Thursday, January 9, 2014

Day Four: Mary Utterback


I'm going to follow the lead of one of my former students. The other day she posted this:

"So I've been thinking a lot and I have decided that every day for the rest of the month, I am going to devote my daily status to someone who has made a difference and impacted my life, big and small." Ashley Shade

I'm going to do the same.

I don't know if you all know this or not, but I have a social soul mate. We see eye to eye on ALMOST everything socially and politically. She allows me to sometimes sit in a pew with her religiously, and will even pop me on the back of the head when I roll my eyes during the sermon. We both cheer on the feminists and bless the hearts of the idiots. She laughs WITH me when I give her a curious look about farm living, but will give me travel tips when going to a new city. We both love a good glass of wine or two or three. The two of us can, will, and have most likely talked about anything and everything from books, to God, to clothing styles, and the state of the Union. Plus, the best thing about her...she gave me one of my best friends on the planet, her daughter Katie. Thankfully, Katie shares her mom with me and I share mine with her. So today's gratitude status is dedicated to Mary Utterback.

I met Mary in the late 90s when her daughter moved into the apartment below me. At a glance Mary and I are an unlikely pair. The Utterbacks are church goin', farm livin', bible name givin' folks and in the beginning, for the life of me, I couldn't understand why Katie wanted them to meet ME, her bra burnin', booze guzzlin', cigarette smokin', loves to swear, spiritually lost friend! Nonetheless, we met and imprinted on each other!

Mary is one of the most fascinating women that I have ever met in my life. She manages to balance her independence and family life with grace. Mary works tirelessly so that she can play unabashedly. She's intelligent, cultured, well rounded, and most importantly has a sense of faith that is unguarded yet comfortably secure. There have been many a time that I have heard her words whispered in my ear, "Child, every once in a while you need to put your face in front of God." It's a nice reminder that I'm not alone; I am accepted and loved. Mary has led by example that one can live a spiritual life of service to others and to a God, but not be unbend-able or so stringent that you become a hypocrite. She is the ying to my yang and provides me with a sense of balance and hope. For all of these reasons and many more I love her. Mary, thank you for all that do, all that you are, for including me in your family, and sharing your daughter with me.

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