Colleen's thoughts on writing, directing and coaching, and her unique take on life itself!

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Special friends, special people

Allow me to introduce you to my friends Penny and Adrienne.

They are, in my mind, the backbone of America. They stand for everything that is great about this nation; they are not only the glue that keeps their extended world together, but they make it a healthier, happier and more peaceful world.

They are hard-working (Penny has her own thriving accounting business; Adrienne works at a Northwest University), tax-paying, church-going, non-smoking, non-drugging, non-drinking, civic-minded, smart, responsible, kind and caring.

They're also healthy (in all ways) and beautiful!

Not just caring about their immediate families, but their friends, neighborhood, city, nation and world.

They donate to their favorite causes and charities.

They vote.

If anyone in their wide circle - be it friend, church member or someone they don't even know in their neighborhood or whom they've heard about loses a job, returns from a hospital stay, is ill or has suffered a setback? They seem to find out and show up with care packages - including stuff everyone needs like toilet paper, toothpaste, food, clothes for growing kids, gasoline gift card and the like. And of course they share the most precious gift any of us has: time.

In the 30 years or so they've been together, they've lent a helping hand to folks in need with everything from housework to accounting advice and services for the unemployed, terminally ill and others in need.

They've helped so many people over the years it's difficult to identify one story that stands out above the rest. More than once I've come by their house to see them packing up a large box sitting on their kitchen table I immediately recognize as another collection of goods heading for some needy person they either know or have heard about.

Here's one story that is my favorite: it's not about them, it's about their son, who changed his name later, but at seven years old it was Ben.

Penny and Adrienne have raised two terrific kids - a daughter and son - who are now married with kids of their own, so the Grrrls are having a heyday spoiling their grandchildren *rotten!* ;-)

Well, several years ago, I broke my ankle in a bicycling accident. I mean it was *broken,* turned 90 degrees so had to be set straight, operated on and put in a cast for several months. Right after the operation, Penny and Adrienne of course insisted I stay at their house - or, quite possibly, I begged. ;-)

There I was, lying on the couch already maxed out on pain killers and still in extraordinary agony, trying to nap to escape my misery - when out came Ben from the kitchen carrying a small tray with something on it.

He set the tray on the end table, and put an icy, wet washcloth across my forehead. As he rubbed the cloth so gently on my cooled forehead, he said in a most caring tone, "I hope this helps you feel better, Colleen."

Tears welled in my eyes - from gratitude and appreciation. I hugged him and said, "Ben, you have no idea how much better you've made me feel."

And that was the truth. Miraculously, the pain that had been so overwhelming but moments ago disappeared. He was thrilled at his success.

I was thrilled to know such a marvelous boy. And his family.

With all the ups and downs in the business of show, there are times when we all tend to question our sanity and even lose faith in ourselves. That period has never lasted long for me because when I came close to losing faith in myself, my friends would make it clear that they had enough faith in me for the three of us.

There was a time I hung out with people who weren't supportive of me, my dreams, my aspirations and my creative goals. Mercifully, those days are a distant memory because today I only surround myself with positive, caring, loving and supportive people - including my family!

Who got me through those tough days?

You guessed it.

I only hope I've given them as much love, care, attention and support over the years. Their karma is solid platinum; they deserve the happy, rewarding lives they live.

Ah, yes. I see clearly why religious rightwing Republicans vociferously deny these good women -and others like them - the right to marry.

Seriously. Let's review the facts .. and count the *numerous* ways they continue to undermine the American family:



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