First of all, I want to say that I am so bummed out that we forgot the camera in the van! (rant, rant, rant...)
Ok, now that I've blown off some steam... (lol)
I wanted to share with you a story about a couple who back in early 90s, helped me feel valued and I never, ever forgot them. We lost contact for a while, but I never forgot them.
I joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as a single mother to a then barely a toddler L-Infinity. Part of the "new member" welcome package was a pair of Visiting Teachers to check on me, at least, monthly and a pair of home teachers, also signed up as my monthly mentors. Well, instead of two partnerships to keep my faith going, I was given a single pair- a husband and wife; Brother and Sister Dansie. Why? Because they were the perfect pair I needed.
Sis. Dansie has a smile and a laugh that can disarm a whole military base. She can talk to you and you know she was listening. I remember first meeting with her at Mr. Man's parent's home and the whole room felt wonderful. We talked and we listened. We laughed and we cried a little (I was scared and excited at the same time being a new member of such an established denomination where everyone seemed interested in how this single mother would fare in her budding faith now with a solid compass.)
A few weeks later, her husband was assigned to be my first home teacher. Brother Dansie, in his low voice and kind attitude, came a powerful gesture of friendship and welcome. With the two of them proverbially holding me up to gain footing on this journey of undeniable truth I was in, I slowly but surely knew that my destiny lies with learning more, serving more, and loving more. Their genuine interest in my well being didn't stop with the formal release of their responsibility of me, not even their retirement induced move kept us apart. Sis. Dansie sent me birthday cards every year. The last few went missing and is mostly like sitting in the "forgotten" mail slot in some post office between us, but I've always felt their love for me.
When I married Mr. Man, it was like having two sets of in-laws. Mr. Man adored Brother Dansie and his career in Aviation Mechanics for United Airlines. Mr. Man always anchored his love of airplanes on the adventures that Bro. Dansie had and would regale me with how much he would love to do the same things, in his efforts to convince me to love it, too.
Fast forward to the last two-three years. We had to make a big decision of going back to school after Mr. Man's layoff and becoming a family of five. Even though I didn't want to marry a pilot, I knew that I had to let my dh pursue something he loved since he was faithful in pursuing everything else to put food on the table. I sat him down and said that if he was serious about going to school, I want him to go for what he loves because I want him to have a career, not a job. It turned out that he loved fiddling with the planes more than flying them! Whew! (Yes, my husband can fly planes, not any commercial jetliners, but two seaters and very small passenger planes, you bet) As if by fate, we found ourselves living in the area that when we first saw it, didn't think much of it and secretly hoped we would never need to be in. (How many times have I said that Heavenly Father has a sense of humor?)
Next thing we know Mr. Man now knows Aviation Mechanics, has a license and a certificate and is waiting to be called by US Airlines. We waited a year, but nothing. Then the same instructor who believed in him told him to apply at Southwest Airlines. (Here's the divine sense of humor kicking in) After Mr. Man got the interview call (he only waited a week), and the second interview call, and after he was offered the job as a part of the cleaning crew, US Airlines calls and offers him a job! We prayed for clarity but we knew that US Airlines messed up and that Southwest Airlines is a more viable option for us. Then we had to move again- to Texas!
Fast forward to last week, I hear the phone ring and the ID said, "M Dansie". I had to reread it three or four times before I answered the call. When she first said "hello, is this...?" I said, "yes it is and I'm grinning ear to ear because it's you Sis. Dansie..." I was literally shaking with glee and was beyond shock when she said that she was here visiting her son and his family (Chris and Lisa) for a few weeks and if we can find time to see each other. I kid you not, I almost dropped the phone! I wanted to see her that day, but with a household of eggheads, the calendar's always full. And so we found time to meet at her son's and tonight, yes, tonight, we had the long overdue visit. Just like a little kid, I made sure to be the first one to get out of the van! I even showed her my blogs! Yes, ladies, I did and she loved them! She loved the tables that I did, and as always, she was genuinely interested in me and how I've turned out. I just love her!
Brother Dansie was happy to be talking to Mr. Man about his past career and L-Infinity had a great time talking to Lisa who is probably one of the nicest ladies I've ever met! Chris and Mr. Man grew up together and as good friends. The Dansies and Mr. Man's parents are great friends.
Chris and Lisa were such gracious hosts. I wish we lived closer to them. And to think that they have been here in Texas for 10 years!
Hugging my first ever visiting and home teachers goodbye was so bittersweet... But it's like being away from your parents, it is enough that you know they love you... I wish soon will come sooner...