Thursday, December 5, 2013

Thursday Think Tank: Forever Thankful for Love in Action

The first thing I want to say is that these two people saved my life. I can't even tell you how many times, or how many ways. I met Jimmy, my Army brother, in basic training. He was an ordinary, if slightly kooky guy who marched to service with me every Sunday, and could be relied upon not to mock me openly for the nutty things I sometimes did. Better yet, he helped me shine my boots sometimes when I was still struggling to figure out how to make them shiny enough to keep the Drill Sergeants off my back.
Jimmy and Heather Novak

Then after about eight or ten weeks of complete hell, I met his wife, and the kooky guy who was at least reliably nice to me morphed into an amazing guy I wanted to stay friends with for the rest of my life. I suppose you might think it odd that meeting Jimmy's wife made such a difference... I can only say that some couples truly seem greater than the sum of their parts. Heather brought out all the honor, integrity and dignity I'd seen hints of in Jimmy. I later learned that she has that effect on nearly everyone she comes into contact with. During some of the hardest, bleakest days of my life, Heather and Jimmy cared for me. I was pregnant, alone, and my mother was dying in a far away land. I was so ill with my pregnancy that I couldn't bear to cook for myself. Jimmy and Heather cooked for me. They brought me to their home, cooked and talked and... just made me feel like a beloved member of the family. Jimmy's my brother because he treated me like a sister. Heather's my sister because she treated me the same, and because she gave from her heart such beautiful lessons in action about how to be a loving partner by her treatment of Jimmy, how to be a good mom by her treatment of her daughters... how to be a loving friend through her treatment of everyone around her. I am as strong as I am today in part because Heather loves me, and gives so freely of her heart. I draw tremendous strength from my friendship and sisterhood with her. 

Every now and then we catch glimpses of enlightened souls moving among us. These are two that I have been privileged to know for over fifteen years. Jimmy and Heather? I love you guys. Thank you for saving my life. Over and over again. I hope that everyone reading this has a Jimmy and a Heather in their lives. I spent most of last month posting daily tidbits about what I was thankful for. There were honestly more things than I had days for in my 30 days of Thanks, conducted over at Facebook... But this one? I coulda put on the page every single day. I'm thankful for my friend Heather, who loved me so well she became the sister of my heart.


  1. Love you sis.... I think you have saved me some days too..... Just remember that I'm human and I fail quite often.

    1. Yes, we all fail. I just wanted you to remember how much good you impart in the world.

  2. I definitely needed the reminder... :)


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