Saturday, August 14, 2010
A True Inspiration To Me
A few years ago I was working at the store when a lady came in that I had gotten acquainted with through her frequent visits to our store and through her husband who worked for my father in-law digging graves. She was always upbeat, energetic, and friendly. She would usually stop in on her way to work. She worked as a nurse in the emergency room at Harriman Hospital. On this particular day Wendell was asking her about the news we had heard. She had been diagnosed with cancer. Lung cancer. As I stood there listening to her answer his questions, I will never forget how profoundly her attitude and demeanor affected me. I stood there listening to her, in awe of her attitude. She still had that same familiar smile on her face as she talked. I remember thinking... she is about my same age....how in the world is she still functioning, not just functioning, but smiling. Smiling as she spoke of, what to me, sounded like a death sentence. I remember thinking she is my age...that could very easily be me...how would I function. I was sure I would not. I was sure I would go home, climb in bed, pull the covers over my head, cry uncontrollably and enter into a deep dark depression. Since that time I had the privilege of becoming better acquainted with her. Bonnita Patterson. I would ask about her, every time anyone came in that would know her condition, as she went through her treatments. I prayed for her. There were times she was deathly sick and I wouldn't see her for a period of time and then there were times when you would never know anything was physically wrong with her. But no matter her condition, every time I saw her she was still upbeat and smiling. I never heard her complain. She was always telling me how the doctors were amazed by her and how she knew the Lord was keeping her around for a reason, still smiling as she talked. When I was diagnosed I could hardly get her to tell me what was going on with her, she was to concerned with finding out how I was doing. She sent me cards and books she knew would be a help to me. She even came to the house to visit me when I was going through my treatments. There was a time, after being discharged from Vanderbilt, after one of my surgeries, that I was in an extremely bad condition. Wendell had called to ask her advice, and she insisted on coming and stayed for hours using her nursing skills to help me. She was such an inspiration to me. I am still in awe of the attitude and spirit she displayed over the last few years. She had a beautiful heart. Sadly she passed away this past week. My heart is grieved. She will be greatly missed. She was an inspiration to me. As I listened, as Wendell was given the honor of reading her obituary at her funeral, I realized just how close to my age she actually was. We both just celebrated a birthday. Mine on August 7 and hers on August 8. She was one year and one day younger than me. My heart goes out to her husband, children, wonderful family and her many friends. Even though we are grieved, I am thankful that we can find comfort in knowing she is no longer in pain, but is truly LIVING in the presence of the Lord.