Sunday Inspiration: A Friend

a friend

“A friend is one that
knows you as you are,
understands where you
have been, accepts what you have
become, and still,
gently allows you to grow.”
~Unknown (from Charter for Compassion)

I’ve probably told you that we’re moving into a wonderful retirement community in Asheville (home of the Goddesses) in a few weeks. Right now we’re at Chautauqua InstitutionChautauqua Institution where we spend our summers. (For the record, institution seems like an odd designation, but we’re all fairly sane.)

Last week a member of one of our churches left us a note saying that the hosts of the Ecumenical Community house where she had stayed the week were ALSO moving to the same Asheville community. Thrilled we looked them up and wow, are we going to have fun together! They are moving in the very same day. He, too, is a minister.

There’s nothing better than new friends to go with the old ones. We feel sure we’ll have the opportunity to make many. We’ve already started signing up for classes at the local university, and can’t wait to meet more people in our neighborhood.

Along the way, we lose friends. It turns out that I lost one in May, Lynn Ross, who I’d known since the 1970s. We kept in touch through Facebook and she was a constant source of positive energy in my life, reading and loving all my books and always sure to tell me. She chided me once when I pointed out I’d done something stupid. “That’s not a good way to think of yourself,” she said, and now I think of her every time  I repeat something negative about myself. She taught me well. I miss her.

Here’s to old friends, departed friends and new ones. We are so lucky to have them, aren’t we? Do you have a story about one of yours? Would you like to share? We’d like to hear.


  1. Terry Guerra on August 13, 2023 at 9:36 am

    I’m lucky to have long-time and close friends; but wanted to tell you about my mother. She graduated high school in 1948 and went on to nursing school, where she met her friend, Belle. They stayed in touch and saw each other through the years, and attended the nursing class reunions together. Nine years ago Mom moved into a cottage on the grounds of a nursing home facility and guess who was living there in an apartment? She and Belle enjoyed several years of activities together there until Belle transferred into assisted living. Their visits together aren’t as often as they used to be but Belle’s daughters let me know when they’re with her so Mom and I can visit.
    That is 75 years of friendship! And it’s a beautiful thing to see.

  2. Nancy Lepri on August 13, 2023 at 10:20 am

    Nothing like old friends, unless they’re new friends!
    God bless!

  3. Ginny A on August 13, 2023 at 10:30 am

    My best friend in recent years has been someone I’ve never met in person. In 2008, just before I left a job in less than happy circumstances, I met someone who lived in a different state that I had been in touch with because of my job. For some unknown reason, we clicked and started emailing almost daily and in later years spoke daily on the phone for all of the years since. When she died a little over a year ago it was a very sad time for me and left me with a gaping hole in my life. With time, I got used to not talking to her or emailing but out of the blue the other day, I had that strange experience of thinking “That is interesting. I’ll have to tell Sherrie about this!” It took me by surprise when I realized I had done it and also that it wasn’t going to happen. I made her a quilt not long before she died and many wondered at me for doing it for someone whom I’d never met. We were just as close as people who see each other all the time. I called her my Pen Pal and I loved her dearly.

    • Emilie Richards on August 13, 2023 at 5:57 pm

      I’m so glad you had her all those years. Friendships come about in different ways, don’t they?

  4. Kathy on August 13, 2023 at 12:39 pm

    Best wishes on your move! Change is good.

  5. Judy Zell on August 14, 2023 at 2:00 pm

    This reminded me of the song we learned in Brownie Scouts;
    Make new friends, but keep the old.
    One is silver, and the other’s gold.

  6. Judy Zell on August 14, 2023 at 2:00 pm

    This reminded me of the song we learned in Brownie Scouts;
    Make new friends, but keep the old.
    One is silver, and the other’s gold.

  7. Susan Flanders Carr on August 22, 2023 at 11:51 am

    Mrs Richards, I am known as writer of queens. My writing name is Susan Flanders. I’m in the hospital right now for a back injury. It’s nothing too serious but I have one of your books here and I have been enchanted with your website and your books and although I know many many authors around the world I have to say that you are not only a beautiful person —-, but an excellent writer as well—-and I would like to someday follow in your footsteps and write books that mean something and have them be very interesting, but also have a Christian Element. As people we need that. I’m working on my second book and since I’ve seen the beauty of your work and your writing and the people you talk to —-now I’m going to manage to do my website and blogs in a charming manner and I don’t need to copy you, but it might be along the same artistic lines … since I’m going to be in the hospital for several weeks I would love to get one of your books and would love your signature and I would hold it in regard and place it in my home near books, signed by the famous novelist Barbara Taylor Bradford. I see God in your life working very majestically, and your abilities as a creator and writer are stupendous. If I am able to write 2%, as well as you and present myself in a similar way, I would be so happy and I would know that God has filled my deepest wish. I don’t randomly writeo authors but I did with Barbara Taylor Bradford and I must tell you that you’re changing peoples lives for the better and I bless you and will pray for you that you are able to continue your work. Susan Flanders, Writer of Queens blogger—- and— long post about Queen Esther. ~~~author and former contributor to the Royal list in England. My very first mentor with the great carry Transkei, who writes best sellers for one of the largest Christian publishers in the USA. Thank you so much for your fine work!

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