I have two friends, Judy and Jean, that are the inspiration for today's blog. The two of them do not know each other, but should.
I stopped by to visit Jean today as I was going home from work. I love to talk to Jean because she tells wonderful stories. Jean enjoys history and genealogy. She also has a wonderful gentle spirit; it just makes me feel good to be in her presence. I enjoy sitting with her on her back deck; she has a lovely view of a valley and TableRock Lake. Today, we talked about the pine grove and cattle along the hillside. We discussed some of her family history, and she told me about a recent trip to West Virginia. I have only known Jean for a few years, but I feel like she has been a friend for much longer. She is just that kind of lady.
Judy has been in my life for thirty years. We actually went to college together, but our friendship didn't really bloom until we met sometime later on my first job assignment. However, since that first day, we have been like peanut butter and jelly! Judy knows my secrets. She is the friend that I can bare my soul to and she doesn't judge me. She knows that I can be a little crazy and loves me anyway!
Judy was my mentor in my early career and taught me how to teach reading better than any college class I ever had. Judy is the type of teacher that every parent wishes their child could be fortunate enough to have just one year. The sad thing is that she is no longer able to hold a teaching position because of health reasons. Some time back, she discovered that she has a medical condition called Gastroparesis. I had never heard of it before, but strangely, I now have two friends with this condition. (But, the other friend would be 'M' day.)
If you are interested in more information about this illness, please goggle or find the Gastroparesis page on facebook. Judy may well be in the hospital as I write this because of complications; the hospital has started leaving the light on for her as she is such a frequent visitor. Gastroparesis is a real illness with serious side effects. It affects the quality of life for the victim, and in Judy's case, it has robbed many children of a wonderful teacher.
I admire Judy's strength to fight this illness on a day-to-day basis and still be able to give a smile or hand to a friend in need. These are my friends, Judy and Jean, and I am blessed to have both of them in my life.