She told me once she was afraid to reach out to me because shortly before we met, there was someone else she dared to try to help and they told her to leave them alone because they were fine and didn't need any help… I knew better, I needed help, and told her often how much I appreciated her love and guidance.
Our friendship started because a quiet whisper told me to watch her. I don't really remember how the friendship grew from a "hi" at church to near daily phone calls…
I know it was a year of simple "hi." with a smile and maybe a handshake (neither of us are big on hugging everybody/anybody), before I learned her name. Oh, I am sure I'd heard it before, but it never stuck. When they celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary, they renewed their vows. I wasn't going to go. I was certain I had no idea who they were. My mother insisted I did, and I liked them. "Well, who are they?".
"You know", she said," he's tall and she's short. She has grey hair and glasses…"
"Well, that helps, you just described half the church." was my response.
Well my mother talked me into going to the anniversary celebration. We were the last ones to arrive. We came in after the ceremony started (I HATE to be late!), then somehow (they told me later), at the reception, the video camera was pointed right at me! Just what they needed to remember their anniversary… a video of me eating. LOL
But then I knew her name! Still I don't know how long it was before I found out her first name, but it probably wasn't too much longer…
Not long after their anniversary, there was an announcement made that she needed a helper in her SS class. my mother encouraged me to offer to help. I was out of the youth group and was going to the 55+ class because the other adult class at the time was 18-55, and I didn't want to be in the same class as my mother…
So I offered to help. That was the beginning of a new direction for my life.
She took advantage of our working together to encourage me on the path I was meant to follow.
She started by inviting me back for Sunday evening service. Then Wednesday nights. Then Women's Missionary Fellowship (I couldn't sew, but I could thread needles. LOL), and then the choir. I didn't do anything but watch TV, so it's not like I had anything "better" to do…
The first visit to their home, was when I was selling Rainbow cleaning systems. I had just started and was going door-to-door… and one door I knocked on was answered by BK! I was surprised!! Much to my further surprise they allowed me to demonstrate the vacuum system in their home, and even bought one!!
Shortly after that I was offered an opportunity to help at the school at the church. I was hesitant, but she encouraged me to go for it. By the following School year, the deacons/school board offered me a paid position as a teacher's aide…
During the summer of 1996, my mother worked a strange shift at a preschool near the Ks, so since the one part of her shift was only an hour or two long, I'd go over to visit with BK, instead of going all the way home, just to turn right around and go back. I learned SO much by watching… how to wash dishes and iron. The fact that there is no such thing as too many dishes! We had adventures in rearranging furniture while her husband was in town. I learned how to help her when her hypoglycemia showed itself and her sugar levels dropped (and they both panicked)… I learned what a clean, peaceful, quiet home was like and that I wanted it! When her mother died, I asked if we could bring them dinner and amazingly enough, my parents went for the idea! And my stepfather even gave the OK for my mother and I to go to the memorial "down the hill" (I don't remember where it was… everywhere was down the hill!).
Somewhere in that time, my stepfather got furious with my mother for doing nothing, bit going to work, fixing dinner and watching TV (and laundry on the weekend)-nevermind he was home all day everyday and never did anything, but watch TV (I didn't do much either, I refused to clean the whole house when neither would lift a finger to help, unless they paid me… when they quit paying, o quit working, I kept after me, but I may have been trapped, but I wasn't going to be their slave… and I really hadn't been taught to do anything)
Anyway. I went in to take a shower, and my stepfather started to rage about the dishes from one end of the kitchen to the other, and the food from dinner still sitting out (about five hours after dinner). I heard her respond something about after her show was over. I had taken off my shoes, as I was stepping to the bathroom, I saw him grab a hammer and head into their bedroom. I don't know what I thought, but I panicked. I grabbed my keys and ran. Got in the car and drove. I was half way across town before I even considers where I would go. I had to think… by now there really was only one place to go… my safest place… the people he feared. So I showed up at their door… it was 11:00 at night. I was "fine" until she opened the door and our eyes met… I fell apart. (I think the only other time I ever cried like that was at her memorial.)
They got me calmed sown, and called my parents to let them know where I was. I don't drive well at night going from the dark outskirts of town to the bright lights of downtown (even in YV), so these wonderful people drove me back home (should've seen 6' tall Mr. K in my little Dodge Colt lol).
They were my lifeline, my comfort, my security. My crutch. The ones I depended on more than God…
When her mother died she assured me they were not moving for at least five years. Just a matter of weeks after that I heard from someone else (I think 2 or 3 others, really) that they were moving. I was hurt and angry. I was certain she had lied to me, and I wrote her a nasty letter saying so. Immediately after reading the letter, she confronted me. I could see the hurt and anger on her face! I fell to my knees apologizing and asking forgiveness. She forgave me and explained what had happened and apologized for not telling me before I heard it somewhere else.
A painful "moment", but it showed me that I had placed her on a pedestal, that "moment" knocked her off of that pedestal, and reminded me she was just a person. It also was a great lesson in unconditional love and forgiveness-beautiful!
I already told about when they left and what a great blessing and help and influence they were in my life from this point on. But I never forgot that she was imperfect. That's NOT a negative when I say that… it's the truth. I admire nobody, like I do her, but God is so much more than she ever could have been… I just needed to learn that, too.
We had another great misunderstanding after we were all here and I was moved out and married to Brad. Thankfully, we were able to resolve it, too. And she even told me later she knew I was telling the truth and hadn't done/said what I had been accused of. God is good!
There is so much about me that wouldn't be if she hadn't taken interest… I can never run out of words of thankfulness and gratitude for her love and influence. I would have done ANYTHING for her… she was my hero