One day, they meet at the adult learning center where they both spend their days, and as they say, "that's all she wrote."
Over the next 3 years they spend lots of time together, getting to know each, meeting each other's families and learning what being part of a couple is all about. They competed together in Special Olympics, begin spending holidays with each other, and even begin tossing around the idea of getting married some day.
Then one day Natty is diagnosed with cancer.
And for the next 2 years, she spends her days getting chemo treatments instead of going to work...has to stay home to avoid being exposed to germs instead of going to the movies. So they begin to text daily to keep in touch, and wait for the results of Natty's white count to give them permission to see each other.
And she earns the name Might Warrior Woman from me because she faced the ravages of her treatment with no complaints and so much courage that I respect her even more.
And their committment to each other stays strong. And they still talk about having a future together.
Then one day, Natty loses her battle with cancer.
And we are all devastated by the loss of this very special young woman. But no more devastated than Tanner.
While we are relieved that Natty's pain is gone and that she is now healed, we struggle to understand the reason for her having to leave us.
We struggle to understand God's purpose.
And we struggle to not be bitter by the unfairness of life.
We love you and miss you, Natty Clayton.