I have a friend named Mary. We think alike which most people would say is a scary thing to have *two* brains like ours in this world. I first met Mary at a Catholic charismatic prayer meeting in somebody's living room. I'm not even sure which somebody but I'm sure it was a living room since that's the only place we ever met for meetings. That was shortly after Tad and I were married - so I guess I've known her for going on 16 or 17 years now. It was love at first sight. She was among the many who prayed JT into our lives after the medical professionals pronounced us infertile. She didn't stop there - she may be single-souledly responsible for the next 11 as well as she is probably our biggest prayer warrior ever. That and very early on she had a vision of me in a denim jumper surrounded by children of all ages and nationalities. I think she was determined to see that vision become reality. As you can imagine, she's perfectly thrilled with how things have turned out.
Then she plops herself down on the floor in the middle of them and starts pulling things out of plastic bags as they climb all over her and giggle and try to peek in her bags. Once she distributes all the toys she sits back and grins from ear to ear, watching them play.
After a few minutes of that she gets real serious and pulls them all up around her and says, "You know what I want now. It's time to sing me a song." Ben will step forward and start a rousing rendition of My Mommy's A Pirate or the German Water Drinking Song - which always makes her laugh - before I steer them into a church song we've been learning - most recently the hymn to the Theotokos - which always makes her cry.
One time she visited, instead of bearing gifts she came bearing ice cream for the freezer and slipped me some money to buy the kids a real surprise - something a bit more lasting than Made In China toys. The last time she came we broke out the two cotton candy makers she had bank-rolled and she and Tali ran from one to the other licking up the stray sugar and sharing wisps of fluff right out of the machines. That time she also brought boxes of toys that came from her niece who works for an adaptive PE equipment distributor. What fun to have among those boxes team pinnies numbered from 1 to 12. Of course she made them all put them on in order and get their picture taken. That was the same visit the kids unveiled the mii they had made of Mary on the wii. Mary has no idea what a wii does but she was tickled pink with her mii.
Mary loves babies. Over the years she's done things like rock drug babies in the hospital, prepared maybe as many as a thousand bassinets for young mothers who have nothing for their new babies - and taught us how to prepare them as well. She's prayed for babies she's never met and she's held every one of my babies. She grandmothers women who have had abortions and loves them out of their pain at Rachel's Vineyard retreats. She spends equally as much time with the elderly. She's just awesome like that.