|Happy Birthday, Teresa!|
Sunday, January 29, 2012
I feel a shout-out to my good and faithful friend Carl is overdue and necessary...for being a prefect friend who's gone above and beyond being supportive, fun and encouraging! Thanks and love you! :)
This post came from Teresa Reep Tysinger, who is this very day celebrating a birthday. She is no longer 30; she and twin sis Cyndi (see yesterday's post) and now officially IN their 30s. Be sure and mention that to her. :) Anyway, in light of this special day and her kind words to me, it felt like it was time to say a few things here about my friend Teresa. Whether she likes it or not...
Most of my posts about former students- and Teresa and I first met at FUMC-Kissimmee in 1994- focus on our past together. This one is much more about the present. Between 2002 and 2009 or so we lost track of each other a bit, but over the past few years we had gradually reconnected. The love and support she showed me as I tried to put my life back together was special and meaningful. Teresa and I always shared a unique bond. As we like to say, we "get" each other. Back in the youth group days she would often be the one who laughed at my jokes when others gave me blank stares. Perhaps more importantly, I laughed at hers! She was always the first to encourage me when things weren't working the way I wanted them to. She always knew she could come to me with the problems that plague most every teenage girl. We were close, and she looked up to me and counted on me. I was afraid the later failings in my personal life would disappoint her too much and that our relationship would never be the same. I was right. It is so much stronger...
Over the past couple of months we have found ways and excuses to talk, text or email almost every day. I find her to be a heroic woman. Her wonderful husband of almost 10 years, Eric, has been working away from home for the better part of the last year, pursuing his dream of being the stage manager for a Broadway show. Teresa holds down a job, takes care of the house, is a wonderful mother to her 3 year old daughter Emma, and offers support and encouragement to her hubby- all while missing him terribly. She is a gifted writer, a professional graphic design artist and a most creative cook. My wife Marilyn said yesterday that she wished "that Teresa would slow down, because she is making the rest of us feel lazy!" As we reconnected in a big way after I joined the world of unlimited texting, I saw my task as being someone who was glad to listen when she needed to talk. The truth is, we needed each other. We talk about everything. She lives in Greensboro, NC, only minutes from my childhood home and the schools I attended, so we talk often about the city. She works for a UMC, and we share stories about working for a church- both the blessings and the horrors. We talk about our day in, day out lives- our frustrations and our joys. We both have excellent taste in music, and we love to swap songs. We remember the great times we shared in places like New York City, Myrtle Beach and Spanish Wells. We ask and answer questions and share hopes and dreams. And quite often we make each other laugh hysterically. After all of these years we still "get" each other. Some people wander through life without finding anyone with whom they truly connect. The two of us are blessed to have wonderful spouses. We are also blessed to have each other. It is a rare and wonderful friendship, and I praise God everyday for returning Teresa to my life.
One final, sort of funny note about all of this. Teresa and I have decided that the word "friend" just doesn't quite do justice to the relationship we share, and neither does anything else we can think of. So we have decided that we are "whatevers." The kind of friend that you can count on whatever the situation, whatever the time, whatever the problem. Whatevers. I may not quite know what a "whatever" is, but I sure don't plan on ever being without one again. Happy birthday, Teresa- and thanks for everything! I love you too!
Because of Jesus,