Tag Archives: reunion

i receive a laying on of hands and prayers in kearney, missouri

the hottie you dated all four years of school and broke up with and dated and broke up with and it would have kept up like that for the rest of your life if one of you hadn’t graduated and moved to italy.  the roommate who always had someone sleeping over (awkward!) but who came down to the police station to bail you out for that unfortunate incident and so you didn’t have to tell your parents.  everybody from your soccer team, the choir, the band you started in the basement of the hardware store.  you knew their names, their favorite beer, and whether it was wise to copy their homework.  before facebook, these people disappeared until the tenth reunion and then it was a competition as to who was fatter and who had a better job.*

some people you went to school with are now part of your friends list but they aren’t the same people you would have put on the friends list at the time.

i’m not sure which one made the friendship request but mike coglan (f2fb #137) and i were in the same graduating class at north central college.  the entire student body was less than a thousand so i figured i had to know him. i was pretty sure he was the dude who sat behind me in economics for three semesters.  on facebook, we exchanged a few stories of the good old days, compared notes on what we had been doing for the past twenty five years–mike is a minister in kearney, missouri and i raise my sons and write books in winnetka, illinois–and then we got down to business–

online scrabble.  i’m addicted.  mike’s better than me.

at one point, mike mentioned that the economy was heading south, fast, in kearney.  a lot of his parishioners were hurting.  i suggested help in the only way i know how–what if i wrote an arcadia publishing company history of kearney and mike’s congregation sold the books as a fundraiser?

three short weeks later, i drove eight hours to kearney with my assistant f2fb #20 charlie seymour.   at kearney’s rotary club i spoke about the book and about how i was looking for help from the community to find old photographs, documents, papers that would help me develop a complete picture of the town.  charlie sat in the back taking notes and leaned over to mike.

“what was arlynn like when you two were in college?”  charlie asked.

“i have no idea,”  mike said.  “i don’t remember her at all.”

i was ready to pack my bags that night!  we finished the book**.

mike and his family opened themselves up to me.  mike and i still play scrabble.  he also talks to me about his relationship with God and my relationship with God.  if someone were to ask me where i go to church i would most likely say that my congregation is the kearney covenant church and that i don’t go to services often, which is to say i have only been once.

but mike and his wife laura (f2fb #138) prayed and talked with me one morning this week.  laura asked me to consider how i would feel if one of my children–joseph or eastman–came to me and said “i want your love, i have you say you love me, but i feel i am unworthy of your love”.   wouldn’t i feel such pain for them?  when i thought about that, i started to cry and so did she.  mike made himself busy with finding tissue paper and said that under no circumstances was he crying too.  God’s love is a gift and it hurts Him to have someone not think themselves worthy of taking it.  thi

laura, me and mike coglan


as i got ready to leave the coglans, the entire family–mike, laura, ian, and brenna–had me sit down.  each of them put their hands on me and each of them made an individual prayer for my safety, health, happiness, and progress on this year’s journey.  four distinct prayers that i might be BOLD and unafraid.  that i would take the chances i have spent so many years being afraid to take.  and they asked for God’s PROTECTION that i might be safe and confident of my safety.

when i got into the car i felt transformed.  and i had only one last thing to finish up in kearney before i could clear out–i had to get deputized by the fire chief.  after all, i have a lot of talents to offer this town!

*romy and michele’s high school reunion is such a great movie!  i think i have to get it on netflix right now!

**http://www.arcadiapublishing.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=9780738578095


the face to facebook project stats 1.0

I have 323 facebook friends.  Two of them are my boys–Joseph and Eastman–and I’m not allowed to comment when they are tagged passed out on someone’s sofa with a bottle of Beam.  One of them is my stepdaughter who is the coolest mom ever.  My father Justin and my sister K.C. are friends.  I have no idea who InDa Loop is–nor do I recall how I became friends with Robert Thater, Aubrey Yates or Brian Brethauer.  I have several celebrity facebook friends–Elmore Leonard, Gilbert Gottfried, Libby Hellman, Alex Beh, MC Kato, Vince P.  and news anchors Joan Esposito and Steve Sanders.   One of my friends has been dead for more than a century, but somehow, we communicate just fine.  Most of my facebook friends are in the Midwest but I’m going to have to do some traveling to Mumbai, the Philipines, Wales, Italy, and Lebanon.  On a personal note, Reggie Gholston, please don’t go back to Baghdad.  I don’t want to have to visit you there.

p.s. it’s actually 324 friends.  Welcome, Nabil!


face to facebook

my new year’s resolution is to meet every facebook friend i have. some are friends from college (gulp, thirty years ago) that probably don’t remember me. some are folks i’ve never met at all–including several people i am certain i don’t know at all. some are people in my hometown that i see every day–yeah, that’s you, lisa. i will have to travel to wales, mumbai, vietnam, korea, and mexico city. i hope federico will make me pizza in sienna.  i want to snow mobile with christy in alaska.  i want azanthiel moon to play music for me.  i will face foster siblings, former employees, old boyfriends, two former girlfriends of my ex, and then there’s all the friends of my kids who have asked me to be their facebook friend without realizing the consequences. . . . .

how many of your facebook friends do you see on a regular basis?  isn’t it weird to find out that someone’s relationship is “complicated”, that they had fish tacos for dinner or that they really like Justin Bieber–and then realize that you know a lot about someone you don’t really know at all?

mark zuckerberg promised me popularity and privacy.  i’m not sure i got either–but he also said i have friends, he said all of us have friends, he said he’d keep me in touch with my friends.  now i’m going to go one step further–and meet my friends.