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Miss Dannie

May 23, 2016

At 87, Dannie unexpectedly passed away Sunday, May 22, 2016.

She was in her apartment when she started having stomach pain. They called EMS for her and she died at the hospital. They announced her passing in the evening service at church, but I wasn’t there. Wilma called me afterwards to see if I’d knew. I heard the name wrong and thought she was talking about another friend’s mother. After she repeated everything, I realized she meant Dannie.

Dannie and I hugged in church that morning before service began. When it was time for the fellowship greetings, Dannie reached for me again. “You want another hug?” With her normal grin she responded, “I sure do.”

When Wilma told me the sad news, my first thought was We got two hugs in. Kind of a silly thing to think of, but some things can’t be explained.

She was my best friend. We met in church some 20 years ago and I thought she was my age. At that time I was still working and going to church sporadically. I didn’t socialize much either. I’m not certain what threw us together. Either she needed some help or I did. Whatever it was doesn’t truly matter. We became good friends. BFF in today’s vernacular. Only the “forever” part came too soon.

Dannie was easy to like. She had a sense of humor and never said anything bad about anyone else. During Wednesday morning prayer time, Dannie often said the wittiest things. Now, I regret that I didn’t work harder at writing them down. Usually by the time I got pen and paper out of my purse, she couldn’t remember what she had said. Those little thoughts were second nature to her.

Pinch his ears off – meant pinched earlobes, a punishment for misbehavior

Move a ton of rocks with a spoon – doing it the hard way

I’m not old, I’ve just been around a long time. – she said it made her seem younger saying that way

You don’t get to practice – this is my favorite; many times in life there is no chance to practice what needs to be done, but I think she was also talking about being careful of what you say

older than dirt – this she said on days she was feeling every single day of her life

Everyone liked Dannie. She never had a bad thing to say about anyone. Most importantly, her faith in God was unwavering. Dannie helped me to grow as a Christian. She was in church any time the doors were open. She loved the Lord and loved being in church.

Dannie missed church occasionally for health reasons and none other. Being tired or feeling her age were not excuses to stay home. Over the years, she progressed from walking occasionally with a cane to needing a walker. Dannie was still driving and her car was 20 years old! She added oil when it needed it which was often. When she lived in her own house she’d get on the riding lawn mower and cut the grass.

About 2 years ago, Dannie moved to an assisted living apartment in town. She had one friend who lived there, but quickly made new friends. That put her further from me, but I still stopped in to visit and we talked, often for hours, on the phone.

It’s been hard writing this because I have to stop and wipe my tears. I know Dannie’s in heaven and having a blast. She’s with her best friends–God and Jesus. Knowing that, doesn’t stop me from missing her.

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