Coffee with Maxine

Sometimes you meet a kindred soul. You know what I mean. Their eyes are windows. You can see all their yesterdays. And when they reach out to touch your hand, a coat of warmth envelopes you. They are filled with joy at the sight of you and you them. They share their sorrows and joys freely and pull from you the same. You fall in love with them quickly, almost like love at first sight. They are someone you’ve been looking for to fill the lonely moments.

Maxine was my someone. Although I am married to a wonderful man, I was missing the richness of a true best friend. Or maybe she was more of a mother. Mine had passed away a half a decade before she came to live across the road from us.

But I was impressed in an instant when we first met. Her clothes were always crisp clean cotton. She would apologize if one hair was amiss in her silver and white locks. Her makeup was always flawless.

I, on the other hand, am quite the opposite. Around the house I’m certainly no June Cleaver. Comfortable. That’s what I call it, yet somehow I think it’s more properly described as a bit lazy. My hair is liable to be in a messy bun or scrunched into a one second pony tail. Make up is for doctor’s visits, churches, eating out, etc. My neighbors don’t see me with it on often. And clothes…well I’m probably whispered about as being frumpy when I’m at home.

Soon after she moved in  she invited me for coffee. That became habitual. At least once a week, and sometimes more often, we’d sit at the island in her kitchen and choose a flavor of the day she’d brew in her Keurig coffee maker one cup at at time. Her daughter in Ohio shipped boxes of it to her regularly. Some favorites were: Caramel Vanilla Cream, French Vanilla, Cinnabon Cinnamon Roll, Hazelnut, Mocha, Krispy Kreme Glazed Doughnut, and Regular. Occasionally I’d show up with banana nut bread and fresh cut roses from my six rose bushes lining the right chain link fence line of my front yard. She would usually offer cookies or cake.

As she talked she would take me back to a time before I was born. Her husband Clifford was a traveling salesman and she often accompanied him on his trips. Her voice was slightly raspy and her emotions would flow from laughter to tears as she described their adventures across the country.

She had lost a son, Hughey. I had lost a son, Scott. They were often in our conversations. We would lay out our complaints like cards on a table: “What is wrong with the world?” “Men very seldom understand us.” “Kids today can’t spell.” “Where is morality?” Then there were the pleasant subjects: Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, gardening, cooking, books, movies and last, but certainly not least, the miracles Jesus had performed in our lives and the bible.

When I think of her I still can see into her eyes and soul. The depth of who she was will never leave me. A couple of years ago she fell and broke her hip and could not recover. She was 92 years old. Since then I’ve needed her so many times. Especially lately since I lost another son this past September. I’ll miss Maxine and I’ll miss her coffee from now on.

© Phyllis Weeks Rogers 11/14/2018

 

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11 Comments

    1. Yes, recently the Lord sent me a cousin I haven’t seen in years. We talk sometimes all night long on the phone. She has had a particularly hard couple of years. I believe she thinks of me as that friend. And I think it was mutual with Maxine and I. I’m sure you’ll find yours.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Hi Phyllis, I could really sense your loss and I’m both happy and sad for you. Happy that you had the joy that a special friend brings and sad that she gone. Our God is gracious and who knows what He has in store for you down the road. Thank you for sharing, it was a beautiful tribute to both of you.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Lee. Prayers are always welcome. I know where my boys are and someday we’ll meet again. I’ve remembered that first I must grieve for Jesus’s sacrifice for our sins before I properly grieve for my children. They are in His hands.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi Phyllis, you are in an extreme situation of grief for having lost your children. I can’t relate to that level of loss that you must grieve over.

        And I’m a little unclear about what you meant about you must grieve over Jesus’ sacrifice for our sins before you can properly grieve for your children.

        Psalm 97.10
        “Rejoice in the LORD, ye righteous; and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness.”

        I would say to you to obey that verse.

        Can you point me to some scripture please that you are following that says you are supposed to grieve over Jesus’ sacrifice for our sins?

        (I’m not saying such a very doesn’t exist. I just can’t think of any). Help a brother out.

        God bless you and your family Phyllis.

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      2. I must always remember the first moment I was saved. But I was haunted at six years old by the Passion story. When the preacher described the crucifixion I wailed and the pain was deep in my heart. At 13 I became saved. It is important to me to preserve that very precious first moment so I shall never forget the grief I felt what He endured for myself and all mankind that he had to die that way for us. So, If you need a scripture to help you understand, I’ll give you Luke 23:47-48 NIV The centurion, seeing what had happened, praised God and said, “Surely this was a righteous man.” 48) When all the people who had gathered to witness this sight saw what took place, they beat their breasts and went away.
        My individual relationship with my Lord and Savior, Jesus is not written in the Bible but in my heart. Every time I see a scene with Him on the cross in a movie I break down and cry that he should have suffered in such a way for me. Those who witnessed Him on the cross grieved for his suffering.
        My sons did not suffer. They both died quickly from heart attacks. My grief for their deaths must be put into perspective so as not to take away from the One who accepts them into His glory for their repentance an belief in Him.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. Hi Phyllis, thank you for your kind reply to me sister.

        There was a typo or two in my comment, (a spelling-correct feature of my phone). But it looks like you understood what I was trying to communicate.

        And let me first say this…do whatever the Lord puts on your heart.
        Sometimes I try to give advice, and I’m sometimes wrong. So if I’ve given you wrong advice, then please forgive me, and disregard my words.

        And I want to share this thought with you sister.

        I too had a painful conversion. I was a wreck of guilt. And there was a legitimate season for me to be in that anguish. But God mercifully revealed His finished work to me that I now rest in.

        Consider please, that the eyewitness of Jesus’ crucifixion didn’t have a full understanding of His resurrection that you and I have today.
        We know “the rest of the story,” (as Paul Harvey would say.

        So I’m not telling you to do anything.
        Do whatever God tells you to do.

        But I would recommend that you focus on the the risen Lord Jesus Christ, and His finished work, rather than His pre finished work that occurred prior to His resurrection.

        (I’m not trying to diminish His suffering that He took for us that we deserve).

        I’m just sharing with you what helps me. To see who and what I am in the risen Lord.

        God bless you sister, and I prayed for you also today.

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      4. Dear Brother, I’m not sure I was clear in my reply. Let me add: Grieving (especially the death of children) can take us to dark places. But what I was trying to say is in the word “Properly.”
        By that I mean: The heart of a Christian mother may break at the death of her child, but it will not break her faith in Christ who died for her and her children. I’m saved. My boys were saved. But if I do not occasionally remember Christ’s sacrifice, especially at this time, I won’t remember He said, “It is finished.”
        Death is a delicate subject for people and really never know exactly what to say. And truly mothers who are grieving need you to say nothing. Just listen. Men tend to want to “fix” everything. There is nothing to be fixed here. I’m saved. My boys are saved. I don’t need lessons on grieving. But, I do so love you, Lee and understand you love me.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. One more thing: 2 Corinthians 1:3-6….”Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, The Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles,so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves received from God. For as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. NIV

    Like

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