Friendships come and go in life, most which come with labels attached. There’s a best friend, good friends, college friends, neighborhood friends, and childhood friends, just to name a few. Friendships play a pivotal role in our growth and development and are excellent indicators of what direction our life is headed. My parents use to tell me people will size you up by the friends you surround yourself with, so choose wisely.
If you’re lucky, like me, some friendships appear when you least expect them, like a special delivery package from the universe all tied up in a beautiful bow. My family and I moved to Matagorda in June, 2014. Along with the move came the devastating loss of a loved one followed by months of grief as I struggled to say goodbye to my sister. Exactly one year later after the move, three special delivery packages arrived for me. The first two came when I ventured out on my own to reacquaint myself with one of Matagorda’s well known restaurants, River Bend. On that day two new friends appeared, Sharyl McDonald and Elsa Humphries, who literally brought me into the fold of the Matagorda and Bay City communities. I was so taken by their friendship and support that I decided to write a letter to the editor of the Tribune Newspaper expressing my gratitude for the communities’ embrace. That’s when the third special delivery package arrived by the name of Brandon Cox.
Brandon reached out to me and asked if I would consider being a guest columnist in the Sunday Lifestyle section of the newspaper. When I recovered from the shock of his question, I asked him what he wanted me to write about. He simply said more of the same topics highlighting the benefits of a strong, loving community. And so, my column was introduced to Tribune readers two years ago.
Last Wednesday night I found myself at the Bon Voyage party for Brandon and his wife Kayla. Brandon had since moved on from the paper and was currently working at STP. But Brandon’s friends knew he had journalism running through his veins, and that’s why it came as no surprise when a special delivery opportunity arrived for him to return to a life of newspaper publishing. At the Bon Voyage party, all three of my special delivery packages were under one roof, Sharyl, Elsa and Brandon. Talk about wanting to count my blessings! We’re sad to say goodbye to Brandon and his family, but in the short amount of time they lived here, he and Kayla both brought out the best in us as a community through their example of friendship and service. For that, we are most grateful. Best wishes and safe travels. We’ll leave the porch light on should you ever decide to return home.
Originally published in the Bay City Tribune on Sunday, August 20, 2017.