The Beauty of Authentic Friendship

The magnificent view from the living room of Berl and Lavelta Stevenson, where on Thursday and Friday we three couples had dinner and breakfast. We Stevensons, Hodges, and Buxtons are uniquely blessed, for now in our 70s and 80s, we have been friends for decades, and three times a year we rotate, entertaining the others in our homes.

20150129-untitled (17 of 43)20150129-untitled (22 of 43)20150129-untitled (20 of 43)On his neat infrared cooker, Berl grilled thick, boneless pork chops, which had first been marinated by Lavelta, and which were nothing short of delicious.

20150129-untitled (26 of 43)20150129-untitled (11 of 43)We ladies admired Lavelta’s new dishes she had bought from a neighbor who was moving. The lady’s mom had hand-painted these, but her children did not want them, and she could not keep them. Each cup and dessert dish had a different fruit depicted, and on the underside of the cups were written appropriate lines. Mine read, “You’re the berries;” Jerry’s read “You’re the apple of my eye.”

20150129-untitled (30 of 43)We were seated for breakfast on Friday morning, when Berl said, “This may cause us to eat cold food, but I want to say a few things.” He proceeded to tell how much he loved all of us, how he respected us, and how through the years, we had been nothing but Christians in his eyes. His words were quite touching. Then he asked us three ladies to say a few words, and before we were finished, we were all crying.

20150129-untitled (39 of 43)20150129-untitled (42 of 43)We are not youthful any more, and some of us are struggling with serious health issues, but our love and affection for each other has not waned, and our dedication to God and to His work continues to be what centers us. How blessed we are.

By Shirley Buxton

Still full of life and ready to be on the move, Shirley at 84 years old feels blessed to have lots of energy and to be full of optimism. She was married to Jerry for 63 years, and grieves yet at his death in August of 2019. They have 4 children, 13 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren...all beautiful and highly intelligent--of course. :)

8 replies on “The Beauty of Authentic Friendship”

I am hoping that my friendships grow and continue to be deep so that I can share a post like this.

Thank you for visiting my blog. Hope you return often. Your friendships will grow and deepen because you are aware of the desire for that, and I sense you will work at making your dream come true. Wishing you every success in life……


Every time you post of this precious friendship I am blessed! Thank you for sharing it with us. God bless you wonderful couples and give you health and strength.

Thank you for reading here, Sister McElhaney, and for posting a comment. Wishing you abundant blessings.


The love that these kind of posts make me feel is irreplaceable…. Godly love is indescribable.

So true. Thank you for visiting my site. Hope you’re here often. Blessings always….


This blog makes me want to cry! How blessed you three couples are to have such a long-lasting friendship. You all are lovely, godly people. Thanks for posting about your meal together.

Good evening, Charlotte. Indeed, we three couples are so blessed. I also consider myself blessed to have you include me as one of your friends. Praying God’s blessings on you.


I am new follower and feel so blessed reading of your friendships. Your names are all very familiar to me over the years. Blessings to each of you.

Welcome to my blog. So glad you’re here. Blessings also to you.


How come the women all look fabulous and the men look, well, like old men? ha ha

Thank you for the compliment, Esther. These wonderful men have each been through a lot; Berl has suffered more than one stroke in recent years, and Johnny just spent a couple of weeks in a rehab facility. He is very fragile. And of course my husband endured a serious automobile accident years ago. Thank you for your friendship and your prayers.

Another thing I just thought of Esther is that all the women are in our 70s, whereas our hubbys are in their 80s.


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