“Wisdom is the right use of knowledge. To know is not to be wise. Many men know a great deal, and are all the greater fools for it. There is no fool so great a fool as a knowing fool. But to know how to use knowledge is to have wisdom.”
This weekend we were in Virginia celebrating the marriage of a sweet, energetic, young lady and a handsome young man. She’s the daughter of a fraternity brother of Jay’s and his lovely wife. Over the years, if you saw us out, you wouldn’t know who became friends first, the husbands or the wives. It’s that wonderful of a friendship. Bev’s wife Louise likes to say that it’s great that the fraternity has remained close, but what they did well was choose wives who became close friends. She’s right! We are. I can call any one of them and they’d be here.
At the same time that we were celebrating a wedding, my dear friend Edyce was saying goodbye to her husband of 30+ years. I’ve known her since she was born and John was the kindest, most creative, least assuming, smart guy I’ve ever met. I was so glad when they met and eventually married. Together, they built a life full of love and laughter and included us all in it.
God kept us in the loop though. If you’ve read this for any amount of time, you know that I believe in Godwinks and He was sending them to me for her. I’ll share a few with you.
Many years ago, our family was going through a very difficult time, as all families do. Only people who really know you can do what Edyce did for me. Here’s why this is important. When we were kids, she and I were swimming together and she was having such a great time in the water that she didn’t realize that she was kind of preventing me from getting out of the water and breathing. I’ve kind of had a thing about swimming ever since. I like to be on dry ground. That’s the backstory of my fear of water. So when my family was having a challenge, the movie Finding Nemo was still popular though it had been out for years. “Just keep swimming” kept popping up everywhere for me. In places you’d least expect it and I only shared it with a few close friends and Jay when it did. We have a pool and it’s a wonderful pool but not used as much as it should because swimming isn’t my sport of choice. We got a visit from Edyce and John, and they came bearing gifts of a swim cap, robe to put on over my suit and a pair of goggles. All bright pink. I saw the challenge and I took it. She knew it was fear that held me back from swimming. For a month, I swam in that pool. Yes, I did and it was because of her confidence in me that I conveyed to my son in a difficult and scary situation. She sent a Nemo meme to me during that time and yesterday, this came up in my FB feed memories. I think God meant it for her. She always wanted Godwinks and didn’t seem to get them like I did. But they are coming now to her through me and I hope she is getting her own.
Then the day before, we had some time before the wedding and decided to look around the city of Richmond and check out which monuments were still standing. We had a hard time finding parking and finally Jay saw a spot on the street. He pulled in, then pulled up and then back and then back more. Very uncharacteristic, because he’s a great parallel parker. I opened the door to step out, and what did I almost step on? Pennies, from Heaven. There were 4 and this too has happened before to me. I looked up and we were in front of a Catholic Church. Was John sending me a message for her?
Earlier in the day on Saturday, we’d decided to check out the University of Richmond campus. Kids were just moving in and registration tents were set up. We grabbed a parking spot and took a walk on a path that wound around a beautiful lake. Along the way, Jay spotted a dog that looked just like our grand dog Connor-that was yesterday’s post. It paused us enough for me to see that I had gotten a call from Edyce’s sister Susan. I listened to the message and she conveyed that John had died that morning at about 2:15 AM. Stunned, we looked up and there was a chapel, right in front of us. Despite the rest of the buildings being closed to visitors, the chapel was open. We heard music coming from inside and hesitated to go in, in case there was a wedding underway. No, it was a lone student practicing.
We’ve been in touch almost daily and I know she knows that.
I’m sorry this is so long and I hope it makes sense. I chose the quotes and scripture with intention. We don’t know what we don’t know and God presents us with challenges every step of the way. Some bring joy, some bring sorrow.
On a joyful note, while we were gone, our sweet alpaca sitters got a great shot of the alpacas for his Senior picture. I’m so glad that they cooperated! I think he’s part of the herd now. Picture by Lisa Bulas.
In the meantime, remember to wash your hands, don’t touch your face, get outside for some fresh air and keep the length of an alpaca cria (which is a baby alpaca and about 3 feet long) between you and the next person.
Have a blessed day!