Dear Sweet Deborah, you became my daughter by another mother the day your daddy and I were married. Your precious mother allowed us to share so many treasured moments and make years of cherished memories. Even though I was only ten years old when you were born, I worried that she would see me as “the other woman!” She welcomed me with an open heart and open arms. Your mother trusted me with the opportunity of learning what true love is really all about by becoming one of my dearest and lifelong friends.
Nana Pat, as your brothers and sister lovingly referred to her, had a heart for others, which included everyone she met. I cannot begin to tell you or remind you of all the times she proved it over and over. One that will always stand out for me is when she was my sponsor on the Walk to Emmaus! WOW! What a blessing! If I had not already loved her, that act alone would have sealed the deal. The love she showed to me, Benny, Chris, Heather, and our grandchildren was incomparable to anything I have ever encountered! I loved your sweet mother with a love that is indescribable. She was a beautiful blessing that kept giving and giving.
I can only imagine the grief you are feeling now. I know how much I loved my parents and your daddy, but your love for her was very special. I just want you to know I am grieving her loss, too (not only for me, but also for you, Scott, Emily, Eli, Ellie Scott, Connor, Gabby, and her multitude of friends and family). We have lost a giant of an angel who lived in a tiny little body filled to brimming with a heart for others and God’s work.
My promise to you is to be here for you just as you have always been here for me. I see the gentleness and love for God in you that your mother’s legacy was to you. Make her proud by standing strong and leaving that legacy to your children and grandchildren. She is smiling her beautiful smile on you and thanking you for the love and care you showered on her.