A friend of mine has a birthday coming up. She’s a good friend and is lady enough that it would be rude of me to write down her age. Suffice it to say that I have known her for close to 3 decades. She is one of those strong American women that managed to raise a fine family in spite of hard times like going through a divorce while fending for herself and providing for her kids. I have always admired her because she has a strong moral character, a sharp, dry wit and a rare streak of pure honesty. She has never been afraid to say or do what she feels is right and, although she has the ability to be tolerant and diplomatic, she doesn’t hesitate to cut through the nonsense to make a point. Friends come in all shapes and sizes. We all have good friends, close friends, casual friends, fair weather friends and acquaintances. I’ve known thousands of people and been able to call hundreds of them friends, but only a few are truly close friends. There are very few people who are willing to listen to your problems, even though their own may be far greater at any given moment. She is one of those people. She is special.
I first met her In the Naval Sea Cadet Corps. I was commanding officer of a Sea Cadet Squadron at Alameda Naval Air Station in
I left the squadron in 1980 and moved away from the bay area, losing track of just about everyone in the process. 15 years later I was working as a marketing manager for a company in
As for her son, the one who had been one of our cadets, he went on to have a very impressive career in the Navy and retired recently (which makes me feel very old for some reason). He is married and has a good life (living not far from his mother). He is one of those nice people you just enjoy being around. She has good reason to be very proud of him.
So, I just wanted to take a moment to say “Thanks” and - Here’s to “M”, “The Lady of the Lake” – May you have a great and happy birthday followed by many, many happy returns!