The Farewell Gift

Today I was given the most beautiful gift.

A group of women from the church we’ve attended while here in Italy…the church Nick’s parents founded and ran… hosted a small farewell lunch for me today.

I was honored and truly humbled that they’d want to celebrate me.

I feel like I’ve kept a bit of a wall up around myself and my heart while attending church here.  Partly because I’ve spent so much time sorting out my own faith and beliefs. But also because I’m just naturally introverted and extremely slow to warm up to new relationships.

But these women and their families.

They have loved and cared for me and my family well. Especially in the midst of our great loss.

So many people have said that this church feels like family and that there’s no other church like it. That was the heart of Nick’s parents for this church. That people from all nationalities could come together and worship the same God.

I don’t know that I really understood those words or had taken it to heart until today.

And I wasn’t the only one honored at this lunch gathering. My mother in law was talked about with such great fondness by most around the table. She helped shape and encourage these women in her lifetime and to hear their stories touched me.

One woman had a dream last night about the lunch…that Patti was there. Laughing with us. Taking pictures. Saying she was happy.

I know she was. I could feel it by the mist in my eyes. She was happy to see us gathered, sharing how God’s worked in our lives, and laughing together connected not by our cultures, but by our love for Christ.

One comment on “The Farewell Gift

  1. Tina Heironimus says:

    Patti surely was in your midst today my dear daughter. She received great joy in the time she spent in the church and in having your family there to worship with them. May you continue to honor her along with Nick by loving others to Jesus. I love you my sweet girl.