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Beck column: 2 Lindas are true friends

I had a couple of hours between appointments and finally got to visit my friend, the other Linda, at the assisted living center. Everyone was at lunch when I arrived. I entered the lobby and noticed two white love birds in a cage.
Since no one was around, I rolled over to the bird cage and began talking to the birds. “Hey, pretty birds, can you talk? Hello … will you talk to me?” The little birds tilted their heads but made no response.
Suddenly, I heard another bird around behind me. It was a big cockatiel, but it just emitted a few bird notes.
Linda and several others came into the lobby and we shared a big hug as we began catching up on times past. Suddenly, the two little birds started chirping. I turned towards the birds and said, “Shh … I tried to get you to talk and you would not. I’m talking to my friend now.”
The birds hushed up and I turned back to a smiling Linda and we resumed our discussion.
So did those birds! Once again, I turned around and said, “I asked you to be quiet. You are interfering with our conversation.”
Linda just cackled as we tried to talk. Again, the birds began squawking in that “foreign bird language” that we couldn’t understand.
I whirled around and sternly said, “Please, will you just shut up?” I thought Linda was going to fall out of her chair laughing and others in the lobby began looking at us as if we were the crazy birds.
Every time I stopped talking, the birds would grow silent. When we started talking again, the birds “chuckled” as if they were laughing at me.
“They’re trying to tell you that you are not their boss and they don’t have to listen to you,” Linda said. ” I bet they are thinking that this is their home and you are just a visitor.”
After the birds squawked at us a few more times Linda asked, “Would you like to go to my room?”
I said, “It looks like we will have to if we want to hear ourselves over those little busybodies.”
Linda and I laughed and talked all the way to her room. We settled down for an uninterrupted comfortable chat, wishing that we had more time to visit. We have so much in common besides the same name. She’s had multiple sclerosis even longer than I have. We both lost our husbands though her marriage ended in divorce several years after my husband died.
Linda and I see ourselves as our Father God’s children. We both love the Lord and enjoy reading and studying His word. Sometimes when I need to know exactly where to find a scripture verse to use in a story, I can call and ask her to locate it for me so I can keep writing as the thoughts pour forth.
Linda has been a great encourager to me. Often I tell her she feeds my ego. We started out as phone buddies, then pen pals, and now are kindred spirits like the girls in the book, “Anne of Green Gables.” Sometimes it seems we can read each other’s minds and other occasions we both are silent at the same time.
I have so many friends but everyone should have at least one friend like Linda. We can talk about everything and share our problems and our joys. We have broken bread and prayed together. We’ve laughed at things like those silly birds, cried over broken ankles, legs and hearts.
Linda fell and broke her leg the last time she spent a week at my home. She has had a slow recovery, but Linda is a real survivor and I’m so thankful for our friendship. She is a real artist and drew a beautiful picture of a hummingbird for me. She knows how much I love those little birds that only “talk” with their tiny wings.On that picture, she printed “God smiled the day we became friends.” I think God is still smiling down on us despite the negative times in our lives.Linda Beck lives in Woodleaf.

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