A lady from my church helps out a newly widowed man

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I’d never been much of a church goer, though my wife rarely missed a Sunday. I went more for her, than as a believer. She’d had a couple of small strokes, and felt better if I was there with her in case she had an issue, as well as to do the driving.

I’ve been a skeptic of religion since my college days, probably the result of many years of Catholic school, and a Jesuit high school. High school was good, and I liked the Jesuits. Unlike many, they teach you to think, and it’s probably where I got my questioning nature. I’d also seen too many people twist religion for their own purposes, or deliberately misrepresent the words in the Bible.

My wife had, in her later years, engaged in a spiritual quest, wanting to learn more about the Bible and related subjects, and had started attending a Baptist church several years prior. My background was Catholic, so the Baptists were a new experience for me. I never really caught on to the outward enthusiasm many of them had for their faith, since my worship experience had been much more subdued. But, my wife enjoyed the services, and the social interaction was enjoyable. We made some good friends there, and people as a whole were friendly.

One aspect of the service that took some adjustment for me was the first segment, which was worship in music. It was more of a stage show, unlike the staid organ music and hymns of my youth. There was a seven piece ensemble, and even back up singers. Except for a few songs, I recognized almost none of the songs they played, though some were appealing. Occasionally they’d throw an old classic at us, which I preferred. For the most part, I didn’t pay much attention to the “band,” though their pianist had a style almost like Bruce Hornsby. Then one Sunday morning a couple of years into my weekly church attendance, I noticed one of the back up singers looking my direction.

She was a tall, slightly chunky blonde, with a really pretty face, and wavy hair that reached down just over her shoulders. She had smallish tits, and wide hips. She tended toward long skirts and dresses, the kind that always said to me, “not interested in sex.” And she was looking right at me. It’s funny how you can look at someone every week for a couple of years, and not really pay much attention; suddenly, I was captivated.

I smiled at her as our eyes met. I saw her already sparkling blue eyes light up, lingering on mine for a moment. She smiled, and went back to the song the group was playing. After the service she was involved in a conversation with some other folks, and not wanting to horn in, I just smiled and said a quiet “Hi” as I walked past, which was met with an equally warm smile, and a “Have a nice day.” Over the next months, we would have this same interaction, though never really stopping to chat, or even introduce ourselves. I noticed she had the typical wedding set, so obviously she was married. Perhaps she wasn’t inclined to speak to other guys without her husband there, or at least aware. Or perhaps she was one of those people whom everyone knew, and just couldn’t get away.

We went on like this for months, just not making the connection. I became more intrigued as time went on. I looked her up in the church directory, learning her name was Nancy, and she had a husband and four kids. From seeing her in church, and looking at her family photo in the directory, I figured she was in her early to mid 40’s, quite a bit younger than my 60.

Time went by, and we’d have these quick hellos, but never really a conversation. Then, about three months later, my wife passed away. The folks at the church were quite supportive, and since my wife was a member of the church, I had the funeral there. Everyone was most gracious, for which I was grateful.

I had put the word out that, as much as I appreciated the good will, don’t bring a lot of food over, which is a fairly common thing to do for the recently bereaved. My thinking was, I’m only one person, I will wind up with far more food than I can possibly eat on my own, and I hate to see it go to waste. I was perfectly capable of cooking for myself, and I was also really good at ordering food from restaurant menus. A minor consideration was that it would also save me from some of the more unusual concoctions that some folks prepare; I’ve seen too many times where people have been bombarded with lime Jell-O, marshmallow, cottage cheese surprise. I did mention that folks should come over and say hello, and visit for a while, as I would enjoy the fellowship. I was blessed to have a number of folks from the church come to visit, and I got to know quite a few of them a lot better than I had until now.

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