A good friend of my family, Orelene Mikesell, passed away yesterday. She has been sick for a while and we knew this day was coming, but it is still very sad and difficult. Orlene was an amazing person who did a lot of good in this world. She was always very bubbly and happy despite whatever she may have been going through. I believe she was smiling even up to her very last breath. She was a great friend and always full of kindness towards others. In memory of her I want to share some of my favorite memories that I will keep with me forever.
Orelene was my piano teacher. I was like most young kids and didn’t really enjoy practicing the piano, but I did love going to my lessons. She made sure that there were always treats for us there. I recall sitting in her kitchen snacking away on donuts, cookies, cake, candy, and all sorts of drinks while my brother and sister were in getting their lesson. It was always a highlight to see what sort of treats were in store for us each day.
I recall times when she would come over to our house and we would all sit around with my parents and talk and tell stories and just laugh and laugh. She always brightened up a room with her cheerfulness and had a gift for making those around her smile.
One night my parents went out on a date and I was babysitting my brother and sister when I got a call from my friend that they were having a big party. I wanted so badly to go to the party. I knew my parents had plans to stop by Orelene’s house on their way home, so I called her and asked if I could drop the kids of at her house and go to the party and my parents could bring the kids home with them. She said that was fine and so I loaded up the kids and headed to her house. On the way I made a bad turn and we ended up in a ditch. By the time I arrived at Orelene’s house my parents were there waiting for me…needless to say I had a lot of explaining to do…I remember thinking I was grateful we were at Orelene’s house instead of at mine because I would probably have gotten in a lot more trouble at home, but Orelene helped my parents to just laugh about the whole situation and all ended well.
One of my favorite memories comes from just two years ago. Orelene was very sick and had been confined to a chair in her home. My family and I decided to make Thanksgiving dinner and take it over there and spend the day with her and her family. It turned out to be the best Thanksgiving ever!! After we initially called them and asked if we could do this for them they were so excited. They said they were not even looking forward to the holiday. It wasn't going to be any different for them than any other day of the year. The day went perfectly! We arrived at their home about ten and my mom and I started on the cooking. We then played a game while we waited for things to cook. Afterward we ate and visited and talked about all the things we had to be thankful for. Following dinner my mom, brother, and I cleaned everything up. Then we played more games, watched the movie "The Ultimate Gift, and visited more. At one point my mom pulled our friends husband aside and asked if we were staying too long and wearing her out to let us know and we would leave. His response was that we were fine to stay, and that he had not seen his wife this happy in a long time. Later, as we were leaving she stopped us and with tears in her eyes said, "If we were to list what we are thankful for now, I would say I am thankful for this day" It was tender!! On the way home my family and I discussed how much fun we had and how warm and fuzzy we all felt inside.
Orelene was an amazing friend. I am grateful to have known her. She has been a positive influence in my life. I know that she is happy and at peace where she is now. She will be greatly missed, but I know we will be able to see her again. I look forward to that day. LOVE YOU ORELENE!!