Growing up, my neighbors were my best friends. Glenda, who lived next door, was one of the first kids I met. It couldn’t have been more than a hundred steps from one house to the other and we could take an ordinary day and suddenly it became extraordinary.

Of course we played with dolls (that must have been her idea), we had picnics under the oak trees in our backyards, and we’d listen to the radio. At that time we could call in and request our favorite tunes including, “I’m the happiest girl in the USA,” and “Going to the Chapel.”

During the summer, we’d often set up a lemonade stand, buy we drank the product and the profit. Now it gets even more interesting. Glenda’s brother, Danny, was a Georgia State Patrol, and she truly believed there were powers given to the siblings of the officers. One day we got the water hose, and put it across the road. She was on one side and I was on the other. Our plan was to block drivers from heading down the roadway until they stopped and showed us their license. Let me make one disclaimer; these were much simpler times, and our subdivision was generally quiet, so I don’t think our lives were in danger. Of course, I didn’t know the charges for impersonating a police officer. Thanks to God, we never stopped any cars. Since the hose was on the ground it was just a little bump in the road.

My favorite memory happened at our home. My grandmother gave me a piano, and it’s stayed in our living room. I have no idea how it started, but since we were both church kids, we started having a church service. Glenda love to sing traditional church songs, such as, “Amazing Grace,” and “How Great Thou Art.” I preached my first sermon when we had church. We had church over and over, but I continued to preach from the Sermon on the Mount. We would usually turn to Matthew 6:19-21 and I’d tell Glenda that we should not lay up our treasures on earth where moth and rust corrupts and thieves break through and steal. She was give me an, “Amen,” and I’d continue. “Let us lay up our treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not corrupt, and where thieves do not break through and steal. For where you treasure is, there will be your heart also.” To this day, I have these verses etched in my heart and mind, and it all happened in that little church, where two gathered, in my living room.

Thanks to social media Glenda and I have been able to stay in touch over the last several years. Just last week, she chimed in on Face Book to wish Zach a Happy Birthday.

I’m writing this today as a memorial to Glenda, a neighbor, and one of my first friends. I found out she went home to be with the Lord on Saturday. Today, I’m extremely thankful to God for putting the two of us side by side on Hidden Circle and allowing us to share a friendship for several years.

Sherry Lewis is pastor of New Beginnings Worship Center.

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