Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Hospitality (02/07/05)
TITLE: My Coffee Buddy for Life!
By Ann Marie Lindenmeyer
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Michele and I first became friends in fifth grade and our friendship grew from there. Over the years, we had many fun times. In high school, we shared many adventures doing things teenagers do, and maybe shouldn't do. Michele was always my coffee buddy. Many days, we would go to Brothers Pizza Restaurant for coffee before school and on weekend nights we would go out for coffee just to talk for hours. She was one of my best friends.
Though our lives seemed to go different paths after high school, we still remained friends. If we lost touch for a little while, when we got back together it was like we had never missed a beat.
Then, almost eight years ago, we both moved away the same year. Neither one of us were in our home state and we both started our new lives. Over those years we scarcely kept in touch, but when we did talk, it was like old times all over again. Over the previous 2 ½ years, we lost touch until the day in September that I received a phone call from my mom.
Michele was back home in New Hampshire. She had been in a car accident in April and moved back home. Things hadn't worked out and the night she called my mom she was on the streets with no place to go. My parents took her in for the night and tried to offer some help but she wouldn't take it and went back to the streets the next day. She ended up in the State Psychiatric Hospital.
After a brief stay at the hospital, my other best friend Cheryl briefly took her in and then she came to stay with me. I opened up my home to my long-time friend and began to assist her in any way I could. Michele's short term memory was almost non-existent and she was having major mental health issues. The worst part of all was accepting the new person she was now compared to the old Michele I remembered. Tears were shed as I painfully watched her suffer, buried in her delusional thoughts.
I tried to keep my faith over the stressful months that followed. Each day seemed like a new challenge. My life seemed to be falling apart around me. It was one of the times when I could not feel God's presence though I desperately wanted Him speaking to me.
Though Michele is living close by now and I'm still helping in most of her care, I've made strides to assist her for her future and getting her help she needed. I do feel that we have friends in our lives that share only a small portion, and others that seem to stay our friends forever. Michele is one of my forever friends.
I cared enough to give up my life for the past five months for someone else. The time I took Michele into my home was a time I really needed for me. I don't always understand why things happen and I know I'm not the one in control, but God allowed me to take the time to be selfless and give to someone else needier than myself.
Sometimes we think our own lives are falling apart when we realize there is someone else we care about that needs help more than we do ourselves. When I hit bottom and I feel I'm alone, I have Jesus to turn to. Not everyone has embraced the love God has given us and they may be lost further than we can imagine.
Hospitality doesn't always have to be about being the perfect hostess, it can also mean generously treating your guests, friends, and loved ones. It didn't matter to Michele that I didn't make the perfect meals, that my house wasn't clean, or that I wasn't always in the best mood. What mattered is that I took the time to help her when she was down and generously gave up my time. I don't need her to show appreciation, I just know myself that I may have made a difference for her future, and that is worth all the chaos and craziness that I've experienced.
One thing surely has not changed, Michele and I both still love coffee!
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