Life Long Friendships

Larry, Helen, me and Mike

For the first time in years we were able to get away for the weekend. Spending the weekend with our best friends is one of the best medicines. Speaking of medicines, the last dose of prescriptions did not kill the problem with the bacteria  in my gut. So now another two weeks of antibiotics.

The Drugs

This entire experience with this disorder has been wrecking me. The fact that I need to set an alarm four times a day is daunting. And to add to these medical woes, my doctor told me that I’m pre- diabetic. This I can, and will, take control of. My doctor also asked me if I was given steroids while I was in the hospital when I had COVID and that this could be the cause of the high sugar levels in my blood. I was pumped with steroids for the five-day hospital stay. So for this reason I ordered these test strips to measure my blood. Amazon has the whole world at its finger tips, so I quickly found a supplier. Without checking where the strips were coming from, I aggressively pressed “place order.” I waited for a couple of weeks, which turned into a month by the time the strips finally arrived. They did not work! The strips came all the way from India. I was so upset because if I want a refund I needed to pay postage. Amazon did not give a hoot about my $35 rant so I tossed the test strips in the trash.  My doctor called in an oder for a new set-up for testing my blood sugar.

Over the weekend I had to have help with measuring my blood level. Larry decided that he would take on the role of teaching me on how to use the device. After about ten attempts of pricking my finger with no blood results, I pulled my hand away from Larry and told him that I needed to read the instructions. I always read those really long explanations from the drug manufacturers because I want to understand the side effects.  After carefully reading how to use the device, I was able to test my blood; the first day it was 160, but the next day it came down to 142. I’m exercising more and learning to eat better in oder to eradicate this problem, and I’m praying about this as well. So far I have also lost over ten pounds.

Our Friends

Mike and I were both in our thirties  when we met our best friends, Larry and Helen.  Mike and Larry were in the tortilla industry; they were competitors, but destiny would change all that. TIA (tortilla industry association) is an organization that brings tortilla manufacturers together, and that’s when we met Larry and Helen. TIA was having a semi-formal event, and, of course, I had nothing to wear.  I was in an awkward fashion stage; my choice of designers was between Gunny Sack and Laura Ashley. I heard that Gunny Sack had opened an outlet in Montclair, a city about 45 minutes from my home.  I drove to the shop in Montclair,  and I will never forget the black glittery dress with a full tulle bottom that I purchased from Gunny Sack. It was an ugly dress from the beginning, but I did not realize it until the day of the event. The dress was so tight that I had to get a girdle, and this undergarment fastened with the old-school hook and eye. Needless to say, this was going make for an interesting evening.  Honestly I have never been so fashionably uncomfortable in my life. My new shoes were too tight as well.  When I was introduced to Helen, I was tugging at my dress and felt that this stupid undergarment was partly unhooked.  Helen was wearing a beautiful suit, her heels matched perfectly, her hair and make-up looked like a professional had just put her together. After our greeting, I mentioned how very uncomfortable I was. Helen gave me an empathetic look, and turned to talk to Larry; that was our first encounter. My first impression of Helen was that of a sophisticated woman who wore boa, low-heeled slippers around the house.  You can guess what her first impression of me was.

It did not take long for us to find our common ground. We love our families and we put God first. My relationship with Helen is unconditional love. We get along so well because we protect our relationship by supporting each other. Sometimes Helen tells me things that I do not want to hear, but they ring true because that’s what good friends do. There are only a handful of people who really get me, and Larry and Helen are part of this group. Larry and I will always bump heads because we are both headstrong. Larry sets the mood at dinner by ordering us around as to where we are to sit. After years of this odd behavior, I finally gave in to his antics. We just wait for our queue.”Lynda, you sit there, Mike, you over there and Helen here.” That works for us and there is peace at the table.

Tony, Armando, Mike, Mario, me and Lupe
Tony, Armando, Mike, Mario and me

Early on in this relationship I was stripped of making any decisions. I once made arrangements for a two-night stay at a boutique hotel  in Florence, Italy. I chose this place because it was once a monastery and, by the description, it sounded charming. This hotel was scary and, compared to the places that Larry and Helen are accustomed to, it was far from charming. The paint was peeling off the walls and the T.V. belonged in the Smithsonian. Our room was no better; the people next to us were so loud that Mike had to go to the front desk to complain. I could not sleep so I asked Mike to knock on the door and tell them to keep it down. When Mike got back, his face was white, almost as if he had seen a ghost. “What happened to you?” I asked. Mike could barely describe the trauma he had just experienced. It turned out that this huge, Middle Eastern man answered the door buck naked! We checked out the following morning, and Larry made arrangements for us to stay in a beautiful hotel facing the Ponte Vecchio. Because of that little incident I am not allowed to participate in any traveling arrangements; this includes choosing restaurants as well, Oh, one more thing, I’m never allowed to drive either!

The Reunion

After our visit with Larry and Helen we drove to Temecula to meet with Mario, Armando, Tony and Lupe, Mario’s wife.  These men have been in our circle for years; they all worked for Mike when we had our tortilla factory. To be able to keep these acquaintances is to understand how our old company respected the work ethic of these men. It has been over 20 years since we had seen them, but the love we share with them is the same. Not one of them missed a beat, and the old tortilla stories were filled with laughter. We shared about how it felt to be treated with dignity and to be appreciated for a job well done. This type of camaraderie is quickly fading away with all the impersonal, out-of-touch  behavior of large companies. I was part of this group, and I loved and appreciated working with these wonderful men.

My Prayer

Dear Lord, I thank you for all the wonderful relationships and friendships we have encountered. We are so very blessed to have crossed paths with each of our friends. I ask that you continue to bless and encourage them with Your unfailing love. Lord, may we always remember to call on You for all of our needs. I lift up the special prayer intentions for Amy and Bobbie, Lord heal them. Amen.









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