This was no ordinary coffee date at a funky college neighborhood coffee shop in Detroit. It was the first-time meeting of two strangers, Jan and Reenié, who had been brought together by love and a mutual friendship that spanned nearly 3,000 miles.
|Jan Coppola Bills|
It was Jan who made Trudy’s wish for a pallet garden to be constructed in her yard on a brick wall come true. Though they had never met in person, Jan’s desire to make this happen for Trudy led her to contact her friends at Urban Dirt in southern California. Dave Walrod and his crew showed up the first Saturday in March, and the dreamed-of pallet garden became a beautiful reality.
Reenié is my sister. She and her husband Don live in a suburb of Detroit, close to Royal Oak. When I mentioned how near each other the two women were, Trudy asked, “Do you think Reenié would meet Jan and give her a hug for me?”
|Pallet garden with some of Trudy's plants on the ledge|
“Absolutely!” I said, knowing my sister’s compassionate heart and that she'd love to do something for Trudy. And that is how the coffee date came about.
Reenié and Trudy have history through sharing the same August birthday and many laughs over the years when Reenié would visit Bakersfield. And, then there was that time when my sister met Trudy and me at the Women in Motorcycling banquet in Ohio back in 1997.
So speaking by phone, the two strangers who would soon be friends arranged that Jan would come to Reenié and Don’s home for coffee last week. Reenié said, “Jan showed up right on time. With some lovely Danishes in tow! I love her already.”
There were hugs and Trudy stories in addition to becoming acquainted with each other. Sipping black coffee and munching on pastries, the two women discovered that, among other things, they both enjoy playing golf -- as well as their love for Trudy.
Reenié’s email that accompanied her photos read: “What an awesome day we had. It was all thanks to Trudy! What a wonderful gift she gave to Jan, Don and me from so far away.”
And the feeling was mutual. Jan wrote, "Oh, I had such a great time with Reenié and Don! Glorious birds of a feather DO flock together! I am so grateful for the new wonderful friends I have made because of one special lady named Trudy!"
|Reenie and Jan|
|Trudy, March 3, 2012|
Love. It has the power to connect people who may never have met. I can’t help but think about what it can do for all of us, whether near or far.
|Trudy checks on her wall after a windstorm|