July 13, 2021


Earleen, my longtime good friend in Columbia, certainly excels at the “rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep” expectation for Jesus followers. We both were moms to a daughter and son, and eventually we both were divorced. 

After I transitioned to Nashville, we have continued our friendship with long phone visits and occasional in-person meetings in Columbia, Nashville, Jonesborough, North Carolina and Georgia. She traveled with other South Carolina friends to Annapolis for Patrick and Julia’s wedding, and then to Nashville for Heather and Paul’s wedding.  When we learned Julia and Patrick were expecting twins, she was delighted! This photo was taken once when we were together with two-year-old Sam and Eli.

She is a former teacher and has such a gift for relating to young children—never condescending, creating opportunities at their level for playing and learning new skills and concepts in an interesting way.  Sam and Eli knew right away that she was someone who loved them for being themselves.  Later, she also embraced Charlotte (delighting in her early passion for dancing) and Ezra when they joined the “cousin club.”

A few years ago, she received the very happy news that she too was going to be a grandmother!  I was so happy to hear the news.  The “downside” was that Doran and Sara were very mobile—with his career keeping them on the move and living far from South Carolina. It looked like there might just be occasional brief visits with little Emma. 

Then came another surprise.  They moved to Utah and Sara also began working.  Guess what? They needed someone to watch Emma.  After much planning, Earleen temporarily relocated to Utah.  She has a small apartment adjacent to their home.  Now little Matilda is also very much on the scene.  Earleen has gotten to explore the very different and beautiful environment of Utah over these past few years, with periodic visits back to her South Carolina home or brief trips with her daughter Christina. Of course, caring for these two precious little granddaughters makes for long and exhausting days— and she’s taking it one day at a time.  It’s a joy to hear of her very special role with these girls!  An unforgettable experience for all.

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