The phone rings and it's MaryAnn. She goes to our church and lives alone in our neighborhood. She and Kate talk for a few minutes. I hear snips of the conversation: "...fine... cheerful... Florida...". They hang up and I ask how she's doing. "Great. She's checking in before leaving for Florida to see Mike & Tina. They are taking her to a Miami Heat game."
Last week it was Kathy calling. She wanted to say just that it was great to see Kate at Mass. With Maggie's immune system compromised, it took us a bit of time to work up the bravery necessary to take her to a church full of people. I told Maggie just to flash peace fingers at the Sign of Peace. I told her no hugging. She was delighted to find that almost no one felt the No Hugging Rule was important and hugged her anyway. Lots of hugging that morning. Kathy called to recognize how nice it was to see us all together. This is the same Kathy who never forgets to send a card at our anniversary or any of the kids' birthdays. Every year, God bless her.
These folks are all in their seventies. They cheerfully, prayerfully keep us close to them. They teach us how to love with small, consistent contacts. They don't put it off for a big glut of conversation at some yearly event. They don't wait to need us or for us to need them. They look at time differently. They don't let us go too long without them. I'm pretty sure they do the same with God.