SOMETIMES YOU NEED A CHEERLEADER
Just weeks after moving into my Crieve Hall home in Nashville, I celebrated with a Christmas brunch in my Florida room for three of my cheerleaders. Jane and I married Connelly brothers, had children, and divorced. We made a commitment to foster a family connection among our children and continued to encourage each other over the years. When I took a consulting job in Nashville in mid-2001, Jane hosted me at her home those first weeks while I was commuting between my South Carolina home and Nashville, encouraged me in my demanding new job downtown. Earleen was a longtime friend in Columbia, South Carolina, who continued to cheer me on with long phone visits and then came to Nashville to celebrate my new home. And for 13 months before I bought this house, Kay and her husband John (my nephew) let me live with their family. It was a wonderful season of building a deeper relationship with them—all the more meaningful after John died in early 2004.
This photo represents the beginning of a new chapter for me—and really for all of us. Now almost twenty years later, we have all added a few more chapters to our stories. Some have been joyful—Jane’s remarriage and blending their two families, we’ve all celebrated more weddings of children and births of grandchildren, three of us have retired. We have grieved over deaths, divorces and other losses. Today I know I could pick up the phone and call any one of these three strong and brave women and receive encouragement and love. And if they called me, it would be the same.