After Zane and I married and moved back to Joplin Mo, we started attending Villa Heights Christian Church. It was there that we became acquainted with Rich & Terri Weisensee.
It was your typical church friendship at first: seeing each other at Sunday School, church on Sundays & Wednesdays, church activities, etc. Terri was quiet and Rich had a beaming smile. They had 2 girls, Rachel and Megan. Slowly that friendship grew.
Lacey was born 4 years later and did not like being away from me, so we kept her in church. Rich, Terri, the girls, and Terri's parents sat in the pew behind us! As Lacey grew, we would hear giggles coming from that pew. Rachel was so excited one day because she had taught Lacey to stick out her tongue! Terri's mom had Lacey addicted to "smarties" by the time she was 6 months old! There was a bond forming, the friendship growing stronger.
Lacey wouldn't go to any class until she was an older 2 year old. Rich and Terri were her first Wee Worship teachers. She adored Rich & Terri and the girls. The feeling was pretty mutual. Lacey was an extension to their family, after all she acted just like Rachel! Not only did they help teach her the Bible, they helped nurture Lacey's love of acting and dance. They loved it when Lacey would randomly break out singing the "Cops" theme song during class! Or when they were playing with play dough and Lacey's mean side would come out and she would make big blobs and say in a mean tone, "You want some of this?" Rich and Terri loved that at ages 4-8, 9, 10 Lacey's favorite movie was the Broadway production of "Cats"! I think there was comfort in the fact that we both had crazy kids!
The friendship grew to include home Bible studies, helping each other out with different projects, dinners out, watching our daughters perform at Joplin Little Theater, or other plays, dance recitals, softball games, phone calls, eventually weddings and being excited for their grandchildren. Our families had intertwined and become a non blood family ourselves.
Rich & Terri came and sat with me, held my hand, hugged me, cried with me during some of my darkest hours. Rich, through God, knew exactly when I needed to hear a kind word or see a smiling face. They made sure Lacey was ok and happy! Rich had lunch dates with Zane as often as possible!
Rachel and Megan had both married and moved away from Joplin so Rich and Terri were traveling to see them on the weekends. Rich had also started traveling a lot more for his job. We weren’t able to get together as much as we would’ve liked.
Late February two years ago Zane and I had lunch with Rich. Rich was getting over a cold. We talked about that and his great health in general. We talked about Lacey being a Senior and her future plans. We talked about Rachel and her acting career and Megan and her 3 boys and finally a little girl due the next month. It was a typical “catch up” lunch with a promise to have lunch again in two weeks
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Now that Lacey is off at college, I find myself with way too much time to think. For me, thinking leads to worrying and worrying leads to worst case scenario. So I thought maybe blogging and putting some of my thoughts down might help myself. You never know, at some point I might come up with a clever thought or idea in the process!