While I appreciated Nena then, I really didn't get to know her. Then she stopped by our house one day to ask where the builder got the white brick to build our house with. Somehow from there we went on to become Best Friends.
I remember a couple of incidents that reveal what a GOOD friend she was. Once when Granny fell down the stairs at my parents beach house and chipped her ankle bone, Nena and Joe drove their Winnebago camper up to bring Granny home in a comfortable manner.
Another time she left her family to go with me so surprise my Mom when she was about to have surgery. We drove all night. I'll never forget the smile on my Mother's face when we walked in hr hospital room that morning. As it turned out, my mother died a few days later completely unexpectedly. Nena was with me throughout this nightmare.
Nena married young and had three children. At age forty, she decided to go to college and worked in Byrd's Country Store (not all that pleasant of an environment) to support herself while she went to college. She then went on to Seminary in Atlanta and eventually got her doctorate in Counseling. How's that for a late bloomer?
When Nena went off to become a pastor, we didn't see each other much. Hubs and I usually went at least once to each new pastorate she took. It was always like old times when we got together. A million good and bad memories to recall. Lots of laughs at ourselves!
She was the officiating minister at two of my children's weddings and at our good friend Marcia's funeral. (I hope she is around to do mine.) Her daughter, Rhonda, babysat my kids while I went to summer school.
Nena's greatest gift in my opinion is her shepherding of her flock. Even before she became a minister she was always visiting the sick and shut ins in the community. She still does that. She is there when they need a ride to the doctor or a hand to hold during an emergency. I've seen a lot of ministers in the last 66 years and most of them do not like this part of the pastorate; but its the part I see Jesus excelling at.
Yep, my good friend Nena is a lot like the Master. I am so glad she finally retired and came back to Byrdtown and me.