When we first joined the work at Central in 1975, we soon became friends with Jeff and Laura Davies. They were younger than we were, but both were witty and clever and seemed to enjoy hanging out with us. Jeff was working on his Ph.D. in audiology and Laura was a high school physical education teacher in Cincinnati.
After a couple of years, our son Josh, age 5, had a hearing problem. Yes, all children have a listening problem, but he literally could not hear us when he couldn’t see us, even when we were offering a treat he’d love. So we asked Jeff to test his hearing. He brought his equipment to church and tested Josh one Sunday afternoon. He told us later he really dreaded telling us how bad Josh’s hearing was. He just suggested we take him to an ear, nose, and throat doctor and even a specific one that was good with children.
After the doctor checked Josh out, he started removing ear wax from Josh’s ears—an amazing amount—and assured us all was well after that. As we walked to the car together, Josh looked up at us and grinned. “Do you like my new voice?” he asked. Of course we did! We hadn’t even considered that his own voice was sounding strange to him when he spoke.
When the Davies family lived in Cincinnati, we still lived at 15 Cliffview Avenue and had some really good times there. One day when Jeff and Steve were playing tennis, which they did a lot, Laura decided to go for a run.
Of course the streets in For Thomas are not marked off in blocks or squares, so Laura got lost. This was long before cell phones, so she just kept wandering. As Steve and Jeff returned from their game, they saw a bedraggled Laura going away from our house. Steve stopped and she was grateful to get a ride home. He still teases her about it.
He and Jeff were never fashion plates. It seemed they just wore whatever shorts and shirts they pulled out first, but neither minded.
In 1977, Jeff finished his doctorate, and they left. Their first son was born and later a second. They moved around a lot with the Army for several years. They lived in various places, from Hawaii to Maryland. Neither of us always sent Christmas cards, but somehow we managed to stay in touch even with all the address changes. Ours had changed only once, so maybe that helped.
In June, 2019, when we knew we’d be in their area of Maryland after visiting Gettysburg, I wrote them a quick note, asking if we could meet them for church on Sunday and then we take them out to lunch. I included our phone numbers and email addresses.
As soon as she got it, I got both an email and a text from Laura. They were as excited as we were to get together. We met at the Olney Church of Christ in time for Sunday morning services, and they were there early to greet us so enthusiastically that it was overwhelming—like being wrapped in love. We were all so glad to be together, and of course it was as though no time had passed. They even looked very much the same. After 40 years! So we had someone there take our pictures and then made a selfie before we left their house.
Laura, who always disdained her own cooking, had prepared a delicious lunch and we took time to visit afterward. We had so many memories to relive and so much to tell that had happened since we last met—especially our children and their jobs and locations and our grandchildren.
Jeff was just beginning retirement and was a bit uncertain about how it would go. But he’s a strong worker for the Lord and I’m sure their little church there will keep him busy. Laura is super busy with their grandchildren and other projects as well as church.
It was so lovely to see them again. What dear friends they are!