We met Karen in our old neighborhood and weren’t instant friends, but the kids were drawn to her and wouldn’t give up the pursuit. She let us love her, and loves us in return.
Karen quickly became the kind of friend whose door was always open, and the coffee pot was always on. She came to our house for noise and excitement. At her home, Jelly Belly jelly beans and water were always present. She is a woman who is retired from the army after 22 years. A little rough around the edges, but life has dealt her some harsh blows. I think in many ways, we are all rough around the edges aren’t we? I want to be a friend like her. One who always opens the door to her neighbors and their wild, full of life children. One who gardens in the heat of the day, to get rid of those awful weeds. One who accepts a glass of lemonade on a hot Texas day, from grubby little toddler hands, and drinks every drop and is thankful. One who seeks to know what our favorite things are and pops in with surprise groceries, when we didn’t know how we were going to make it that month. The friend who always listens, asks the right questions, and seeks to make sure we know how loved we are. She has been the break from reality, when Sammy was coaching 96 hours a week. She comes for birthdays. Truth be told, she has brought the birthday many times! The kids found chocolate chip cookie cakes with maraschino cherries, whipped cream , icing, sprinkles and whatever toppings they chose to be undeniably delicious! I think she has made cookie cakes for the last 8 years!
She was there for the activities of the kids, a supporter of odd requests and purchaser of random last-minute birthday gifts that we couldn’t (or wouldn’t) purchase. She has a son and daughter in law, but grandchildren haven’t arrived. She has wall plaques, and picture frames that have Nana phrases. She has our hearts. So, as she suffers from her third form of cancer in 3 years, we cry out to the Lord with sorrow and gratitude. With sorrow, because it hurts us to see her suffer. With gratitude, that she has been led to the Maker of Heaven and Earth and we know eternity is in her heart. Selfishly, we want her forever here. Not for her to be in suffering, but in selfishness we want her here, with us. She became Nana. You see, she is adopted into our family and as much of our family as any Grandmother or Grandfather would be. We wormed our way into her heart, and she planted the gift of love in ours.
So this is where the wish comes in. I wish we were all healthy at the same time so visits could be more frequent. Will you pray that we can be healthy to visit as often as possible? According to the Dr, we have a month give or take. A month of quiet kisses and I love you. A month to take as many pictures as we can take. A month to get in as many cuddles as her pained body can bear. A month to share laughter and love over a meal. One last Christmas, birthday and Thanksgiving. One last…
Every day is a gift. Every day matters.
I want to be like Nana. Full of love, patience and humor. Generous to a fault. Ready for adventure!
We love you Nana.