This morning as we are on our way to Rochester, we look out our window to see what I call a “rainbow colored halo ” gently laying on top of the clouds. It floats along beside us during flight and on occasion if you look very closely you can catch Nellie’s shadow just in the center of it.
It is always fun to see these. I guess it really means that there is ice in the clouds but for me…. it is just magical. ( I hope that you too can see it in the picture provided ) Now back to the real reason for today’s mission…..
I had opportunity to speak with Elaine over the phone prior to meeting her face to face today. What I know is that she is 63 years old, has a sweet voice, a wonderful Godly personality and up until 8/18 was in great health. She eats very healthy, runs several times a week and enjoys yoga on a regular basis. I also know that she is only 8 days post operative from a major abdominal surgery as a result of an unexpected diagnosis of ovarian cancer. I am looking forward to meeting her.
As she enters the room she is being pulled through the doorway in a wheelchair by her husband, Dave. As he backs up and turns her chair around there she is, this beautiful woman who definitely does not look to be 63. She has a petite frame all thanks to her diligence in exercise, I am sure.
Her hair and makeup are done perfect yet, not overdone. She is dressed in her yoga pants and a nice crisp white jacket, wearing her large round sunglasses framing her face perfectly. I walked over to hug her and in her smile you could see peace and confidence. She radiated beauty from the inside out.
We placed her on board Nellie along with Dave and made sure she was comfortable. As we flew she and Dave shared their story……….. Elaine had had a rash since February that refused to go away despite many different attempts. Finally her doctor referred her to the Mayo Clinic. Just prior to going, while doing one of her yoga poses she found a knot on her abdomen. So, making a mental note to herself, she would also ask them to check it while at Mayo. She made the trip alone thinking it would be a quick dermatology appointment. Once there, she mentioned the knot in her abdomen almost as an afterthought.
After some testing she was informed that she was in need of emergency surgery. All of this took place on a Thursday. Her doc said he would be available that following Monday but after that he was fully booked for 2 weeks.
He then went on to tell her that she could not afford to wait 2 weeks. (Could you imagine her complete shock hearing these words and for someone who has taken such great care of themselves.) She immediately called Dave who dropped everything and went to her bedside. After much prayer they decided to go ahead with the very extensive surgery. And now…. here she is only 8 days later and going back home.
Elaine and Dave are both originally from Indiana and actually met 41 years ago while they were both attending Purdue University. They have been married for 40 years, more like… “40 YEARS !!” exclaimed Elaine with a huge smile and spark in her eye. His degree is in Agronomy (I’ll help you out in case like me, you have no idea what this is….it is the science and technology of producing and using plants for food and fuel, plant genetics and physiology) he has been a professor at the University of Arkansas for 35 years. Elaine has her own investment firm business as a result of her degree and is highly trusted by many. They have 2 children, a son and a daughter, 2 Westie pups and 1 granddog.
The two of them enjoy hiking, boating and pretty much anything outdoors. They make an annual trip to Hawaii as Elaine’s job can be quite stressful. They also give very generously to several charitable faith organizations in their community. Elaine has been trying to slowly phase herself out of her job so that she is able to give more of her “time” and “self” as well. During our flight we offered them both a snack ( we always carry “goodies” ) and it was so cute to see Dave’s eyes light up when we handed him the container.
Elaine jokingly stated, ” he rarely gets to eat junk food “. I apologized for not having more healthy snacks but we did our best to convince Elaine that Dave made a good choice with the trail mix. Then Dave said he thought that there was a full container of snacks for each of us, he didn’t know he would have to share them. (we all laughed)
They have been keeping a journal of all of the blessings that God is showing them through this journey. The fact that Elaine was at Mayo and having the best team of doctors for her diagnosis up to today and our time together, with many, many more in between. Today however they were a blessing to us.
Our time is now over and we ended it appropriately in prayer together and sprinkled with several hugs.
Elaine will now be having chemotherapy and I know that she and Dave would covet your prayers that it will be successful. Elaine shared something that I would like to pass along…she said, “I could not have written the script that got me here and I know that I cannot write the script that will get me through it. ” I am not sure why but that really resonated with me and brought to mind this scripture.
2 CORINTHIANS 3:3
YOU SHOW THAT YOU ARE A LETTER FROM CHRIST, THE RESULT OF OUR MINISTRY, WRITTEN NOT WITH INK BUT WITH THE SPIRIT OF THE LIVING GOD, NOT ON TABLETS OF STONE BUT ON TABLETS OF HUMAN HEARTS.
Thank you to Hal and Jason for sharing this mission with me. Many blessings and may the God of peace and mercy be with you.