She was sort of the mother figure during the preparation for our wedding and getting settled in our first house.
This was one friendship started because of my birthday card ministry… I am not really sure how or why we connected so quickly…God's plan I suppose :).
She taught me how to shop! Never pay full price, if you're meant to have it… it will be on the clearance rack in your size and color. lol. And super discounted!
She helped me learn how to put things together to decorate my house to make it feel like home. She showed me it is possible to have nice things and not have paid a fortune for them. Have a nice house without a lot of expense… we honor the Lord in all we do and how we care for things and present ourselves. Even the presentation of our home to others… We are to be good stewards of our money and possessions, that doesn't mean we need to have things that look like they came from the thrift store or a yard sale-even if that is where they came from. Frugal and thrifty doesn't mean we wear rags and own junk… it means choosing wisely and getting only what we need and being willing to go without if we must. I never looked at "nice" things before I learned where MD had gotten some of her things and where she found some of the things she did for us. Wow! I always thought nice things were too good for me, because I'd never have the money to afford them…
We spent many evenings over at their house playing dominoes and eating ice cream… and theirs was the TV Brad watched for his "fix" until our agreement of no TV for a year ended on our first anniversary. Even then, we still spent many hours visiting and playing dominoes and watching the news. (we still have no cable or satellite subscription).
She cared for her husband, though she had almost become his mother. When your spouse gets dementia, and you are their primary caregiver… words can't describe how hard it is to watch, I can't imagine how much more difficult, heartbreaking it must be to live it.
Even though watching and caring for her husband was a 24-hour job, she still had the time to help at the church. Attend services regularly. And even make it to Prime Timers meetings every other week.
Though she wasn't excited about the idea, she moved away to have her husband closer to his siblings and mother during his last few years. They didn't have any desire to travel here and she wanted them to have as much opportunity to see him as possible, so she took him where they were. Many of them were unsaved when she moved, but through her testimony to them during most of that time, she saw (I think) three or four (maybe more?) of her in-laws come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ before they died. God is good!
The sacrifice she made for her husband and his family… is opposite of the "me first" mentality I was taught (mostly by my grandmother)… what a beautiful thing. What amazing grace… and the way God blessed through the ups and downs of the experience.