December, 2016

Lunch time at the credit union – best part of the day. A lot got said during twelve years of lunches with my co-worker friend, Joyce. We developed a kinship that distance nor time can erase. It was a sad day when my lunch buddy retired leaving me to fend for myself, forcing me to reach out to others.

Joyce and I kept in touch for a while but as life kept us busy, we seemed to see each other less and less. It was during my trips to Lincoln County that I began to think – I need to call Joyce. Yes every time I passed the road sign: Greene County, I thought of her.

She was born Joyce Greene (Greene with an “e” she always said) and grew up in South Georgia on a farm. She was a high school basketball star and oldest sister to three brothers. She married a military man and traveled the world, living in places like London, San Francisco, and her favorite! Myrtle Beach. To make extra money for her growing family, she donned a skimpy cowgirl outfit (boots too!) and spun a roulette wheel while stationed in Reno – or was it Vegas? That girl got around!

So, I called Joyce. We met at our favorite place, Norman’s Landing. It was just like old times. Joyce looked great with her beautiful smile, nails freshly manicured. She wore a scarf with a touch of hot pink that brought out the pink in her cheeks. This woman was and is the epitome of well put together glamour!

On a chilly November day we sat in front of a fireplace in a log cabin sharing lunch. We caught up on our news worthy lives. Then the waitress dropped the check on the table.

“Joyce, we have met here on my birthday several times and you always buy my lunch. Today, we are going to pretend it’s your birthday and I’ll take the check.”

Joyce’s smile disappeared as she leaned in with her eyes big and round. “Well, Diane, if you are going to do that, I will tell you my real age.”

We laughed and after careful consideration of both of our ages, declared not to miss another birthday. Suddenly Joyce put her hands up in her little girl way and whispered. “Diane, I want to tell you something and then we never need to speak of it ever again.” She took a deep breath and said, “About four weeks ago, my granddaughter died …”

As sisters, we shared a moment, never to speak of it again. Albeit, it was a good day to share lunch with a friend.