Friday, November 13, 2009

Danny and Glenda Cook

Now and then someone enters your life and finds a comfortable place in your heart where they fit just right. Danny and Glenda Cook are two of those people for me.

After my one and only year of teaching I took a job at Warm Beach Camp, my favorite place in all the world. I'd been a camper there since 4th grade and had nothing but wonderful memories. I loved my job, my co-workers, and the many people I met who came onto the grounds for camps and retreats. But I was young and single, and the staff was small back then. I missed the close friendship of other single gals, because I was the only one there at the time.

Danny Cook was the camp's business manager. Quiet and easygoing, he provided much-needed help as I was learning the ropes of managing the bookstore. He and Glenda kept an eye out for me, always stopping to engage me in conversation, inviting me to join them and their two young children in family activities. I knew without question that they were friends.

One winter week all the staff went to a retreat. It was during a particularly difficult time in my life and I was feeling especially vulnerable. I was housed in a room alone. When Danny and Glenda, who were in a three-bedroom home with another young couple, learned that I was by myself they welcomed me to come stay with them. Everything changed. I went from being alone and feeling depressed to being in community and feeling loved and accepted. We went out for ice cream, stayed up late and played games, laughed, talked. I don't really remember the content of the retreat, but I do remember the grace I experienced as I accepted their offer of friendship.

We moved on to other endeavors -- Danny and Glenda raised their kids in Haiti and Colorado, I went to Japan, moved back to Warm Beach, then Seattle where I married and had children, then on to New York. But we are all back in the neighborhood again, attending church together. Whenever I see the Cooks I feel that same warmth that I experienced with them so many years ago. Glenda just knows how to love on you, to make you think there is nothing she'd rather be doing than spending time with you. I don't think she even knows she has such a lovely gift. And Danny is always standing by to lend a helping hand, just like he did during our camp days.

Last summer, when I was dealing with some difficult insurance matters that required my time and careful thought, Glenda let me know that I was welcome to come to their house if I needed a quiet place. The invitation was given without any strings attached. Though I haven't taken her up on it yet, just to know that I could brings a smile deep inside me.

Thank you, Danny and Glenda, for your sweet friendship.


Cami said...

What sweet words about Mom and Dad. Such a blessing to hear stories of how Mom and Dad's lives have touched others. It's encouragement to me to daily make choices that do the same. I know you are loved deeply!

Anonymous said...

They are the salt of the earth!