Tuesday, May 19, 2009

For Lorna.

This morning I got a call from a good friend in Montana.  My dear friend Lorna died late last night after a heart attack that ruptured her heart.  I am devastated. 

Dashing Boy and I met Lorna just weeks after moving to Montana.  We took her to church every Sunday (years ago she had a stroke that left her paralyzed on one side and wheel chair bound).  She was young, in her early sixties.  We developed a very special, loving relationship with her.  

I am going to miss her greatly.

And so today I write to Lorna. 

* * *

Dear Lorna,

Everyone keeps saying that you're in a better place, free from your earthly restrictions.  I know it's true, but today I feel selfish.  I just talked to you last week!  I wish you were still here to visit with and laugh with and love.  Because I love you so much.

Being your friend has been such a blessing.  I've learned so many things from you.

For one, you taught me to get to church on time.  Not ever because you were upset if we were late- you never once got upset- but because I knew it mattered, and I looked forward to seeing you, and it made me be responsible.

You brought your scriptures to church on Sundays.  Even though they were heavy and hard for you to maneuver.  And Lorna, you always looked so nice for church.  I learned that on mornings when your home aides didn't show up you spent hours getting ready on your own- just doing basic things like getting dressed or putting on lipstick.  

And you always wore the best jewelry.

You taught Dashing Boy and I how to serve together as a couple.  But really, it was you who was serving us- strengthening our marriage and values as we watched each other be sweet with you.

I don't think I'll ever be able to see something with a chicken on it and not think of you.  You loved chickens- your room overflowed with chickens.  Remember when Dashing Boy brought home that huge 1 1/2 foot tall chick candle from the church rummage swap?!  I thought "what on earth is he picking up that for?" But he gave it to you and you loved it and made sure it never got in the sun.

You teased us and we teased you in good fun.  You got a hoot out of chasing me in your wheelchair with Dashing Boy pushing as I ran down the halls of your apartment building in heels.  

And then one day Dashing Boy got a silly idea when he was changing your shoes after church.  He tickled your toes.  Your feet flew so high in the air and your squeal and laughter was so loud and contagious we couldn't stop laughing!  

You taught me to notice the dark purple blossoms in the spring.  

You taught me that bras were made by men to make women uncomfortable.  I taught you that, while yes-- sometimes it is best and most comfortable to go free, having the right bra size can change your life.  

You taught me to never stop dreaming.  "I found a house for us," you would say.  "It has four bedrooms and a bathtub on the main floor and you and Dashing Boy can live upstairs."  You loved looking at houses and dreaming of your life in them.  Now as we're looking at houses here I'm still looking out for you and will hardly consider looking at a house if it has lots of steps leading up to it or there is no bathroom on the main floor.

You taught me to love and stand up as a mother for your children, even if they don't call or come to see you as much as you'd like.  You had such pure, sweet love for your children and I know you sacrificed and gave so much as a mother.  You did a wonderful, admirable job.

You taught me to appreciate walks.

You taught me so much.

You loved us.  You let us know that.  And we loved you.  You are a forever friend. Someone who I will always remember and carry in my heart.  

We we last visited Montana I was most excited about showing up at your house on Sunday morning as a surprise.  You were so excited! screaming and laughing and hugging.  It was the best.  So much excitement and love.

I hope that's how it will be when I see you again in heaven.  I know it must be.  

I love you Lorna.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Love Jenny


Anonymous said...

I am sorry about your friend. This letter is so very sweet, it brought tears to my eyes.

Anonymous said...

Dashing Boy here (It's kind of silly announcing myself as that... oh well, it's the world we live in, you have to protect privacy),

I'd like to write a p.s to Jenny's letter to Lorna.

Lorna, you were a great example of obedience and enduring to the end. You put forth so much effort to go to church and you loved going even though it was so difficult and time consuming. You got so excited when summer came and you could "walk" in your wheel chair to institute. Institute was one of the highlights of your week.

Speaking of walks, I was in awe when I heard how much you walked all over town. You never let being in a wheelchair stop you from doing things you wanted to do.

Thank you and I hope I can follow your example.


Dashing Boy

candace said...

i haven't read a blog post so intensely that was that long in...well, ever...this is truly captivating.

Cristie said...

What a wonderful tribute to three caring individuals. One that has moved on to a different stage and two who get to live together and share this thing we call life. What a pleasure it is to know you.

Anonymous said...

My favorite part was when she chased you in her wheel chair when dashing boy was pushing it! I also loved how he tickled her feet and she started laughing so hard.