This has been a rough month.
My mom passed away on July 18th- just five days after her 78th birthday.
My husband's mom passed away yesterday morning- exactly two weeks after my mom, give or take four hours.
With the drama of dealing with my mom's funeral and subsequent cleaning out of her apartment on top of it all, I was on the verge of losing it.
I went to a friend's house so my kids wouldn't see me lose my Schmidt.
My friend's name is Marlene. She's God's warrior. She's a Tough Marshmallow.
This is a woman who will pray for you any time of the day or night, will hold your hands in hers so you don't pull your own hair out, and assure you that God is with you, always.
But don't mess with Marlene. Don't tell her you don't need help when your heart is hurting. She has an excellent BS detector and has no problem telling you your full of it.
Within five minutes she rallied the troops- she had me on the phone with a guy named Bob-someone I met at the writer's conference who's a fantastic speaker and brother of my heart, just to tell me I'm not entirely a deranged lunatic.
Then Marlene summoned two great spiritual warriors to her house just to listen to me talk myself hoarse for three hours straight and cry myself dry.
Another dear lady named Marjorie gave me a book to help revive my spirit- one she herself wrote- and had no problem swatting me when I asked her who the heck the author was.
These people rallied around me. Me. The one with the snarky Philly attitude when things go wrong. The one that wants to hide in her room when things go bad, and not help anyone when she's feeling angry. Don't these people know me? Don't they know that I never open up to anyone because when I do, people tend to pat me on the head, tell me they'll pray for me, then find better things to do?
Yet they listened. And stayed. They didn't hang up until I was ready. they didn't leave the room. They didn't make me feel like I was wasting their valuable time.
But they did drop what they were doing to help someone they only knew from a distance. These are really busy people. Their time really is super valuable. Yet they all took time out for me.
This has never happened to me before. Never.
I could see them doing this for my husband. You see, he's the go-to guy. The help-anyone-in-a-crisis man of the hour. I've seen people flocking to him whenever he was in need. He does a lot of stuff for a lot of people and is well loved by all. Seriously. He has touched more lives than anyone I know. He's awesome.
His wife is another matter. She's a snarky, wit-cracking wise-arse who couldn't quote a scripture if her life depended on it. She's just not a rally-to-her-banner kind of gal.
I'm so grateful to those tough marshmallows that helped me stay sane yesterday. People willing to listen and give me a hug, but weren't afraid to keep things real and swat me upside the head on occasion. Tough people gently nudging me towards God's word, and doing more than just praying.
Don't get me wrong- prayer is powerful stuff! But sometimes you need more than prayer. That's what these people did for me. I pray that God heaps unexpected blessings all over them- so much so that the blessings are slopping over and soaking into the carpets!
Thank you Marlene, Bob, Rob and Stephanie, Marjorie, Ava, and Marti for the support, hugs, and swats. I love you all so very much!