Keeping it real and Keeping it positive.

There’s Only One Georgi!

on August 22, 2018

Some of you may remember that I have written about a few of my special mentors who I have committed to be with in person to thank and love on them and not just wait to go to their funerals and tell others how much they mean to me. First there was Martha, then Terry. Sadly I missed being with Doris as she passed before I could get there, but I did write a post about her. Now there is Georgi!

When I was in 8th grade I met Lezlee Eick. Lezlee was a ‘new kid’ in my school and like my other friend, Vanita, Lezlee was from ‘the States’ as we said in Canada. She was kind of shy and super smart. Well we didn’t have either of those things in common, but in spite of that we became friends and it was during that time in my life that I became attending church for the first time. Yes, with Vanita and Lezlee and I met Georgi and Jack. You can’t really talk about one without the other, but this post will be mostly about Georgi.

Things were not great in my home life during that time and I would often seek to escape to places where I felt there was more calm and more laughter. Lezlee’s home was one of the places where I found both.

Georgi was such a classy lady. When I think back to meeting her when I was in 8th grade she was only in her 30’s. But when you’re 14, 30 is old! But Georgi never seemed old. She always, and I mean ALWAYS had enormous amounts of energy for people….even teenagers. There was this immediate connection. I could project out and see myself BEING Georgi someday…or at least that’s what I wanted to be.

She showed me unconditional love. She always welcomed me. She had the most infectious laugh…bold and real and from a place deep down inside. She, and Jack and so many others from that little church on the corner across from my middle school showed me not only Jesus love in the flesh, but what Christian JOY really looked like.

Georgi demonstrated with her life what it means to serve others. She never knew a stranger. She always had time to listen and laugh and make people feel so so special. I observed in her life what real hospitality looked like. She knew how to set a fun table with just ordinary things. She knew how to be creative and make even a simple meal of pasta and bread seem like a banquet and make a teenager feel like an important invited guest.

I wanted to be like Georgi! When I would go for long years and not see her or hear her laugh I could close my eyes and there she was…I could LOOK BACK and remember our times together….remember the energy, the sparkle, the hugs and yes, THE WHITE RIMMED GLASSES….her trademark look.


After leaving for college I’d see Georgi and Jack every so often. Our kids grew up calling them Grandpa Jack and Grandma Georgi. It thrilled my heart to have Barry and our kids know them. She visited us a few places we lived and it was always the same…..age had not taken her zest for life, if anything, age had given her a deeper level of JOY.

Over 8 years ago I flew to Ohio for Jack’s funeral. They were one…they were always together doing life to the fullest and now half of her was gone. I wondered how it would be now. Would this be too much for her ?Was her JOY going to fade at the loss of her life partner and soul mate? I could not have been more mistaken. Even with the hole left by Jack, she showed that her deep joy was in the Lord and she would be with Jack again and it just wasn’t her time yet. She continued teaching me with her life example.

This past July I flew to Ohio again. This time to celebrate Georgi turning 90. Horses couldn’t have kept me away. I was going to be there to CELEBRATE Georgi and once again tell her to her face how precious she is to me and how  much I love her. It did not disappoint. She entertained us in her condo of over 30 years the night before her party. She insisted we come over and it was 9 PM when we arrived and she was going strong. She had had a fall the week prior and was ‘forced’ to use a walker to protect her femur which had now been ‘invaded’ with large screws. She was NOT at all happy about the walker so she decorated it for the party the next day

She was as mentally sharp as ever and as vibrant and joyful as always and yes, she still had that deep infectious laugh. We talked and shared stories and hugged and loved on each other that evening as if time stood still. I will treasure it always.


The next day was her party. People flew in from all over. She stood…sort of with her walker…for hours greeting everyone at the door of the church fellowship hall as her grandchildren and great grandchildren showed the same kind of boundless energy that they saw in Grammy. And she sparkled…literally. Oh how I love this woman and how, once again, me at 68 and Georgi at 90…I want to be like her! She even had on display her ‘art’…every Monday she takes a painting class!!!


Today I found out that the rather ‘insignificant ‘fall she had in July is not healing well and she is in MUCH pain while walking and will be having a full hip replacement. That’s no joke at any age but at 90 it’s not usually even considered, but Georgi is positive and healthy and she WILL be rockin’ that new hip in no time.

As I LOOK BACK I see that God put Georgi in to my life to show me that it’s okay to be me…it’s okay to laugh out loud..it’s okay to be larger than life and love people in big and small ways …even teenagers. As I LOOK FORWARD I see that it’s okay to grow old and embrace it..that you can still have sparkle…still show hospitality…still have positive energy and still SPARKLE.

I love you Georgi Eick and ‘when I grow up I want to be just like you’. Now I need to go and enroll in an art class….and maybe find some white rimmed glasses!




One response to “There’s Only One Georgi!

  1. Barry Willey says:

    The best babe! Your gift of story telling continues to inspire and “give back” in such powerful ways. Another chapter in the book!!!😉


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