Life in the Slow Lane

Contemplating life, faith, words, and memories

Five Minute Friday — February 8, 2019

Five Minute Friday

Today I’m joining a talented group of writers at Five Minute Friday. This community connects each Friday in an online, unedited free-write based on a one-word prompt. My timer is set for 5 minutes. Let’s see where this week’s prompt–BUILD–leads me.

It was in the spring of 2016 when she came to me. I sensed she was troubled and needed to talk. We had spent time together teaching Sunday School classes, and she served as a deacon in our church.

In January of the same year, I had fallen. My injuries had left me with chronic pain in my back and pelvis. I was finding myself increasingly in need of someone to share my concerns and thoughts with.

We began meeting for coffee from time to time. I learned she was going through a divorce. Because of my past history, she had approached me with questions about Christianity and divorce. I knew her father was in the medical field, and my hope was she might be able to answer some questions about treatment for chronic pain. You might say we had a mutual need and willingness to respond.

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

1 Thessalonians 5:11


Without too much thought, we began living out the words in 1 Thessalonians 5:11. We were encouraging each other, supporting one another, and building each other up.

Soon, she announced she would be moving about an hour away. Feelings of loss began to simmer until we hit upon a plan–phone conversations each Tuesday evening for an hour.

That was three years ago, and we still hold to our commitment to one another. I’m still suffering chronic pain and facing surgery soon. She has happily moved into a new life in a new place and is thriving.

Together, the two of us built a community of friendship and love.

A Day in the Life | Retirement 2006 (Episode #3) — April 17, 2015

A Day in the Life | Retirement 2006 (Episode #3)

Continuing with creative nonfiction shorts in my series, A Day in the Life.

Retirement 2006

Recent events involving the family of my former managing attorney brought back many memories of my almost 15 years spent working with him and watching his family grow. At the same time, I was treated to casual reminiscences with other attorneys and their wives I came to know while working at the firm.

Prior to retirement, I was given sage advice by a brother-in-law. He cautioned, “When you retire, walk away not expecting friendships to continue. Some may. Some will. Many won’t. Don’t be surprised. After all, the friendships made on the job have an essential focal point–the workplace. Other friendships in your life have varying focal points. Don’t be disappointed by this turn of events. Go make new friends or get reacquainted with old ones.”

My brother-in-law was right to a point. The attorney and his family with whom I grew close during the workdays over 15 years have made it possible to stay closer than I expected. We’ve been included in recitals, concerts, weddings, memorial services, and more. A bonus was getting to know this attorney’s parents with whom we became close friends.

Steve (best managing partner ever) and me on party day. Image in background was my first day on the job.
Steve (best managing partner ever) and me on party day. Image in background was my first day on the job.

On the day I retired, February 6, 2006, the firm hosted a party in my honor with gifts, a trip down memory lane, some hugs, and some tears. I left thinking on my brother-in-law’s wisdom and advice.

I never expected to experience such family like feelings with my managing attorney and his family by the time 2015 rolled around.

A kinship exists going beyond explanation. Truly it has been a joy to have been “adopted” by their family.

Have you experienced this kind of extended relationship beyond a structured environment, whether at work, during college, or elsewhere? If you have, share your story with us, won’t you?

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