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Tribute and Open Letter to Friendship

Sometimes we get all confused about what friendship really is. We quickly find comfort in calling anyone a friend–oftentimes before they’ve passed the many pop quizzes or even the first major test.  Seems to me, that a friend supports you in good and bad times, doesn’t talk “toxically” about you, but addresses whatever the issue may be with you, not someone else. Jealousy never enters the picture…Quality of life is more important than the “quantities” associated with life. Certainly, a true friend is proud when you acquire those material things, but he/she knows, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that those things are just borrowed property while we’re here on earth, and in no way define who we are. Everything about the relationship is rooted in plain ole simple love!

So, from the country roads of Windsor, NC, to the walls of Bertie Senior High school, to deciding together on which college to attend, through relationships–marriages, separations, and divorce, through hanging out in whatever city we landed in—Baltimore, MD, New Castle, DE, Greensboro or Rocky Mount, NC, through having and raising our girls, through ANYTHING that life has thrown our way, this woman has been and is the epitome of solid, true friendship and sisterhood, based purely and simply on love. Sherice Bond Finch, you have been that steadfast and unmovable rock, a testament of genuine friendship!

I am reflecting today, as I often do, on a day (many years ago), when I was having a social event at my house. For whatever reason, no one seemed to have time to help me pull it off. I was so frustrated, disappointed and nervous. As we talked, by phone, about the situation, without a moment’s thought, you said, “Girl, I’ll come.  I’ll help you.”  You drove from Greensboro to Rocky Mount that evening just to help me prepare the meal, serve the guests and did whatever else I needed you to do, then drove back to Greensboro that same night! It was important to you that I didn’t fail. What a selfless show of support for a friend who needed you? I tear up writing about this, because as long as I live, I will never forget lying down after a tiring day and evening, thinking to myself, “Now, that’s a friend. I love that girl”.   I am often reminded how that touched me. It was a defining moment of what “ride-or-die” really meant. It meant rising to the occasion, no matter what, no matter when, no matter how to support someone you love.

A multitude of things have happened as we gone through this thing called life, whether celebratory occasions, or challenging moments caused by physical or emotional wear and tear.  Through it all, because God saw the need to place us in each other’s life a long time ago, I am forever grateful to Him that I’ve had YOU riding with me on the journey!  Sherice, You are such a blessing to me and countless others, so on today, May 7th, in celebration of the day God granted you entry into this world, I celebrate you and all that you are!! You are my friend!!  I’m lighting your candle, girl! Happy Birthday!!! I love you endlessly!!!

To my wonderful “The Cherry Vine” family:  Please take a moment to reflect back over your life. Think about the people who have been there for you, no matter what…who have been there through your celebrations and your stumbles, who support you, who pray for you, who lift you up, who don’t put your business on “front street”, but instead, keeps it close in mind, heart and spirit, while they pray WITH you.  These gems stand firmly footed in making sure that you get to the recovery phase, and are at peace with you when you get on the other side of all the damage control. I realize that maybe friendship means different things to different people, but if you know your worth, then you undoubtedly know who is worth being called FRIEND. I know who mine are! I’m thankful to GOD for ALL of them!

Peace & Blessings,

Lisa B

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