You’ve got a friend in me

Published 8:20 am Thursday, February 3, 2011

Cecilia Davis, left, and Debbie Warren’s friendship inspired Davis to write a book, pictured below.

If you saw Cecilia Davis and Debbie Warren walking down the street together, you might not have any idea that the two women are best friends.

That’s because their friendship goes deeper than appearances, and that fact has even inspired Davis to write a book.

Both women attend Faith Walk Ministries, where the seed for their relationship was planted last April.

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Davis said one day Warren spoke at church about some difficult times she was experiencing, and that inspired Davis to get to know her better.

“She knew I was needing a friend,” Warren said. “I felt like I was disconnected from people. She heard that and it touched her heart.”

It didn’t take long for the friendship to take hold despite their differences.

Warren is a life-long resident of Luverne, while Davis has only been in town a few years after moving from Michigan.

Davis is “chocolate,” while Warren is “vanilla,” as Davis puts it in the book.

Warren is disabled and has trouble seeing.

But all of that doesn’t matter to either woman.

“We just hit it off,” Davis said. “She needed a friend, and I was just there at the time she needed me.”

While the two are different in many ways, both say they have quite a bit in common, including birthdays that are only five days apart.

“We’re more alike than we are different,” Davis said.

Celebrating their friendship despite their differences is the main theme of the children’s book Davis was inspired to write.

“When you read the story, you don’t realize someone has a disability until the last page,” she said. “The point is that it doesn’t matter about skin color or disability.”

When the inspiration struck, it only took Davis about an hour and a half to write the book.

“It just came to me because we need to get beyond our shallowness,” she said. “I said it would be more easily accepted through a child’s eyes.”

Warren said that she was overwhelmed when Davis told her about the book she’d just written.

“I haven’t ever been an inspiration for anything,” she said. “I cried when she read it to me.”

When it came time to get the ball rolling on publishing the book, everything fell into place.

Neither woman had any experiencing publishing a book, but Warren’s cousin Patti Valin Ward had written and self-published her own book, so they gave her a call.

Ward loved the book, and not only published it, but also illustrated it.

“We’ve been keeping it a secret since September,” Warren said. “It only took four months from conception to publication. It’s amazing how everything has worked out.”

So far, the book has received well over 100 orders from friends and family.

Even though the pair has made several local appearances to talk about the book, they still keep a regular schedule for time together.

“Friday is our day,” Davis said. “We can sit and chat for hours. Our relationship has been wonderful. We had no idea that there would be a connection like there is.”

For more information about purchasing a copy of the book, call Davis at 335-2021 or write to P.O. Box 219, Rutledge, AL 36071.

The cost of the book is $5, or $6.50 by mail with shipping and handling.