Sep. 24, 2015

Amazing Incredible Women and Friends

“Friends are the siblings God never gave us.” Mencius

“The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion,who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement,who can tolerate not knowing...not healing, not curing...that is a friend who cares.” Henri Nouwen

I have declared Wednesday, September 23rd Amazing Incredible Women Day. Mark your calendar. Because? It’s Robin Sloan’s birthday. Robin Sloan is on my roster of Amazing Incredible Women. I  know a number of Amazing Incredible Women. I’m related to a bunch of them and have been blessed to have had several of them in my life. No, I never met Eleanor Roosevelt, Helen Keller, Marilyn Monroe or either of the tennis playing Williams sisters.

1. I did, however, know my aunt, Helen Sessions, who was known throughout her life as a person who never said anything unpleasant or unkind about anyone else; unlike Alice Roosevelt Longworth (Teddy’s daughter) who famously said, “If you haven’t got anything nice to say about anybody, come sit next to me.”

2. My mother-in-law, Leila Jamison Davis, was the most wonderful example of a God-like woman I’ve ever met. She loved me on sight, prayed for me daily all the years I knew her, never criticized me and, in fact, thought I was pretty close to perfect. She dried many of my tears, gave me good marriage advice: “Say nothing and wait!” and...well, she loved me.

3. Our step-daughter, Barbara Fearing, who packed up her three small children and all her worldly goods and moved to France when her husband’s company transferred him there. She learned to speak French, became a fantastic tour guide, an awesome gardener who lifts and moves huge boulders, unaided, to create beauty; taught the French the joys of July 4th, hamburgers and Thanksgiving, and now enters and wins sewing contests.

4. Our oldest daughter, Leah, put herself through college going to night classes at Cal State LA, while raising a sterling son, the father of her two grandchildren. She then put herself through Law School and has become one of the top people in Los Angeles County Counsel, currently head of probate. She has also been my best friend, theater buddy, confidante, fellow book lover and the exact type of friend in the quotes above.

5. Daughter #2, Patti Davis-Simon, has turned out four of the most fabulous children anywhere in the world: son, David, who lives in Germany; daughter, Nicole, backpacking through Europe on a trip she paid for herself and is a Sea World seal rescuer; son, Blake, at USC studying to become the next Albert Einstein...what Blake does is so far above my comprehension that most of our conversations are limited to: Hello! How are you!; son, Luke, an accomplished actor/singer/dancer, completing a year at Pasadena City College before transfering to USC. Patti has done everything to insure they are good, kind people who love God. She is a mentor to high school girls at Maranatha High School, a prayer partner to many and an Amazing Incredible Woman. Her husband, Dave, is really cool, too.

6. Daughter Robin Sloan, whom I have arbitrarily adopted just because I wanted to. Robin has been Patti’s best friend since they were in high school. That’s the two of them in the picture, which is a bit fuzzy, but you can see how happy they are – they made it through high school! Robin is a flutist, a teleprompter genius with her own business, the mother of two fantastic married children who are wonderful people, married to wonderful people. Robin and Patti have participated together in many adventures I’m glad I don’t know about.

7. Daughter-in-Law, Michon, married to our son, John. Mother of two-year old Caleb and five month old Brady. She is the sweetest, kindest, most loving God-centered woman possible. A former Miss Montana, she is also beautiful. She has put her teaching career on hold to be a mommy. She has surmounted challenges that lesser people wouldn’t have considered.

8. Daughter, Crissy, our Texas girl, is the mommy of two little girls who came to her as foster children, who have problems, who need help, but she and her husband, Chris, love them and deal with all the baggage that came with them, no matter what. She is a substitute teacher at their school, Wally W. Watkins Elementary, and has finally achieved her life goal: To be a teacher without ever attending college.

8. Kellee Smith, granddaughter of my friend, Darrell, who spent the hot, humid summer at Ft. Leonard Wood in Missouri completing Army Basic Training. This superlative young woman is totally Christ-centered and the joy of her grandpa, Darrell, wheelchair bound with cancer.

9. Amadea Tanner, who in her junior year of high school completed a project on non-nuclear proliferation which led to her selection as one of two students sent to Hiroshima, Japan to attend a non-nuclear proliferation conference of high school students from Japan, Russia and the U.S.

Kellee and Amadea: Amazing Incredible 17 Yr. Old Women I had the pleasure of interviewing.

How many Amazing Incredible Women can you count among your friends? And, speaking of friends...Jesus said, “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command....I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.” (Jn. 15:12-15. Jesus loved his friends, even when they didn’t get what he was saying at all, said something dumb, sold him out and then abandoned him.

These Amazing Incredible Women would, indeed, lay down their lives for those they love. How many friends do you have who are like that? I hope at least one.