The Hand of Friendship

Elizabeth Pendrey

Elizabeth Pendrey

Patsy Thomas

This article is to say thank you to the first person to extend the hand of friendship to me in SunBird. I’ll never forget; I was in the pool, waiting for water aerobics to start, when this very pretty, white-haired lady with this amazing smile tapped me on the shoulder. She said, “You’re new here, aren’t you? My name is Elizabeth Pendrey; what’s yours?” The rest is history. She became my best friend and teacher in SunBird, and still is 12 years later.

My dear friend fell and broke her hip the first part of April. After a hip replacement, hospital stay and then rehab, she wasn’t able to return to her home in SunBird. At present, she is staying with her daughter in Gilbert. This is sad and a great loss for everyone who knows and loves her. She is a long-standing resident of our community.

Elizabeth and her husband Paul moved here from Fremont, Ohio, in the Early ‘90s. They were both golf enthusiasts and a very sociable couple. Paul absolutely loved Arizona! Elizabeth said every morning he would go out in the front yard, wave his arms and call out, “I love you, Arizona!”

Unfortunately, the Pendreys, as a couple, weren’t able to enjoy SunBird and Arizona for more than two years. Paul passed away from cancer.

In addition, Elizabeth lost her son and was facing health challenges of her own. Her entire life and lifestyle changed overnight. I say lifestyle because she was told to lose weight, change her eating habits and exercise religiously, plus she had to do it alone!

Many of us are directed to do the same thing, and we start out great. However, there are few who continue as a way of life. Elizabeth did!

In the first paragraph, I said she was my teacher, and I think most of us would agree that our best teachers are people we admire. Elizabeth Pendrey is an eloquent lady and the sweetest woman it’s been my good fortune to know. She has shown me how to grow into senior citizenship gracefully … lead by example, right!

I always say to her, “I want to be just like you, when I grow up.”

Elizabeth, I’m still learning from you, so do your exercises, eat your vegetables, grow strong and return to your home  in SunBird.