When I lived in Oklahoma City, I had the privilege of becoming friends with a lady who lived across the street from my mother-in-law. Her name is Naomi. She and my mother-in-law, Gloria, had become very good friends; whenever I went to visit mother, I also would visit with Naomi. I loved talking with her. She just always seems so positive and in love with life.
Last summer Naomi had to move to Terre Haute, Indiana to live with her daughter. She has an unstable hip bone, and they can't do surgery, but she has become basically wheel chair-bound. Last fall I went to visit Naomi, and took her to a park. We had such a great time.
This past week I went to visit her again. We had planned to take her on an outing, to get her out of her room, but she just really wasn't feeling up to it. But we had a great visit! I've learned a lot about Naomi, in my last 2 visits with her.
She has really had a difficult life. She had a very unhappy childhood. Then she got married to a man who abused her, and she finally divorced him. She had 4 small children, and worked several different jobs while trying to raise her kids. Most of that time she lived in a small flat. Fortunately, there was a neighbor who would watch her kids while Naomi worked.
Then finally in 1972, when she was 38, it worked out for her to go to Nursing school. That had actually been her dream since high school. She became a registered nurse and in 1979 moved to Oklahoma. However, she still had her 2 youngest children with her, and she felt they would be happier finishing school in Indiana, so she moved back until they had graduated and were on their own. Then she moved back to Oklahoma, got a nursing job there, and has been there ever since until this recent move back to her daughter's.
I wanted to post this nursing school graduation picture of Naomi. I just think she was such a beautiful woman. She gave me this picture when she moved back to Indiana last year.
I asked Naomi how she could be so positive and full of life in Oklahoma. She said that of course the major reason is because she has the Lord as her Saviour. But she did tell me that the years she lived in Oklahoma were the happiest years of her life. She's had a little bit of a difficult time adjusting to being back in Indiana. However, Cindy, her daughter, has been very good to her.
Naomi is currently trying to find a place to live by herself again. She feels she could manage it, with handicap-accessible facilities. And 2 of her daughters would be close enough to help if needed. She loves to paint, and feels she would be able to set up a place where she can do that again. I saved a piece of wood from my dad's barn, and I told her the first thing she needs to paint is to paint a picture of dad's barn on that wood. She is very excited at the prospect of doing that.
Both Naomi and my mother-in-law are very lonely, being separated. They had become the best of friends, and would sit on Naomi's porch every day, weather permitting and talk and laugh.
Naomi says they are both just "waiting to see Jesus" where they can talk for eternity!