Sometimes you meet a person who changes your life. That was my friend Becky Neuman.
We met about 16 years ago when I taught a women’s class at Mount Pleasant Christian Church. Actually I was subbing for Lorraine Richardson, who was taking a break due to an auto accident. Since Lorraine had been teaching Portraits of Jesus, on my first Sunday, I suggested we do something different so Lorraine could continue her favorite study when she returned. The ladies unanimously wanted a Bible study about women. I suggested one that featured biblical mothers since I had two teenagers at the time.
Becky raised her hand. “Why don’t you write one, Joyce? You’re a teacher.” And so I did, each Saturday night before the next morning’s lesson. Yes, Real Mothers: a Bible study about mothers for mothers, began with my cramming under a weekly deadline. If not for Becky, I would not be a published author today.
About four years ago when Becky didn’t get out as much, our friends Bill and Melody Cragen suggested we bring in carryout Chick-fil-A for her dinner once or twice a month. My contribution was a homemade pie, often pumpkin, sometimes cherry, and for her 97th birthday, peach. Those evenings sitting around Becky’s kitchen table, we laughed and listened to Becky share her childhood stories from small town southern Indiana, a heritage Al and I shared with her.
But she didn’t park in the past. Becky was a prolific reader, staying current with news and issues. We shared books and magazines. I would take her my latest article like a school girl in show and tell. Becky always encouraged me to write, and for that, I am forever grateful.
Becky was my husband Al’s and my last link to our parents’ generation. She was much like my father with her incredible memory, directness, and quick wit. Like my mother, she hopped on a bus to Indianapolis after high school graduation and came to Indy to attend business college. Ironically, she passed away February 8, 2017, the day before the seventh anniversary of my father’s passing.
I miss Becky and look forward to our heavenly reunion. With Becky, I could laugh, be challenged, ask questions, share my heart, and count on her seasoned and savvy advice. What more could I ask for in a friend?