Today our family attended the funeral of our friend Nancy...one of the most dear women who has changed all our lives for the better. Elle and her friends sang. Grace bawled. It was a teary, sweet funeral.
Over the past two years my girls and a few of their friends have visited her pretty much every Sunday (I wrote about how it all began back here). They would ride their bikes over to her special-care home in our neighborhood, where she could do nothing but lay in bed due to Multiple Sclerosis. She couldn't move any muscles in her body aside from a few facial ones that still allowed her to talk (very quietly) and eat (very little). The girls usually read her stories from the Friend, brought her goodies that they would feed to her bite by bite, and sang her songs by the dozens.
And I'm sure that they brightened her day. I mean who's day wouldn't be brightened by these cute smiles?
But I wonder if Nancy knew how much she brightened their days. They always came home so happy and rejuvenated. You see, Nancy never, ever complained. She smiled and told them wonderful things. She strengthened their faith. She taught them how to be optimistic in the face of horrible circumstances, and she taught them the power of love.
Sweet Nancy has been bed-ridden for twenty years. I think about that and it makes me itch with claustrophobia. She went from being an active mother of three children who sewed curtains and drove them to piano lessons, to a wheel chair, to a bed, never to get up again.
Yet her positive attitude affected everyone she met...in an incredible way.
When we heard the news of her passing I was devastated. I wished I had visited one more time (I had kinda let my girls take over the visiting). I wished we had taken more pictures or that I would have followed through on my girls desires to help them figure out how to actually take Nancy in her wheelchair somewhere other than that little bed of hers.
But another part of me rejoiced for her...how happy that vibrant spirit of hers must be to leave that sick body behind. I believe that she is rejoicing with loved ones who have also passed away. And I believe that although it must have been devastating to leave her earthly family behind, that beautiful spirit of hers is glowing in her new-found freedom. She had done her job on earth to the fullest.
Thank you Nancy, for your valiant example of love and faith. Thank you for bringing light into so many lives from your little bed.
But most of all, thank you for teaching my daughters the joy of service.
Something they will never forget.
You will be dearly missed by so many.