Merridee’s is a charming bakery/cafe in our town. We were there for breakfast one morning recently and I looked over at the counter where you place your order.
”That woman looks like Tonya Gaines,” I said to my husband. She lives in a neighboring town, a friend we don’t often see anymore, so I was doubtful it was really her.
Plus we both have a habit of “recognizing” people who turn out NOT to be the person we thought they were.
Then the woman turned and looked at us. She smiled and waved.
“It IS Tonya Gaines,” I smirked.
So as not to disturb the ordering process and the waiting line of people, I motioned for her to come over and see us when she ordered, and she nodded that she would.
”I knew it was Tonya!” I said to my husband with a smile. “Wonder what she is doing in Franklin?”
Soon she was tableside. I jumped up, we hugged, and I told her about our conversation. “I told Wayne, ‘I knew it was Tonya Gaines!’ ”
She gave me a puzzled look and said, “That’s not my name.”
I looked at her, and immediately, almost as if a light switched on, I saw that it was a former teaching teammate of mine, Mary Ruskin.
”Oh, Mary, of course it is you!” I sheepishly stammered. “You look great! And apparently you look a lot like another friend of ours, Tonya Gaines!”
So we had a nice catch up visit, and she graciously never mentioned my mistake again. It was really good to see her again.
I have known Tonya for 30+ years, and Mary for almost 20. Never once in that time have I ever thought they looked similar, although I see it now. I am still puzzling through my mistake.
And now I am considering, “I wonder how Tonya Gaines is these days?”
Update on my friend Tonya Gaines:
I have seen Tonya recently. It breaks my heart to say that her husband has been diagnosed with cancer in several areas of his body. We attended a prayer service for them last weekend. They face a long hard battle ahead. Please say a prayer for them if you will.