Parkinsons Disease was holding her captive in her body and in her tiny apartment, but she still reached out to others through her poetry and shadow boxes. It is my honor to introduce you to her today:
Friday, January 31, 2014
It's a quiet and cloudy day in Oklahoma City today. I have plenty of things with which to busy myself. But I'm more in the mood to remember other times. With so many of our family who have moved ahead of us into God's kingdom, we need to keep memories alive. For ourselves. For our younger family members. Following is a piece I wrote when my cousin, Glenda, passed away. She was a poet and spent many hours during a time in her life that would leave many feeling they had no resources to be productive.
Glenda is my cousin. And, for what now seems a lifetime ago, she was my friend, traveling companion, and confidant.
As children, Glenda and I spent summer days at Grandpa Anderson’s house creating whatever world we chose to live in for the day. Some days we would load all of our worldly possessions into the family car parked in the driveway, climb into the front seat and head for California or other far-away places. We didn’t need the car keys, or money for gas or lodging. All we needed were our imaginations and that supply never ran dry. A walk to the local grocery store on a summer day could turn into a raging blizzard as we fought against howling winds and life-threatening elements that no one else could experience.
At the end of such an eventful day, we would lie under the moon-soaked window of her tiny bedroom and plan the rest of our lives. And, like our imaginations, our plans knew no bounds. The cool breeze was a welcome relief from the summer heat – and much warmer than the howling “winter” winds we had survived earlier that day.
Our lives took different paths, most of which were not in our well-thought-out summer dreams. Glenda’s ability to step out of her world and into a better place enabled her to write beautiful poetry and create cards and shadow boxes to showcase what she had written. I’ve heard how her poetry won awards and how she used to be invited to read her inspired creations to other poets.
That she could know such peace in a body that defied her every move and be able to express such love for and faith in God, in her Jeshua, was God revealing Himself to us through her. I can honestly say that I never once heard Glenda complain or feel sorry for herself over her physical condition. The only words spoken were words of praise and of hope.
At Glenda and Jacob’s anniversary celebration one summer, Glenda created yet another memory. Our grandson, Barrick, was there. He was about six months old, I guess. Glenda engaged him by singing what sounded like a Jewish lullaby to him as only she could sing it. Barrick’s wiggles stopped, his eyes fixed on hers. He didn’t even notice the involuntary movement of Glenda’s chair twisting on castors that would not be controlled. He just heard her soft voice and the beautiful song that was for his ears only – like they were the only two people in a room filled with people and activity. What a gift, and on a day when Glenda should have been the only recipient of gifts.
There was quite a party going on in Heaven in 2009 and 2010. One reunion after another, after another, after another… Early on a Saturday morning at 2:30 AM, it was Glenda’s turn to run into the waiting arms of her parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends - and her Messiah. And run she could. With strong legs that allowed her to dictate the direction and speed of her arrival. I can imagine, once again, and I can see Glenda on the team that writes unending praises to Yahweh. But that’s where the imagination ends. This time she really is in a better place.
Thanks for the memories, Glenda.