by Connie Vandeman Jeffery—
BFFs (Best Friends Forever)—what would we do without them? For me, whether they live back East or in Las Vegas or in Washington State or right here in my own state, I’m blessed to call a whole lot of women my BFFs. I hope they consider me one of theirs.
I was reminded of the importance of best friends when I received an email from Bonnie last week. She had read a blog I wrote about my mom and a memorable road trip we took when I was 12 (Unto These Hills). In the midst of our state-mandated stay-at-home orders, Bonnie took the time to remind me about our moms’ friendship—Mary Iversen and Nellie Vandeman.
“When you talked about your mom and the trip you took with her, I couldn’t help but remember how much my mom loved her,” she wrote. “I think they coined the term BFF!”
“They were BFFs long before it was an actual thing,” I answered. And I remembered what a great friend my mom was and what a terrific friend Mary was to her. Long before emails and mobile phones and social media, my mom kept in touch with her out-of-state BFFs with long phone calls and multiple pages of single-spaced typewritten letters. She used carbon paper and made copies of each letter to keep for her files.
Mom was a prayer warrior friend long before that was a thing, too. She’d get on the phone and pray with her friends. She started a book club with her friends who lived near us and whose husbands worked at the General Conference with my dad and Bonnie’s dad, J. Orville Iversen.
The women were having so much fun at the book club gatherings that sometimes they invited the men along for a Saturday night get-together that had nothing to do with books. The women brought waffle irons and the men donned aprons and peeled fresh peaches and whipped real cream for homemade peach waffles. And the laughter. There was so much laughter.
I discovered that being a good BFF had a lot to do with sharing food, fun, prayer, and great conversation. In the times we find ourselves living in, we are perhaps feeling isolated from our families—work families, church families, and often our own families. These are the times for all the BFFs to step up and reach out. Maybe we can’t share food, at least for a while. But we can share prayers and great conversation. We can reach out by phone, by text, by social media. We can have a Zoom prayer call and share video messages of love and support.
I’m grateful that Bonnie reminded me of our moms and about being BFFs in times like these.
Connie Vandeman Jeffery is the host of All God’s People, a weekly short video series highlighting the people and ministries of the Pacific Union Conference, and has had a long career in media.