20" x 20" oil on deep sided canvas
I absolutely love meeting friends when it was totally unexpected. Over 40 years ago my husband and I were living in Lexington, Kentucky while he was attending seminary. I met a wonderful woman named Lena. I was young, away from home and working at the University of Kentucky. Lena was over all the student records for the Engineering School and I was the secretary for the Civil Engineering Department. She became my second mother. There were many Friday night meals, fires in the fireplace when it snowed and wisdom shared as I learned how to work in a professional setting. While I was there my first child was born and Lena came to my aid. She gave my son his first bath and assured me I would not break his arms when I bathed him. We teased that she was my mother in law as her last name was also Hodges. Three years later after we had moved back to Alabama and I had another baby, she came to stay with me and this time helped me with two small children and come to grips with the loss of a baby all at the same time. The fact that this friendship was part of my journey has been a gift I will always cherish. I leaned on her so much! As I write this Lena is asleep on my couch. Her daughter brought her for a visit and we have talked, laughed and shared a lot to fill in the blanks of 40 years. Today while meeting my daughter for lunch she told me that getting older is hard and she does not feel as steady as she used to be. I never felt I could repay her for what she did for me. Today I felt privileged to have her lean on my arm as we walked into the restaurant.