Although you will never read this letter, I pray that God read it aloud to you in Heaven so that you know how much of a difference you made in my life. We moved into that dumpy, torn up house right beside you when I was just 7 years old. I will never forget the first time I remember seeing you; you were out raking leaves and had a fun bandanna wrapped around your head. You invited me to come over and jump in your leaf pile, a fun event that would soon become a tradition every time you raked your leaves. Then you would rake them all in a long line in the ditch and would let me stand with you and watch as you burned those leaves to dust.
You probably didn't think much of those days spent in our front yards. But those moments meant the world to me as a young child from a dysfunctional family. Our shared yard served as my retreat at times. You were my calm, peace and I loved spending time with you. Despite our age difference, I considered you a dear friend.
Anna, I want to thank you for introducing me to our church. Without your invitation, I would have never spent weeks at VBS learning about Jesus, becoming close friends with those who would later lead me to a personal relationship with Him. I credit you for planting a seed in me, through your sincere love for me. You took the time to talk with me, teach me, and love me. Thank you so much!
I will never forget your last few months of life on this earth. My heart ached deeply when you became ill. By that point, you were family to Mom and I. We had spent many hot days raking leaves and many cold winters jumping in snow piles together. I knew you on a deep, personal level. You had told me stories of your difficulties, in losing your husband and son, and your joys; your children, grandchildren, successes, and love for Jesus. Those nights where I would bring you leftovers from our supper meant the world to me. Although you were frail and weak, you always invited me in and let me share my happenings of the day. I hope that those moments were as special to you as they were for me.
I know that I will see you again one day, when God calls me to my forever home. I hope God built our mansions side-by-side, so that we can catch up on lost time. You will always hold a special spot in my heart, Anna. Thank you for making such a difference in the life of a small neighbor girl!