Thursday, March 3, 2016


How many people do you interact with regularly whom have known you your entire life?

We live in an age characterized by multiple job changes and frequent relocations. In our almost thirty-two years of marriage, my husband and I have moved at least fifteen times. Sometimes, we moved just across town. Other times, we moved across the country.

Another relocation means unpacking boxes at a new apartment or house, but it also means finding a new church, a new grocery store, and a new hairstylist. Due to frequent moves, I've had over a dozen obstetrician/gynecologists. Folks, that is just wrong.

A relocation also means leaving behind old friends and beginning the often slow process of developing new friends.

So let me ask again:  How many people do you interact with regularly whom have known you your entire life? If you're like me, probably not very many.

When I was going through a personal crisis several years ago and I was struggling with defeatism and depression, a lifelong friend encouraged me tremendously by reminding me who I was before - not who I was at the time, all downcast and defeated, but who I was before that particular season of trial.

She had been there from the beginning - she knew me back in grade school, back in high school, back in college - and, when I became overwhelmed and disoriented, she reminded me who I was. Her "I know you better than this, Camille, because I remember you when..." was like sunlight breaking through thick clouds on a dark day.

I had lost a piece of myself, forgotten something important about myself - but she remembered and she reminded me who I was.

I lost a dear friend this week. Mr. Bill knew my parents and both sets of my grandparents before I was born. He knew me as a baby, as a young child, as a teenager, and as a college student. The recessional at Steve's and my wedding - "Oh, For a Thousand Tongues to Sing!" - was chosen especially because it was one of Mr. Bill's favorite hymns, and we knew he would be there celebrating with us.

After two decades of moving from coast to coast to coast, Steve and I moved back to Obion County. Mr. Bill was still here, and he was one of the reasons that - even though we moved into a new house, among new faces - it felt like moving home.

Mr. Bill was another one of those people who on occasion sat me down and said to me, "Camille, I know you better than this..." He knew me my entire life. When I forgot something important about myself, he remembered - he knew, because he had been there all along - and he reminded me who I was.

I lost a dear friend this week, an extraordinary man, a giant among men. He took with him a wealth of experience and wisdom and memories, and he took with him a unique knowledge of Camille that I don't even possess.

I lost a dear friend this week. He took a piece of me with him.

I suspect that, when I finish moving for good, Mr. Bill will be one of the reasons Heaven will feel like home.

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