Saturday, February 26, 2011

What Are Best Friends For?


Some best friends take you shopping when you’re feeling bad and they bring you chocolate. Mine gave me the “eye” and told me to get over it. Being a life-long Cher fan, I’m just lucky she didn’t slap me across the face now and then and scream “Snap out of it!”. I say that, I may have just opened myself up to a rude awakening next time Jeannie catches me in a mood.

There are women out in this giant and wonderful world who climb corporate ladders, close multi-million dollar deals, create and maintain enormous budgets and hire and fire employees when necessary. Other great and powerful women run for office, run an office, write for syndicated columns (had to add that) and some are law enforcement agents, senators, who are always in the public eye or splashed across headlines in newspapers - - or on Nancy Grace selling their new book which will certainly forever change the way the world operates. Other women, other great women work hard behind the scenes, setting things up, getting things ready, and being there when we need them -- this is my best friend. Sometime back in the 1980‘s Jeannie felt a call to help children. It was a call that led her to her current position of educator, teacher, supervisor, and ultimate child care-giver at a fabulous Oklahoma City based facility called appropriately, Special Care. Working with minor to severe handicapped and/or challenged children comes incredibly easily to this woman, she almost makes it look as if she had given birth to the hundreds of kids I have personally witnessed her ministering to. It literally begs the question “what would they do without her?”

For me the question is moot. I don’t have to ever worry about being without my best friend even if we are geographically challenged for now. Jeannie has finally learned from her daughters Julie and Kristen how to set up and use her Facebook account! No worries, right? I can even get her to post a picture with just the slightest of instruction, she’s really coming along. To be honest with you Jeannie and I were instant soul-mates. I know I am taking a chance at embarrassing her by saying this, but it won’t be the first time; Jeannie and I were literally forced into our relationship as besties when her best friend and my best friend walked off together from the cafeteria table we were perched at on that first day of school. My sophomore year, her senior year, just the two of us alone but together - alone. I think it went something like this: “Hi, I’m Jude. I like the Bee Gees” to which she answered “Oh, yeah, OK I’m Jeannie and I like Barry the best.” Liking Barry the best, and telling me so was key to everything - I was a Maurice Gibb fan. We were both Oklahoma Sooner fans, so that was all it took to seal the deal. Maybe it took two or three more minutes of discussion for it to happen, but we both realized our friends weren’t coming back for us. We were stuck there in teenage hell at school but at least we had each other. That was August 22, 1978. Those two other friends never returned to claim us. Jeannie and I are best friends.

It may seem trite or simple for me to make the decision to interview my best friend for one of my first articles with Women’s Radio, and I assure you it was an easy decision. I wanted you to know Jeannie and to get the opportunity to celebrate her along with thoughts, prayers, and memories of your own best friend. It was an awesome experience to sit on my couch watching crime shows with her, texting sarcastic remarks about which CSI character would or wouldn’t do what they just did in public. If there’s one thing we do really well its texting and being rude to each other at the expense of television reality show character, an opposing football team, or in most cases a real life criminal being exposed on Headline News. Every day Jeannie and I text for hours - our way of keeping in touch. Sitting on the couch I asked her through phone messages what her ideal job would be, what her goals were, what she thought were some of the biggest highlights of her life. She knew she was being interviewed so she told me to do what I do best and just embellish! WHAT? WHAT, me, embellish? OK -- I thought I’d tell my readers about the time Jeannie broke into the Whitehouse before it was popular to do so, and how she danced with the President - - but it never happened. Jeannie’s most memorable moments involve watching a child without the ability to speak give their parents a sign saying they were loved. She helped a kid without legs skateboard, she moved a family once in the freezing cold weather because they’d lost their power and their child, her student, couldn’t be without electricity -- I half way expected her to say her goals were world peace and for all the animals to find homes where they could be safe. I wanted to slap her! If all the goals and aspirations my best friend have weren’t true or weren’t real, I may have suddenly become a Cher fan too; but they are -- that is WHO she really is.

Jeannie has it all really. She may not know it, but she does. She is loved by her family, she has a good home, a good job, a really cute car, and a dog that thinks she bakes treats just for her. Oh, and she has a really super cool best friend who loves to watch football with her and text rude and inappropriate things every night - - she really is THAT cool.

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