Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Blessed be Long-Lost friends, Grandpas & Ties that Bind.

Everybody ought to have a friend like Lisa. We met as freshman college roommates – sight unseen, & were as different as night & day. She was the “Jersey Girl” & I the “Southern Belle” (in her mind, anyway). We were foreigners: she from just outside New York City, & I from semi-rural North Carolina. Her side of our dorm room boasted posters of wide-mouthed Mick Jagger & Keith Richards, to my gently gazing Amy Grant.

Lisa knew that weekends started on Thursday & how to tap a keg. I knew the maze of stacks in the Library, like so many lab rats down in the science building. We were vastly different: our backgrounds, accents, sense of ‘style’, friends, study habits…yet, we roomed together all 4 years, & she was ultimately one of the best friends I’ve ever had.

How do you explain something like that? How do you explain that even now, after we’ve not seen each other in something like 9 years, we could pick up the phone & still understand each other? Still know where each of us is coming from?

First, God’s hand was/is in the relationship. God knew EXACTLY what kind of influences I (dare I say 'we') needed in my life, & who would be best one(s) to help me grow...

Second, there was a mutual respect in the sharing of differences. We learned, stretched, & grew through & because of each other.

Third, once we got through the multiple layers of differences, we understood that we were standing on common ground. We each cared deeply about “traditional, foundational values, virtue & spiritual things”. Underneath diverging exteriors, we both "got it". We both understood what & Who was important. (See my final comment from 5-29 post.)

A few days ago, she sent me an email. Maybe she was checking to see if we’re both still on that same common ground. Maybe she needed some encouragement, fearing that our country may be unrecognizable in the near future. Nonetheless, the following is what she sent (edited for length & clarity). It was too good not to share:

“Emails to Grandpa”
John is a 63 year old business owner whose dream of retiring @ 65 is vanishing. The stock market crash & new taxes on the horizon, have told him he’ll be working for several more years.

John’s granddaughter Ashley recently graduated college. She drives a new car, wears stylish clothes, loves restaurant hopping & texting her friends. She campaigned hard for Obama, & gloated broadly to the rest of the (Republican) family after the election. She boasted that the world would be much better now that Obama is President.

Recently, Ashley came up short of cash & her bills were due. As in the past, she e-mailed her Grandfather for help. Here is his reply:

Dear Ashley,

We love you & are sympathetic to your plight. As you know, times have changed. Because of President Obama’s stimulus plan, your Grandmother & I have been forced to a new economic plan of our own…We have always been highly productive, wage-earning, then business-owning tax payers. We’ve lived comfortably as a result of our frugality, having forgone fancy vacations, new cars, etc. We worked hard & were looking forward to retiring soon. Our plan changed.

Ashley, President Obama is drastically raising our personal & business taxes, so he can ‘share’ our money with other people. Do you know what this means? Less income; which means cutbacks on business & personal expenses. We’ve even been forced let our receptionist of 18 years go today. We can't afford her now. That’s just the business side. We’ve had to make personal changes, too. In the past, we were free to give you thousands of dollars for tuition, meals, rent, clothing, etc. With your Obama vote, you’ve chosen to support a stranger’s family with our $$ instead of ours.

Remember you told me I was foolish to vote Republican, that Mr. Obama would be the people's president, & help every American live a better life? Even though your email was to me, I suggest you call 202-456-1111 for the $$ you need now. It’s the direct number for the White House. I’m sure the People’s President will be happy to send you a check, or transfer some money. Tell him to call me for the account numbers; I know them by heart.

What Obama voters don't realize is that the "government" money he wants to 'redistribute' (to illegal aliens & non-taxpaying Americans) is collected from people like your Grandmother & me.

Remember you told me, "Only the richest of the rich will be affected"? Guess what, honey? Your Grandmother & I are the richest of the rich! We didn’t used to be, but with Mr. Obama’s formulas, we’re rich! As you know that’s not the reality we live, but didn’t you say during the campaign “some people will have to carry more of the burden so all can prosper”?

You understand what that means, right? Less money for us, for everything. Including granddaughters. Congratulations on your choice for "change"! Remember we love you. Call us soon!

Love, Grandpa.
PS: How was your trip to Jamaica? We’d love to go some day.

Rich, isn’t it? Yes, Lisa & I are both still on the same wavelength…It’s a great reminder that though we don’t talk much, our principles & priorities will always be the tie that binds. We both still “get it”.

Everyone should have a friend like Lisa. Everyone needs to be challenged, to stretch, grow, & see things in a different way. While some would consider a friend like her “long lost” in their life, I don’t. I’m still hearing fresh news from her in far off places. With people like her out there in the world, I have hope we’ll eventually be okay.



bluepitbull said...

hehe. What a great answer. I'm sure I will be using some thing that's a variation of that in the not-so-distant future.

USA_Admiral said...

Best answer possible I think.

Southern Drawl said...

Loved the e-mail and Grandpa's response, but I especially loved the story about your room mate. I appreciate how you saw your differences as an opportunity for growth. We both know some of our sweet southern belles would have looked down their noses at her early weekends and kegs and never looked any farther. Kudos to you, Susannah, for being a real friend!

Jan said...

Susannah..I love this post!

I love Grandpa's wonderful wisdom and insight, too! :)

There are lots and lots of people who should get a copy of Grandpa's letter...what do you think?

Btw..I think anyone would consider themselves blessed to name you as a friend.

Susannah said...

bluepit~ Isn't it great?! I got permission from Lisa to use it & she was tickled...Please, use it!!!

USA~ Indeed!

SouthernD~ Thanks SD. Though, she was/is EVERY bit as much a friend (even more) to me as I was/am to her. She is one of God's sweetest gifts to my life.

Jan! Thanks for stopping in! Isn't Grandpa a cutie! Oh, & see my note to bluepit re: using this. PLEASE pass it on! (btw~ I didn't think I'd need kleenex this early in the morning - what kind words you've said.)

eutychus said...

That was a GREAT e-mail. Made my day.

The Pajama Underground said...

Great post! Reminds of a buddy from my college days- he was all polos, khakis, and new wave music, I was all cut-offs, t shirts, and Jerry Garcia. Even though it's been years since we've seen each other and now only talk by phone or e-mail a few times a year, it's always like we're picking up a conversation that we broke off a few hours ago. Details may change, but it's the character of a person that endures.

Pamela D. Hart said...

Oh Susannah that email is PRICELESS! As is your friendship with Lisa. Good friends are to be treasured because they are rare.

I can't wait to pass the email onto my family...they're gonna love it!

Susannah said...

euty~ Wasn't it clever! It made mine the first time I read it, too! Pass it on - make someone else's...

PJ~ "Details may change, but it's the character of a person that endures." I LOVE that! So true! Thanks for the Twitter follow, btw. Gotcha back.

Pamela~ So glad you like it too! Yes, Lisa is priceless; a real treasure. Pass on the email to as many as you can! :)