Shades of Grace: The Laughter of a Friend

For me, one of the best things about moving to Decatur, AL was meeting Linda Landers. Everyone needs a Linda during their middle school and high school years. That friend who makes you laugh … and laughs with you … and sometimes at you! And at everything! Especially when you aren’t supposed to be laughing. In church, during youth choir or Sunday school, while singing in an ensemble (especially not appropriate when performing for mental health hospital patients), while practicing and performing Christmas programs, sitting in prayer meeting, walking up on the stage at our graduate recognition service at church … We always joked that our music leader led our youth choir with one hand and waved for us to stop laughing with the other.

I am so thankful for a wonderful Christian friend who loved me through those years. We enjoyed double dates at Homecoming and Valentine’s banquets; duets; saving a seat by and for each other; spending hours talking on the phone and spending the night with together; and instead of heading to the beach with the rest of the Seniors, she and I headed to Lake Hartwell in South Carolina. That week we spent some days with my grandmother who cooked for us and entertained us with her dry humor (especially when she wasn’t trying to be funny). One week when I was on a vacation with my family, Linda made me a cassette tape with Christian song tunes but she inserted her own words. She played the piano and sang them herself on the tape. The songs from Sing ‘n Celebrate were my fave. Priceless. 

There would be no way a blog could hold the fun we have had. A book couldn’t even contain it all. I have a whole scrapbook dedicated just to our shenanigans! The Landers family meant a lot to me during those years and I can’t imagine not having them in my life. Occasionally I get a FB message of some funny incident that has happened to her. Just knowing her like I do makes it all the funnier.
Even now, from miles away, Linda is doing what she does best … Being a friend. I am so grateful that she has invited my Birmingham daughter into the life of her family.  She feeds her, takes her to ball games, and inevitably makes her laugh when she needs it most. Lauren adores her and the entire Brown crew.

So, thanks for the memories, Linda. I cherish every one. And thanks for extending grace when I needed it … which was a lot!

And thank You, LORD for the gift of friendship and grace!

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