This morning I met two friends, Liz and Mary Lou, for coffee at a nearby coffee shop and we were able to sit and talk for over an hour over lattés. It occurred to me that at this time of my life it is so important to spend time with friends. I went to visit an old friend who is in a care facility for Alzheimer’s. She looked beautiful, they do her hair and slight make-up, but she didn’t know me. She smiled absentmindedly and chatted, but it was obvious I was a stranger now. It saddened me, as we have known each other many years, used to have season tickets to a theater every year among other things. I drove away and realized there but for the grace of God go I. I wake up in the morning and thank God for each day, for health and life. I am also grateful for my family.

My youngest son lives nearby and checks on me from time to time along with an occasional lunch or brunch. My daughter in Florida and I talk on the phone and she accompanied me on my recent trip to Scotland. My oldest son is about 3 hours away, but we text each other and I love to take the train to Simi Valley to visit his family. At Thanksgiving I have a standing invitation to the home of my daughter-in-law Natalie’s brother in Ramona and at Christmas have a standing invitation to the home of Natalie’s father and stepmother in Alpine for their Christmas brunch. My family is very small here and they have generously taken me in. Natalie has a loving family and I feel blessed to be a small part of it. On Fridays I have a standing luncheon appointment with Liz after our TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly) meeting. I have a group of friends who went to a church I attended for five years, who meet for a Bible study on Thursday mornings. I know they are prayer warriors and we can share anything in the group and know that the others will pray.

Tuesday evenings are the Life Group from our church that meets in a home. Another place to share and have fellowship. On Monday nights, several of us who are widows, gather at another friend’s house for popcorn and a movie. There are other friends I get together with occasionally for lunch. It keeps my life full and interesting. I miss Frank, but am thankful for the wonderful friends God has enriched my life with.