Is the end of 2008 bumming you out? Is the economy breaking your heart? Are the holiday blues are setting in? Well, my doves, perhaps you need to read a sweet story like this one.
Vera Turner and Dorothy Luxton met in 1918, at the end of World War 1. They were both toddlers at the time, but they were neighbors and spent their days playing together. Their friendship grew as they went through school together, and the two were finally parted when they both married (in the same year, 1939) and Luxton moved away to live with her husband. Yet distance didn't slow their friendship down; Vera and Dorothy stayed connected through the years, something that may seem fairly easy now, with our Facebook profiles and cell phones and nationwide long distance and email addresses, but required a special sort of attention, love, and devotion to keep up back in the day.
At times, I'm sure, we all take our friends for granted. And as the years pass, we lose friends and gain new ones as we change and our lives take us in weird directions. Yet there is something lovely in Dorothy and Vera's story; after their children were grown and Dorothy's husband retired, she moved back to the town where her friend Vera was living. The two women are now widows, but they still, as always, have each other, and spend their days taking "walks together that people 20 years their junior would shy away from," according to Vera's son, Roy. "They walk from Barn Hayes to the library or seafront, walking along with their shopping trolleys."
The world is often cruel and strange and unpredictable, and this year is no exception. Yet through wars, the Great Depression, distance, time, children, husbands, and deaths, Dorothy and Vera have always had each other as a source of comfort and happiness. So even though you might not be able to afford a decent gift for your friends this year, and you might not be able to fly home to visit, you might just want to send them a little note to let them know that you've got your shopping trolley all shined up, and that you've got a walking date on your 93rd birthday. In other words, this Christmas, get on the phone and sing them this: