sat on the lawn and watched fireflies. Bette and Janice talked about their children, their sewing, and where they were going next. They talked about their husbands and their church but they never talked about their political opinions.
That never seemed to matter.
Both couples bought Lake houses and they spent time together at each other’s. They fished in the morning and fried fish at night. They took boat rides and visited bait shops and shared their fishing lures. They watched the sun rise and the sun set and were content to sit together and watch the world go by. Bette could tell Janice anything and Janice could do the same with Bette, both knew that their secrets were safe with each other.
That’s what best friends are for.
Time goes too fast when you are busy growing old, and these two friends found that they had grown old together. Their hair turned white, and the fish fries stopped and both in turn, buried the love of their life. Bette and Janice’s lake houses were sold and now, both of these gracious women have canes and walkers and children that worry about them living alone.
But they are never alone.
Their ongoing phone calls to each other are still full of laughter and good wishes and prayers for continued health. Bette and Janice talk about their old times, their good times and the times that are still to come. They still share their worries, their hopes and their fears.
Things they would never tell anyone else.
For almost fifty years, these two women remained faithful and devoted to each other so it came as no surprise to Bette when circumstances dictated that Janice would be moving four hours away into an assisted living facility.
Now, it was time to say goodbye.
As I was driving my mother to Janice’s house one last time, we knew that this was going to be a hard day for both of us. Not only has Janice been my mother’s best friend, but she has loved me like I was her own. Janice has been good and gracious and kind to my children and has always been my shepherd in Christian faith.
I love her too.
For the complete article, see this week’s edition of the Centralia Fireside Guard.