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For Adra...

I learned the importance of having friends from my mother. My mother was the youngest of five children, and her sister was 11 years older than her. Therefore, it was necessary for Mom to have girlfriends that functioned like sisters. My mom would spend hours talking and laughing with them, and I knew that having friends like that was something to look forward to in adulthood.

My mom had several friends like that. I always enjoyed going to see the ladies that had kids because I could have fun, too. But when there weren't children involved, I wasn't enthused to go. But there was one I always liked.

I loved Adra because she was on the radio. Even though she had a son that was older than me who had no time for me, I still enjoyed going to her house because she had personality. She knew how to make even the youngest guest feel welcome.

Fast forward to now. The spunky young women they were now live behind gray hair and dimming eyes. Now that I'm grown, I get a chance to stay in the room. They address me with wonder because I've become the women they used to be.

I loved talking to Adra because even though she didn't raise me, she understood me in a way my mom didn't. I think it had to do with her being an objective and impartial bystander who knew where I came from and what I was going through -- not only as a woman, but as a Christian and a radio girl. She was fascinated by my talents and encouraged me to reach higher.

More than anything, I loved the fact that Adra was my mother's friend. My mom isn't outgoing like me, so she's not the social butterfly that I am. She also has a tendency to say exactly what's on her mind, which doesn't always bode well with others. I loved the fact that Adra knew my mother well enough to understand and love her. She'd also check Mom when she needed -- something I LOVED about her.

Adra had lived a typical radio life, and her body rewarded her with diabetes, heart problems, and a plethora of other ailments. Yet she still managed to smile throughout it all. Sadly, she lost her final battle and now she's resting in the arms of Jesus. I'll miss her.

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