Glenda Long died this week. She was my friend.
Oh, it wasn’t a friendship like BFFs that talk on the phone every day and have a standing date for lunch each week. In some ways it was deeper than that.
She was one of the first persons I met when I moved to Beebe in 2000. She was secretary of First United Methodist Church. I was doing some volunteer work there, so we saw each other often. We just loved to talk. Glenda ‘got’ my sense of humor. That was good for me because she had the most wonderful laugh. During our acquaintance, she lost two siblings and we talked about feelings that are sometimes hard to share and often others don’t want to hear.
During our mini-therapy sessions we could laugh, cry,vent, and ‘evaluate situations’ knowing that when we parted, what was said was locked away in the vault.
A few years ago, Glenda retired and I saw her less often, usually at church or United Methodist Women, an organization she loved and gave much of her energy to. But when our eyes made contact, Glenda would give a big smile like she was so glad to see me. We’d hug and I imagine my face was a reflection of hers, because I was always happy to see Glenda. And when we parted, we’d say “I love you,” and never thought that was unusual for what might look like a casual friendship.
I know a lot of women could testify to a similar relationship with Glenda, because she truly cared for people. Many, many people called her friend.
She was ten years younger than I and looked ten years younger than that. Besides having a natural physical beauty, she always looked good. Not in the Hollywood way that says you just stepped out of Hair and Makeup, but in a manner that said, “I care about myself and about you. I want you to see me at my best.”
Glenda Long was my friend. She was my Sister in Christ. I’ll see her again someday. And I fully expect to be greeted with a smile and a hug.