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mountain clouds 1It’s kind of a gloomy day here. Rainy and cloudy… In fact, the clouds have settled right into the lap of the valley, ringing the mountains and burying houses that pepper their sides. It’s not a day I would have chosen to go out, but one of the gals that I visit for our care ministry called yesterday and needed some pumpkin. Her son and daughter-in-law were coming over today for dinner and she wanted to make them a pumpkin pie.

Now I LOVE my gals and would do anything for them, but I live quite a ways outside of town and often don’t have access to a car. Sometimes it’s just not convenient for me to help them in a timely manner. Like yesterday… It was my day to get groceries and start roundin’ up the laundry and I knew I wouldn’t have time to run cans of pumpkin into Donna’s. I was feeling a bit pressured to tend to my own life, let anyone Donna’s. I told her I couldn’t get the pumpkin up to her till this morning, but she’d have it in time to make her pies.

When I hung up the phone I uttered several snarky comments about being frustrated that sometimes the gals expect me to just drop everything right now and tend to them. I love ’em. I’m tryin’ to practice that kind of “freely loving and giving” I was talking about yesterday, but sometimes I truly just have to “dig” for it! Even with Donna. Of all the gals I visit, I am closest to Donna. She’s become more like a grandmother than a friend to my sister and me.

Miss Donna

Miss Donna

So despite not having gotten to my laundry last night and not having a car, I bribed Brandon with the promise of a frappucino from Starbucks, and he drove me up to Donna’s this morning.

When I got ready to leave, Donna thanked me profusely for being such a good friend. I jokingly told her I’d be a better friend if I had my own car! I told her my daughter Stef, on hearing that I hoped dragonfly car charmto have a little car of my own by the end of the year, had sent me a dragonfly car charm to hang from the rear view mirror. Stef knows I have a thing for dragonflies.

Suddenly Donna lit up and said, “Wait right there! There’s something I have to do.” And she disappeared toward her bedroom. I was getting a bit anxious as Bran had been waiting in the car for awhile and I knew he had things to do. I was about ready to go looking for her when she came hurrying back into the room cupping something in her hands.

She was crying. “I have something for you,” she said. “And just know it comes from two people who love you very much. Close your eyes and hold out your hand.” Curious, I did as she asked and felt her drop something metallic into my palms. “Ok, you can look now.”

Donna's pinWhat she had given me was a sterling silver dragonfly pin with a little diamond for the head. “I’ve gotten a lot of compliments on that over the years,” she said, “and I want you to have it.” Still teary she wrapped my hands around it and told me again what a great friend I was.

I don’t need to tell you after my irritation with her yesterday I didn’t FEEL like such a great friend, especially since I knew why Donna’s was crying. The dragonfly pin was a gift to her by her husband Ralph who passed away two years ago. And here she was giving it to me — freely — even though it meant so much to her.

I started to object, saw the light in her eyes and stopped. I guess I realized just then that sharing love with those around you means you know how to gratefully accept it, too.

Today started out to be a really gloomy Eeyore kind of day, but instead I was blessed with something very shiny and precious. And I will treasure Donna’s gift and her friendship always.