Welcome to JOYFUL REFLECTIONS. Also welcome to SEPTEMBER!!!! My header picture this month is a Grand Canyon SUNSET (from our trip there in 2011).

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

In Memory of a Wonderful Friend

Several days ago,  I never dreamed that I would be writing this post today, especially on a happy occasion such as America's Birthday week... But---I lost another good friend on Sunday night --and have been very very sad this week.

I have known REIDA RANKIN since childhood  (we even went to Kindergarten together), and she has always been a very special friend.  And for those of you who have followed my blog for years,  you may even feel as if you knew Reida.  She's part of my Getaway Girl group ----four childhood friends who have been getting together every year since we all turned 50 in 1992.  There are 15 posts about these four friends on my blog (listed on my sidebar).  If you want to see any or all of these posts,  click HERE.

All four of us  (Reida,  me,  Susan Hollifield Daugherty, and Nita Holding Wilson) were born during the summer of 1942.... After high school,  we all went our separate ways for many years... Once we turned 50,  we decided it was time to start getting together once a year for 4-5 days of fun and fellowship.  We did that for many years...

THEN--one of us,  Susan,  found out that she had breast cancer... She fought it --but the cancer ultimately won.  Susan died in June of 2011.   Our little group went from 4 to 3.... And the sad thing is that the three of us never got together again after Susan's death.  Reida has been fighting Multiple Sclerosis for years ---and had gradually been having more problems recently.  However,  I had no idea that she was THIS sick.  She has pulled out of it so many times --so I thought she would live forever...  When I got the call Monday afternoon from her sister,  I was SHOCKED...  Now our little group is down to TWO....

BUT--the good news is that I have many many happy memories to share...  Reida is the only one of us who never got married... In fact,  her Daddy lived with her for many years --and he was well over 100 when he died...

Reida was the type of friend I could talk to about ANYTHING --and know that it wouldn't be repeated.   She and I had many fabulous conversations about LIFE through the years... She LOVED George and was so happy when I married him.  She loved my sons --and always asked about them when we would talk.  What a wonderful friend.  I will miss her FOREVER....

I'll close with 3 photos of the Getaway Girls!!!!!   As I've said many times,  there  are friends and then there are REAL FRIENDS.  Childhood friends are the BEST of all...  Reida and Susan are sitting up there on the "pink cloud" watching down and shaking their fingers at Nita and me.....

Kindergarten (1947)  Susan and Nita --at the back on left next to the window;  Reida is sitting at the table on the right end;  Betsy is at the table on the far side on right --with white bow in my hair!!!

Taken in 1993 by my son:First row:  Reida, Betsy, Nita;  Standing behind Betsy is Susan.

Taken about 1997: first row:  Betsy and Reida;  2nd row:  Nita and Susan
God Bless You,  Reida Rankin... Rest in peace, my friend.

Pray for George and me on Friday as we drive to Kingsport, TN for Reida's celebration of life service.

NOW---switch over to my Photo Blog for a great July 4th photo.  Click HERE.