Goodbye Dallas

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Goodbye Dallas.
I won’t miss the traffic jams and the long commutes.
Or the endless miles of dilapidated wood privacy fences.
I won’t miss cracking foundations or attic storage.
I won’t miss all the streets that are a strange hodge podge of tire shops and used cars establishments advertising in Spanish.
I definitely won’t miss all the mega power lines.
Or the fire ants.
Or the oppressive heat for months on end.

But I will miss the sunshine lapping through my windows,
And the sunsets from the vantage point of my porch swing.
I’ll miss warm moonlit night swims at the community pool.
And the Arboretum , my own little slice of heaven in the urban sprawl.
I‘ll miss The Cheesecake Factory. Not that I go very often. But it’s just nice to know it’s here.
And I’ll miss the diversity—neighbors from every continent and color.
And the friends we’ve forged alliances with.
I’ll definitely miss our counselor, Bruce. Don’t know if our marriage would have survived without his patient guidance.

Most of all, I’ll miss the holy space where I’ve listened to my children sing God’s words countless times these past 13 years. Our most treasured family traditions have been crafted around the activities of the Children’s and Youth Choirs at Park Cities Presbyterian Church. I never tire of listening to the organ, or gazing at God’s story depicted in stained glass. In that place, together with other choir families, we’ve raised our children with the catechism of song under the capable shepherding of their choir director, Lynda Fray.

I sat in on every rehearsal that first year in Dallas. In the midst of my own personal chaos, those moments, I heard angelic little voices singing and tasted heaven.
That gentle woman in front, guiding them with skill and love, touched my mother’s heart deeply.
So the following summer, I sheepishly sent her a letter and asked her to be my mentor. To my delighted surprise, she agreed.
We started talking on the phone each week.
And we emailed.
We talked and prayed.
Then we started meeting after rehearsals.
Next came dinner together at La Madeleine where we’d close down the restaurant a few times a year.
And we talked and prayed.
And she was the first person to greet my new little princess, Starla, at the hospital.
And I hosted her first “Grandma’s Shower”.
And we lost parents together….
Faced down family tragedies…..
I raised a teenager with her as my sounding board.
And we talked and prayed some more.
And when she got really technologically savvy, we even texted.

Such has been the beautiful fluidity of our sweet friendship this baker’s dozen years that our stories have intersected.
I can’t even imagine who I would be, where I would be and what would have become of our children without her life melding with ours.
And so it is with the bitter-sweetest gratitude and sadness
I say,
Thank you, Lynda Fray, for being my Friend……

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