Several weeks ago, Connie invited me to Frankenmuth for a reunion with old friends from the former Redeemer Baptist Church in Warren.
The nucleus of several women’s groups, Connie rattled off names I recalled from the ’60s and ’70s. Some women I haven’t seen since. Three have lived in Attica, Armada, and Oxford for thirty years. One friend lives in Livonia. The other settled in Texas.
“Linda’s coming in from Austin to visit her sister, so we thought it’s a good excuse to party,” Connie said.
Missionaries of sorts, I’d lost track where Linda and her husband had roosted after trotting the globe. Linda and her family had come to mind recently, so a gathering seemed timely.
“Linda’s sister and your sister Libby are joining us,” Connie added.
After they retired, Libby and her husband followed their children to North Carolina. Need I explain how grandbabies possess power to uproot and transplant grandparents in the twinkling of an eye?
A mere fifty-five years ago, as teenagers and young adults, we sisters and Redeemer friends couldn’t foresee where marriage and family would carry us. The Vietnam War loomed in darkness to claim many young men of our generation.
Meanwhile, every Sunday morning, we’d find either Mrs. Helen Sonnenberg or Mrs. Muriel Braun waiting for us. They opened their Bible and taught about the love, mercy, and sacrifice of Jesus Christ. They shared their testimony, sometimes with tears and blushed face.
In the fruition of time and human love, we stood with our groom before Pastor Braun in the sanctuary. Our guests, and the stained glass window of Jesus praying in the Garden of Gethsemane, witnessed our vows.
In eternity’s circle of birth, death, and resurrection, we’ve buried our parents. We hold our loss in reverence.
That’s a strong bond when rounding up a group of senior women who lean on the non-committal side or enter the wrong reunion date in their planner.
“These ladies are driving me crazy! Now Libby can’t come,” Connie emailed.
Last Wednesday morning I met our ringleader in a carpool lot where she waved me to her vintage Cadillac.
“I reserved nine tickets for the river boat cruise, then Eunice and Darlene canceled. And Linda said her sister might not come,” Connie said.
“Seven’s a good number.”
Six of us met under the Bavarian Inn clock at ten and the fun began with “My sister didn’t come;” “Where’s the closest bathroom?” and “Where can I buy a cup of coffee?”
A blissful and delicious day in Frankenmuth followed, concluding with outdoor music and dancing. Connie covered it all with her Sony Cyber-shot.
On our return drive, my chauffeur mentioned Helen Sonnenberg and Muriel Braun are still with us.
“I loved Helen as a teacher.”
“I can’t remember her class.”
“She taught high school juniors.”
“I was a senior when I first stepped into Redeemer. Muriel became my mentor,” I said.
Dear Reader, I hope to visit Helen soon. Muriel lives in California. Perhaps I should call Connie and propose a visit.
Email Iris at firstname.lastname@example.org.