Rich relationships make for difficult goodbyes

A lucky person is someone who has had relationships that make saying goodbye difficult to do.
BY CHARLOTTE LANKARD clankard@opubco.com Modified: March 30, 2013 at 11:04 pm •  Published: April 1, 2013
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As I ponder the recent deaths of two longtime friends, I am reminded again that the richness of life is determined by our relationships with one another.

My college roommate Rojeane Collins Wood, died in January. I met her at age 18, a freshman from Cleburne, Texas, with a decided drawl. One of the many things I learned from her was the best way to clean a room — make sure you have happy music playing, preferably something with which you can sing along.

Last week my friend Max Brattin died. We both graduated from Oklahoma Baptist University in the '60s. I left to marry and have a family. Max went on to become a college professor of economics. When he joined the faculty at OBU several years later, we reconnected at Shawnee's First Baptist Church, working with college students.

One of the many things I learned from Max is that words are not necessary for someone to know you love them. He “did” love. He never intruded, but if you needed to talk, he had time to listen. If something good happened for you, he didn't go on and on about how wonderful you were, but he was there to help you celebrate. If you didn't want to talk but didn't want to be alone, he offered his quiet presence.

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