This week I received an e-mail that pulled at my heart strings.
A few months before Graysen was born we started attending Cornerstone Baptist. From the time Graysen was a week old we were in church almost every week and sat in almost the same seats. I can’t explain the sense of community in a room full of hundreds of people but it is so welcoming. There was this sweet lady who sat in front of us and after weeks of turning around to say hello and mention again how cute he was she finally asked if she could hold him.
That was the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
Week after week she would take him and just sit with him, playing with him and making him smile. He loved it. Graysen was almost five months old before I ever knew her name. I knew her warm smile, her sweet voice, and that she had a love for my little boy and that was enough for me.
Finally the church suggested we wear name tags to get to know each other better because even though there was an amazing sense of community it is still hard to learn everyone’s names. That’s when I learned her name. Her name tag was on her left arm, but she was too busy playing with Graysen for me to get it to stay still long enough to get a good look without being obvious. After much debate my mother and I finally came up with Valerie. It was nice to have a name behind Graysen’s sweet friend.
When she found out that we were moving out of province she told me she was disappointed, that she enjoyed their Sundays together. She was the sweet spot in our Sunday mornings, it gave me a little break and Graysen’s face would light up when she took him.
For the first few months of Graysen’s life she had a love for him, not because he was family, or because he lacked love but because she had a heart big enough to love. She had a smile bright enough to welcome him in and light up his face in return. She had hands barely strong enough to hold him but week after week she welcomed him into her warm embrace because she thought he was cute. She didn’t need to love on my little boy, she had her own grandchildren but she took time to love on my little boy and make him smile.
I encourage you to do the same. Find someone who doesn’t need your love and give it anyways. It will change your life. For five sweet months she loved my family every Sunday morning and changed my life in a way that made me cry as I read that she had passed away. It amazes me that a women I saw for a few hours once a week for a few months has made such an impact on my life just by loving.
So from my family to hers, I send my sympathies. The world was a better place because of the love she had. I can only imagine the love she had for her family. In the few months I knew her she was so sweet to my family and for that I will be forever thankful.
Our family will miss you Valerie.
John 13: 34-35 (MSG) “Let me give you a new command: Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another. This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples—when they see the love you have for each other.”