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My Friend, Joyce Harris Murray

“I give thanks for every remembrance of you.”

Joyce graced my life for more than 60 years. We were classmates at Furman University. We did not run in the same circles. Joyce was a beauty queen and I was not.

When I arrived in Charleston and First Baptist Church, Joyce and Bennett were already here. The four of us Bennett, Joyce, Liz and I became friends. Joyce and Liz shared the same birthday.

Joyce was a beautiful person inside and outside. Her hair was her crown and glory. She had the same beauty shop appointment for more than 50 years.

On my birthday after Bennett died I received a crazy birthday card from Bennett. The return address was Bennett Murray, Heaven. Joyce said she found it in Bennett’s things and knew it was meant for me.

My most cherished memories of Joyce are as Carol’s condition became worse, I started attending choir practice with Joyce, Gene Plyler, and Carol. We would go to Chick-fil-a afterwards for dinner. Joyce and Carol got the children’s meal which contained a small toy. The two women traded their toys for an ice cream cone. Something neither of them should have.

Joyce loved sausage biscuits and would stop at Hardee’s on the way to church to get one. One day when looking for something in that huge purse she had, there was a sausage biscuit hard as a rock. After my Aunt Alice, Joyce made the best ambrosia.

Other than her family, Joyce had three loves: First Baptist Church, the Furman singers and flowers. Joyce never had to tell anyone that she was a Christian. It oozed out of every pore.

Joyce and I differed on many topics and she never failed to chastise me. When I was writing a column for the Post and Courier, Joyce was an avid reader and an avid  critic.  but Joyce was the first to tell me that my efforts at Say Something Nice was my mission.

How do you say goodbye to an old and dear friend? You don’t.

Joyce Murray will be in my memory forever until I see her again. What a day of rejoicing that will be!

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Get Wisdom

Knowledge is not wisdom.

Intelligence is not wisdom.

Intuition is not wisdom.

Belief is not wisdom.

Conviction is not wisdom.

Faith is not wisdom.

Feeling is not wisdom.

Love is not wisdom.

Power is not wisdom.

Experience is not wisdom.

Wisdom comes with age sometimes.

Wisdom comes from failure sometimes.

Wisdom comes from loss sometimes.

Wisdom never appears in noise.

Wisdom often appears in silence.

Wisdom never comes at the expense of the other.

Wisdom often comes in knowing ones’  self.

Wisdom shows when the body, mind and soul are in harmony

Wisdom is being at one with all of creation.

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Who Are THEY?

Who Are They?

I saw a rant on Facebook that went something like this.

THEY took away your freedom.

THEY made you wear masks.

THEY made you stay home.

THEY closed your churches.

THEY made you stay six feet apart.

THEY closed your schools.

Here’s my problem. The Republicans control the presidency, the United States Senate, the Supreme Court and 26 state houses.

The Democrats control the United States House of Representatives and 24 state houses. Who’s left?

I am at a loss as to know who THEY are. I am not one of THEY. Are you?

What are THEY really up to?

Should I be afraid of THEY?

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I Am Worried

I am very worried about future generations. Education as we have known it is dead. The computer screen has replaced human beings. Computer screens do not have hearts and souls.

I love Furman University because Furman University loved me. Those wonderful human beings who made up the faculty looked at this kid with poor eyesight and no money and they saw a teachable, reachable brain. They encouraged that brain to come alive. They pushed, they pounded, they nagged, and they encouraged that brain to think for itself. Not only did they make certain that the foundation was solid but then they went further. They reached for the soul. What are you going to do to make the world a better place? How will you pass it on? I left there with a thirst for knowledge that has not been quenched. I left there with a sense of responsibility for others that will not let me rest.

Who will do that for future generations? Who will look at a kid with all the odds stacked against her or him see the potential and set out to release it?

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