Thursday, April 25, 2013
Meet 3 Truly Remarkable Women
Today I had the distinct honor of having lunch with 3 ladies whom I consider to be among the finest women on earth. Tena, Miss Margaret, and Miss Gloria. All 3 are God-fearing, Christ-following, Church-loving, People-serving, Life-speaking ladies. And to tell you the truth, I'm not entirely sure why they include me in their circle but I know that I am the better for it.
Tena and I have lunch together about once a month and consider it mutual therapy, having way more fun with the foibles of life than we ought to. Not only do we laugh with each other but we are very comfortable laughing AT each other as well. Sometimes we take our husbands with us out to dinner. Fortunately they get along very well and can converse easily while Tena and I chatter on about one thing or another. We can all talk amicably about politics, religion, child-rearing, AND finances. That is a true accomplishment!
I am blessed beyond measure that God saw fit to cross my path with Tena's. Our friendship started about 7 years ago when my daughter was dating a young man who is like a son to Tena. We met and hit it off instantly, or as instantly as I am capable of. People often frighten me but Tena is so large-hearted and kind that I couldn't help but feel her trustworthiness. She is quick-witted, wise, and caring, an outrageously devoted mom, and gifted to be generous with all that she has and is. Tena is also a nurse. She cares for the elderly and infirm. One act of love that she gave will cement me to her for all my life. When my Mom was in her final days of this life, when we were emotionally and physically exhausted, Tena came to my Mom's home and bathed her. The compassion and dignity with which she treated Mom still causes me to weep. It was the most beautiful and humble act that I have ever witnessed. She is truly a remarkable woman.
Miss Margaret is a real lady. Not the kind that sips tea in a pretty dress, but the kind who raised 3 rough and tumble boys who know to treat their Mama with respect. I met Miss Margaret about 20 years ago when we lived next door to one of those sons. I didn't know her very well then, but any woman who could raise a gravel-voiced tough guy with a soft heart had my instant respect. We attended church together for a few years where I came to know her better. She is apt to speak her mind (and almost never offended by others who are apt to speak theirs), eager to laugh, and always willing to give. Legally blind, she is also a painter. I'm not sure of her actual age but her leather-like skin, work-worn hands, and wise counsel would put her well into her 80s and beyond. It is the pleasantest of tasks to give her my arm and have a few minutes of close conversation while we walk to wherever she is walking. I especially appreciate when she talks about her now-deceased husband, Bill. I bet 'ol Bill didn't have a clue what he was getting when he married Miss Margaret. What a firecracker! She is truly a remarkable woman.
Miss Gloria. I don't know her nearly as well as I'd like but I can tell you this about her... her first love is Jesus Christ. Always will be. And she isn't shy about it. She is also Miss Margaret's baby sister. They did not grow up together, though, so their close relationship did not begin until much later. To look at her soft face and compassionate eyes, you would never guess her troubled past. To get a tiny glimpse into her life is to get perspective. Real perspective. This lady is the embodiment of what happens when a person allows God to turn the worst of trials into the best of triumphs. I briefly met Miss Gloria about 10 years ago when our 4H club did a community service project at an area food pantry. Miss Gloria was in charge of the kitchen where she served tables full of homeless men, weary women, and neglected children. She has taken into her home, given a bed to, and ministered to people who most of us would be wary to even speak to on the street in broad daylight. She knows what it is to be damaged and is on a mission to help others find the Only One who can heal. Miss Gloria worked a 44 hour week last week at Sam's Club. Did I mention that she is 79 years old? She is truly a remarkable woman.
On my way to lunch my biggest concern was whether or not I was going to stick to my low-carb eating plan. On my way home from lunch I was thinking about the kind of woman I hope to become if I am allowed the time to become her. Time. It always starts... now.