Today the girls and I went to our friend Marguerite's 80th birthday party. Marguerite has been my friend since I was 8 years old, many towns and most of a lifetime ago. She is also my most dedicated blog follower. (Hi, Marguerite!) We all adore her.
When I was in elementary school, Marguerite and her husband Clark went to the church were my dad was the pastor. My parents were the sponsors for the church youth group, which Clark and Marguerite's sons attended. On Sunday evenings, Mom and Dad went off to youth group and my sister and I went off to Clark and Marguerite's. Robin and I loved spending time there. They took us out to eat steak fingers or the occasional banana split, but mostly we just talked. Clark and Marguerite asked about our lives and listened to our stories and gave us their complete attention. It was a wonderful gift.
Eventually, my family moved and I lost track of Clark and Marguerite, although my parents still kept in contact with them. I never forgot them or their kindness, though.
Many years later Steve and I moved here, to our little college town, and discovered that Clark and Marguerite had retired here. And they were as warm and loving as I had remembered. When the girls arrived, they welcomed them with open arms. I am honored and amazed at how this dear couple has loved and supported two generations of little girls in my family.
We see Clark and Marguerite often around town, usually when we are eating in the same restaurant. The girls always invite themselves to their table to talk. Clark and Marguerite ask about their lives and listen to their stories and give the girls their complete attention. It is still a wonderful gift.