Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Nalene Low

My sweet friend Nalene passed away unexpectedly on Friday, May 4th. I have struggled every minute since to make sense of my thoughts and feelings. I dedicated most of today to getting what I could in a letter to give to her family. I want to post it here as a reminder to myself of the pledge I have made to honor Nalene.

Nalene Low is like a mirror. And when you look into it, you see your most favorite qualities about yourself reflected back. It requires an exceptionally talented, and sincerely warm person, to hold the capacity to connect with so many, so quickly, and so permanently.

When I first became friends with Nalene, we connected immediately. She was everything I liked about myself and I immediately identified her as “my kind of girl”. Over the past few days, I’ve listened to many share stories which echo that same sentiment. It is clear that my bond with Nalene is not is the bond that Nalene has with all of those whom she loves.

Like I mentioned, I felt like I had so much in common with Nalene when I first met her. However, during this past year, as I have battled terminal illness, I have allowed some of those qualities to fade. Uncomfortable with my circumstances and my emotions, I have become more closed off than I ever have before. But with impeccable timing, Nalene was consistently supportive and unquestionably cheering.

I was incredibly fortunate to have some time to visit in my home with Nalene the night of May 3rd. I had only been home from my last hospital stay for a few days when she sent a text asking if I was up for visitors. In the “midst of ick” (Nalene’s words), I had ignored texts and emails and phone calls from others asking the same, but that afternoon I saw her text and responded. Somehow I knew I wouldn't want to pass up this opportunity to talk and visit with Nalene.

Nalene and Jana Evans stayed for a couple of hours and we chatted and laughed like friends do. There was nothing so profound in our conversation, but a profound mark was left on me. As I had the blessing that evening, to look into Nalene’s Mirror, I was reminded, and lovingly encouraged, to be “my kind of girl” again.

I have found it difficult to articulate my thoughts and feelings from the past few days.

A verse from the New Testament has stayed with me, Matthew 25:40, “And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” I am humbled that as she lived her life in testimony of the Savior, she thought to share that testimony with me. I am honored to step up to the challenge to live as Nalene lived, and feel lucky to have the imprint of her example so firmly stamped on my heart.

With Love,
Kimberley Denney


Missy said...

So sorry to hear about your friend. She sounds like a gift to all who knew her.

Christy {The Girl Who Ate Everything} said...

You have me all teared up. She seems wonderful and full of light. I know someone just like her. :)

Julianne Sanders said...

Kim, your mother gave such a beautiful description today in rs about a woman who has made a deep impact in her life and whose example she has been touched by... among many, many other great things. She was talking about you, kim... just like christy said. You have touched all our lives just as your dear friend touched yours. I love to read your posts and feel of your strength. You are an amazing woman! Hang in there --! Love Julianne Sanders