I think it's about time for Beverly to call me. After reading the entry below from March 25, 2007, you'll understand why!
Beverly called this afternoon. It's about time. She usually phones about once per year and I think it had been twelve months. Her calls are never short, always at least an hour in duration, but the hour never seems that long. Beverly and her husband Steve were girls' dorm parents at the first school where I taught and coached. Georgia Christian had dormitories that were old and uncomfortable. About eighty percent of our kids lived at home while the boarders came from out of state and sometimes out of country. I felt for those dorm kids. Many did not want to be there and there was precious little to do in the microscopic community of Dasher. Beverly was good to those girls, making it as much like home as possible. She dispensed comfort, advice, love- and some of the love had to be tough. I spent plenty of time over in Beverly and Steve's apartment. She felt sorry for bachelors and she loved baseball...and I was the coach. Beverly was our biggest fan, faithfully watching practices and games at our middle of the campus field. Steve's employment found him out of town at times but he did yeoman's work on our diamond. The baseball connection must have been genetic. Their daughters, Amy and Audrey, married Danny and Donald, young men who played on my teams. There comes a time to move on and I did but part of me stayed behind in rural Georgia.
Let me give you a synopsis of my conversations with Beverly. She always asks about my family and has amazing recall about their lives. Then, she informs me about life in south Georgia. She tells me who has died and who is recovering. I find out who just got married and who, sadly, had their marriage fractured by divorce. I hear about babies being born and new houses being built. I learn about kids in my classes and on my teams....who now have kids in those same classes and on those same teams. I hear what students she's heard from and those who have disappeared into oblivion. I ask about people when they pop into mind. Beverly doesn't sugar coat the tragedies that those I knew in my former life have suffered. When our hour plays out, I'm caught up for another year. It's my turn to call, I guess. I just don't ever have any news! If you move around, you need someone like Beverly in your life. Paul had Timothy. In Philippians 2:20, the apostle to the Gentiles speaks to the church in Philippi about his young protege:
"I have no one else like him, who takes a genuine interest in your welfare."
There are others in Georgia I remain close to, even at a thousand miles distance, but Beverly is the one that since my departure years ago has let me keep a finger on the pulse of a little town and school. Earlier in Philippians, Paul tells his brothers and sisters the depth to which he misses them:
"God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus."
My mom's condition mandates that I spend vacation time with my folks but that doesn't mean I don't deeply miss those I never see anymore. Well, I do see them. I just see them using Beverly's eyes.
Applicable quote of the day:
"The past is never dead, it is not even past."
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