One thing I have learned is that good friends have other good friends. This is a series of stories about “friends of my friends”. The post below is the story for August 1, 2015.
My goal in 2015 is to learn or get re-acquainted with 365 people and doing a daily post on the “the friend of a friend” is helping me get closer to my goal.
I have been waiting to write a post about my friend Terri Massol for quite some time. Today is the perfect time because it is her birthday. Terri is one of the sweetest, caring, funny, and considerate people I have ever met. She and her husband Tito Massol are friends that my wife and I cherish. They are grounded and loyal.
If you ask around in the surrounding communities including Lumberton, Fairmont, and Pembroke, NC about Terri Massol you are going to get a universal response. Terri is awesome. Terri currently works to support the office of Southeastern Cardiology and Dr. Stephen Royal in Lumberton, NC. On the professional level you are not going to find a more organized, hardworking, and dedicated person than Terri Massol.
Terri is also a mom with two very respectful and focused young adults. She has a son named Antonio who just finished a year of US Army Reserve with an emphasis on air traffic control. Antonio will begin attending classes at UNC Pembroke in August.
She also has a beautiful and athletic daughter named Helena. Helena excels in the sport of soccer and basketball. Helena like her brother Antonio while he was in high school is involved with Army Jr ROTC at Lumberton High School.
What is really amazing to me about Terri is the infectious enthusiasm she brings to any gathering especially with our group of friends. She just knows how to light up a room by making other people feel good about them.
Photo of Terri and Dan Kenney at 2014 Kentucky Derby Party
All of this is amazing to me when I learned about her childhood from Tito her husband as he told me stories about the two of them meeting and their courtship.
I loved to hear those stories of Tito the 82nd Airborne solider stationed at Ft Bragg .Tito ethnicity is Puerto Rican and he grew up in Brooklyn, NY. He met Terri Locklear; a Lumbee Indian from Fairmont, NC at a Fayetteville nightclub. Terri wowed Tito with her smile, enthusiasm, and dance moves. I chuckled when Tito first learned that Terri was Indian and his naiveté had him thinking she was from the country India. As I tell Tito “C’mon Man”!
The story that Tito has shared with me that is most impactful is about Terri’s friendship with her grandfather Willie Ernest Oxendine.
The Friend-TERRI MASSOL
The Friend of the Friend-ERNEST OXENDINE
Terri Massol is an example of what happens when a child is placed in an loving environment despite the challenges that might surround them. When I think of Terri’s childhood of losing her mom when she was nine years old and seeing wh0 she is today it is amazing to me.
After Terri lost her mom she was raised by her grandfather Willie Ernest Oxendine from age 9 forward. He was a hard working man who spent most of his working life at Southeastern Regional Medical Center today called Southeastern Heath. According to Tito, Terri’s grandfather gave her all the things you would expect to come from a home life complete with a mom and dad. The only difference it was just him. When I heard this story I knew that he must have been an amazing man. He was there to give Terri away to Tito on her wedding day.
Photo of Terri on her wedding day with her grandfather
I do believe that Ernest Oxendine would be proud beyond description of what his sacrifice, time, values, and love have done for Terri. I know because when I am around her I see her playing forward the life lessons she learned from Ernest.
Happy Birthday Terri!
I am blessed to have the gift of being your friend. I know a big part of that gift comes from the influence you received from Ernest Oxendine.