My sister Judy called last week to talk about an obituary that she saw in the newspaper. The obituary belonged to Lois Jean Holmberg, a childhood friend of our mother. Although their friendship didn’t extend very often into adulthood, their bond must truly have been special, because our mom was mentioned in Lois’ obituary.
Jean was born on April 25, 1921 to Inez Lydia (Farley) and Edwin F. Hopper in Hart, MI. She grew up on the family farm where she loved exploring the fields and woods with her best friend, Rose Kraus (Beckman), and learning all the wild flowers that grew there. The farm remained her favorite place. Jean’s mother died when she was 10 years old, her father when she was 15. She then moved to Muskegon to live with her older sister, Isabel Ward, and her family.
Even though it had been more than 80 years since Jean and my mom were best friends and neighbors in Hart, Michigan, Jean never forgot about those days spent playing and picking flowers with her best friend Rose.
As I look at this picture of my mom and Jean, taken on one of the rare moments they spent together as adults, I think back on all of the golden friendships I’ve had in my life. In large part because of my diagnosis, I’ve had the opportunity to reacquaint myself with many of those great friends and I couldn’t feel more lucky.
“A true friend reaches for your hand and touches your heart.”