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One of my closest and dearest friends was named Nancy. She just a few weeks ago lost her life to cancer. We were best friends for over thirty years. She was always there for me and we shared many things together both good and bad.We were young girls together and neighbors when our children were small.There were so many good times we shared.She was a gifted artist and writer. I plan to add some of her poetry at a later date. She also wrote and illustrated childrens books to raise money for charity. A better world for children to grow up in was her lifetime goal. I am so sad not to have her as part of my life anymore but I am happy she is no longer suffering. Nancy, you put up one hell of a fight. I know we will meet again some day and I know too that I must get this web page in better condition or she will never let me hear the end of it. She always tried to convince me that I could do anything I put my mind to. So, Nan, this is all new to me but I am giving it my best shot. Love you still.

I am fortunate to have many friends here in my hometown. I also keep in touch with a group of girls that were my best friends in highschool.I would like to give them a big hello here. Barbara,Joyce,Helen and Nelda. We shared so many good times during our teen age years.We all had part time jobs at the dime store after school and on Saturdays.On Sunday we would all get together and find something to do.Mostly take in a movie and go to the local Sweet Shop and dance to the jukebox. We all had steady boyfriends but Sunday afternoons were ladies days. We continued this habit all through high school.We are for the most part phone friends now and only manage to get together on occasion. Never seems like we can all be at the same place at the same time either. Anyway. Hi girls this is for you.

The Collinsville Chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star is filled with my friends too. A lovely group of ladies and always ready to help anyone in need.There are too many to mention seperatly but I do want to say Hi to them as well. My husband was Worthy Patron of this group and during the two years he was in office we traveled all over the state and met with wonderful people in other chapters.One of the most enjoyable times in our marriage.

Pride of the West Rebekah Lodge of Troy Ill. Lot of friends there.So I am sending a big hello that way too.Some of the best cooks in the land belong to that lodge. After every meeting there is always a committee on hand to serve refreshments.I went to a few conventions with this group and had the time of my life.

In writing this I am reminded of how may of my friends have passed away in the last few years.My husband and I were active in a lot of different organizations and I suppose this is natural at our ages to start to lose a few friends. I miss all of them so much.They may be gone but they are not forgotten.

I have been blessed with a few special friends who are always there for me. We have all traveled the road of sadness together and we are the ones left behind, so to speak. We were all very close when are mates were with us and we carry on and are there for each other still. These friends are indeed a gift from God.

My friend Ann who has been a widow since 1983. She has her own business and keeps very active. We manage to share lots of coffee and chit chat and even take in a bingo game on occasion. Our biggest adventure is to go to lunch and talk over old times and laugh with each other. This lady is Italian and one bundle of energy. Never still for a moment.She makes the best spaghetti and meatballs of any I have ever tasted and after twenty-six years she finally gave me her recipe. Hope she dosen't fix something else I like or I won't live long enough to get the recipe. haha

Then there is Nancy. We have been friends since 1967. Have shared many times together both good and bad. We have always been there for each other. Her husband passed away in 1990 and she too has remained a widow. She has a daycare center and is a very busy lady with all the children all day five days a week and sometimes on Saturdays too.When we visit it is necessary for me to go to her home and we manage to get some conversation in over the chatter of the little ones.I like it better when we meet for dinner at a nice resturant as we do on occasion.

Last but not least I have to mention Virge. He is my Friday night dinner companion. He lost his wife, Nina a year ago. She and I were good friends. He was one of my husbands best friends.We all went many places together over the years.So much fun we all had. The dances and camping trips and the private house parties our crowd used to have. So many memories.

Virge and Nina were foster parents and over one hundred and thirty children passed through their home over a thirty year span of time. He is still "Dad: to so many of these children. Now they are adults but he is still their dad and grandpa to their children. He keeps in touch with all of them. They write him letters,visit and phone him often. I have never saw such an outpouring of love in my life. Virge and Nina were able to give security,love and guidance to so many children who needed it so badly.

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