You probably don’t know this woman, Nancy Wilson. It’s weird that I know her, since she’s a pastor in Ann Arbor and I’m an aethiest in Raleigh. But I know her. I knew her.
10 years ago, when I was single and pregnant with Animal and Mineral, I ran into an old “friend” — really just an acquaintance — from middle school. In middle school she had been pretty and popular, while I was neither — at least, it felt that way to me. When I saw her again, she was even prettier and still seemed popular, and I was even more sad and lonely and scared than I’d been as a tween in the early 90s.
(Note: just because you’ve graduated college, doesn’t mean pregnancy as a single woman is a good situation. People say, But at least you had your degree! Unfortunately, it’s never benefitted me in any tangible way thus far.)
My “friend” from middle school eventually became a real FRIEND during that time, and she brought me to church and introduced me to Nancy Wilson.
Nancy ran a ministry for Single Mothers. One night a month we were pampered and doted on and fed, while the children were taken care of by church volunteers.
Nancy also ran the New Moms’ Group, a weekly group for moms of young children to get together and talk about the struggles and challenges and joys of motherhood.
Nancy had a huge heart for mothers. She didn’t proffer advice; she just loved you and welcomed you. She was married to the main pastor and they had five children.
She died on Sunday, very suddenly and unexpectedly.
Even though it’s been ten years since I’ve seen her, I’m really sad. She was so kind and loving — especially at a time when I needed kindness and love. I will never forget that. I think about her all the time.
So kind. So loving. So generous with her heart. I hope to be a little bit like Nancy Wilson.