© jb katke
To others Ardie and I may have had an unlikely association.
Our friendship took birth when we met at a local quilt guild; connecting immediately. We promised each other to do lunch and quilt together every Wednesday afternoon.
Have you ever made a commitment that sometimes was inconvenient, then much later, look back at those times with fondness? Ardie loved to go out to eat. She spoke my language, as I enjoy going to different restaurants. I let her make the call where we went.
Her husband Bill’s job took him on the road; forcing him to eat lunch out daily. When he returned home, he wanted a home-cooked meal. After his retirement, he was not in good health. She too was retired from nursing and more than able to care for him. Those meals out never happened.
Until our commitment with each other. Are you aware Wednesday comes on a weekly basis? There were days, thankfully not often, that I wished for a Wednesday to call my own. I recall one day in particular that my thoughts were traveling down that road. What would I do if I had the afternoon to myself?
Out of nowhere, tears came to my eyes. What would I do without her?
Ardie meant so much to me, I would miss her terribly. Our afternoons were never wasted as we solved the world’s problems together. Quilting bees from days back when were much like that. She had an uplifting way about her. At the end of our afternoon, she would send me home to my responsibilities feeling good.
Those Wednesdays were like recess in elementary school. I was free to do what I loved. Quilting was new to me and Ardie was highly skilled. Such an encourager she was.
Ardie was old enough to be my mother. She had two daughters, but one day she commented, “You could have been one of my girls.” Both of us enjoyed that notion. My own mother had passed away several years ago. You could say we each filled a void in our lives.
I was comfortable enough with her that she helped at some Bible memorization. Church-going was in Ardies past, but after her children grew and left home, the habit didn’t continue. Often that is the case with empty-nesters. It saddens me that she did not have comradeship with like-minded Christians, as I had with this quilt buddy of mine.
During our friendship she was diagnosed with cancer. It wasn’t her first rodeo; I remember her words. “I’m not going through the radiation and chemo route again. It doesn’t enhance life nor lengthen it either.” The cancer won and I do miss her.
My todays are filled with what would I do without Ardie. Wednesdays mine again. For the most part, my quilt days are over. Now I devote time to writing. The life of a homemaker does not lend itself to variety. But the Lord brings me plenty of variety that fills my void.