Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Who Would\a Thunk It - Tribute to Norma Buyack

A few years ago a lady that was a very special part of my life passed away. I have been holding off on writing about the way I felt about this until it all made sense to me. Tonight I was sitting thinking about the many ways Norma Buyack impacted my life. It seems like all in a flash memories came back to me through recollections that conversations with my brother and sister seemed to spur. As I was thinking of all of these things a familiar passage came to me 

4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. – 8Love never fails. (1 Corinthians 13:4-8a)

I was very fortunate because I got to know my Granny better than many ever would. I stayed with her often while my Mom would work. In today’s world a kid stuck in his Grandma’s house might be seen as a nightmare, but it was just the opposite for me. God knew what He was doing when He paired my Granny and I together.

As I was growing up those who knew me would recall that I talked a lot. I talked a lot about the things I saw, and heard. I didn’t see very well but my memory was good. Granny was the sounding board for a lot of my early ideas and questions. She used to tell me things that I said in vivid detail; not just general ideas, but complete verbal documentation of my ramblings. I have come to realize now that those things were things she held onto because of her interest in me. This was a lady who loved me so much that she would hang on things I would say and then internalize them. She genuinely, patiently, and gently cared for me.

I remember times when my Granny would pitch endless innings of wiffle balls to me; she would pitch the ball to me for hours it seemed some days. We played War and Slap Jack with an old deck of cards until we couldn’t see straight. I remember her letting me go through her counters and her shelves throughout her house countless times. She never seemed to care what I got into as long as I put it back where I found it. Always it seems I would ask questions one right after the other and she would always answer them. When I am sure half the world would have told me to shut up she swould let me prattle on about anything.

As I grew up I got busier with school events and extracurricular activities. She would always make time to be there. When I sang in Church she was there, and often a tape recorder accompanied her. She not only attended, but she relived many of those events looking through pictures and programs while she listened to tapes and videos. I didn’t often see her doing it, but I knew whenever I had a question she could pull the information from an album she saved to tell me what I had done and when. I still hear people tell me to this day that there were times they would come over and she would play one of those videos or tapes for them. I just can’t imagine how anyone in this world would care that much for anything I said or sang. Even when I wasn’t singing, acting or speaking anymore she was still listening.

My Granny may have been my biggest fan; even at times when I didn’t act in a way deserving of it. As I grew older it seemed that I spent a lot of time wrapped up in stuff I was doing and found less time to share with her. Still she would be there anytime I needed her. She could always find time to listen when I didn’t feel like I could trust anyone else. She found a way to make sure I had a few extra dollars when I was short. She would encourage me when I felt like I was at the end of my rope. Granny was always happy to talk to me, and she always found ways to make me feel better about myself.

I am going to miss teasing her about the Cardinals; it gave me good practice because now I am the only Cubs fan in a house full of Cardinals lovers. I will miss her attempts at discipline. When I would get into trouble she would chase me around the house with a fly swatter, by the time she had caught up with me we were both laughing so hard neither of us remembered what I had done. At least she never really let on that she remembered. I am going to miss the rides she used to give me even though the way she drove made me wonder if I would ever reach home alive again. Most of all I am going to miss the way we would laugh about silly things, an how she always made me feel good about who I am. I am going to miss the picture she gave me of Jesus’ patience and grace.

I am so thankful that I got the opportunity in the end to tell her I love her, and to thank her for all she had done for me. I just wish I had done more of that as time passed. It seems like that is always the way life is; you never really feel like you have done enough for the ones that have given you so much.

I never would have known that my Granny would have been one of the best examples of my Savior in my lifetime? I am so thankful for the love she showed me even when I didn’t deserve it, or at least I didn’t feel like I did. My life is better because she was a part of it.

Who are those people in your life? Please don’t let another minute go by without taking the opportunity to reflect on what that person has done for you. If you have the chance please take the time to thank them for the love that they have shown you. Many people go through life wondering if they will be important enough to affect someone’s life. You might make their day if you let that person know what they have done for you.

Thanks for letting me brag a little about a sweet lady that helped shaped my life.