• Melinda Eye Cooper

A Friend to Keep

Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart, and the pleasantness of a friend springs from their heartfelt advice. Proverbs 27:9


A good friend can be hard to find. And also hard to keep.


I met Beverly Nipper at church. We were in the same Sunday school class and both sang alto in choir. During choir practices, we struck up a friendship. She reminded me of my oldest living sister back in Missouri. Kind, thoughtful, and a good listener.


We were friends in this way for many years. But life happened and we no longer went to the same church. Then, being the wonderful person she was, she continued to contact me for lunch. We’ve eaten at many places together, sharing a meal, catching up on life, and just being friends.


Her advice for me – priceless. Always, giving encouragement.


She’d just texted me last week for lunch since she was off work. She texted me again on Thursday apologizing for not getting back to me because she’d been sick and was trying to get in to see a doctor but wasn’t having much luck. Then she said, “Maybe next week!”


I thought we’d have lunch together again this week and catch up on life. I didn’t know I’d never see her again. I didn’t know it was the last text she’d ever send me. I will miss our lunches together terribly.


Before Christmas, I drove by her house. It was decorated and all lit up and I realized I hadn’t sent her a Christmas card. I made a mental note to be sure and do that next year.


Honestly, I guess I’m not that great of a friend. I’m making mental notes about Christmas cards and she’s making sure we get together for lunch even though she’s not feeling well.


She was a better friend.


If she was invited to a shower or a wedding, you could bet she was showing up unless something major prevented it. She always caught up with me if too much time went by without us having lunch.


Who wouldn’t want a thoughtful friend with heartfelt advice?


A friend who texts you on every major holiday sending cute emoji’s. A friend who shows up when needed and thinks of others more than herself. Friends like this are truly hard to find. I wish I could turn back time and go back to last Thursday when she texted me. I wish I’d inquired about her health and maybe advised her to go to the ER. But it didn’t cross my mind.


Sometimes, we get so busy with our day to day lives, we forget to keep up with our dear friends or we take them for granted. We assume they’ll always be there. We think we’ll get to that next week. But next week doesn’t always come.


Everyone needs a dear friend like Beverly. A friend to keep.



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