In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea,
With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me:
As He died to make men holy, let us live to make men free,
While God is marching on!

. . . from the BATTLE HYMN OF THE REPUBLIC

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Angel(s) of Mercy

It's been far too long since I posted here, and to those (few) who follow this blog, I apologize. Most of my posts involve a certain amount of research, and I simply haven't had time to do much of that lately, what with unusual pressures at work and many family adventures (most of them delightful) at home. Political controversies, battles in the culture wars, and other momentous events have come and gone without comment from me. How can humanity cope?

So, before this blog is entirely forgotten, I'll post about the one subject on which no research is needed--my family! And at this time one member in particular, who gives so much of herself to others day in and day out: my sister Patti!

We grew up together in Grand Island, New York with our two other brothers and, of course, Mom (Gail) and Dad (John) Fleming. Patti (at left in high school) was special as the "baby sister," but she didn't let it go to her head too often--she just suffused our family with her sweet glow!  Mom and Dad moved to Jacksonville, Florida (where Mom grew up) in the mid-80s, and Patti followed a few years later. There she met an exceptional gentleman named Jason, and they were married. Not long after that, they were blessed with a son, Jonathan, who's now a fine young man working his way through college. In recent years Patti has shared countless sewing and craft-making secrets, as well as whimsical thoughts and pearls of wisdom, on her blog It's a Wonderful . . . 

This sounds like a "happily ever after" story, and in a way it is--but only part of it.  The other part consists of Patti's tireless efforts for people outside her home. She works at the Women’s Help Center in Jacksonville, providing pregnancy tests and sonograms, counseling in favor of life and against abortion, and generally offering guidance and support to women and couples facing the most important choices in their lives.

Most important, she--with Jason's tireless help--constitutes Mom and Dad's lifeline in their later years. Patti helps nurse them through health challenges and drives back and forth to hospitals and doctor's offices. She and Jason have put in many hours keeping Mom and Dad's computer up and running so they can stay connected with the digitized members of the family. Other errands and chores Patti and Jason have done for Mom and Dad are countless, and all without a moment's hesitation. I and my brothers, who live too far away to provide that support, only wish we could pitch in more and lighten their load. For now, I can at least pay them a little tribute in a public place and express our thanks for all that they do to help Mom and Dad (and others) live "happily ever after"!

 Patti today in downtown Jacksonville

 
Jason with our grandson Liam

2 comments:

Unknown said...

Yeah for "salt of the earth" people who help and enrich us in so many ways. What would our lives be like without them and how do others cope who don't have such blessings in their lives? I guess all we can do it endeavor to "play it forward".

Anonymous said...

What a WONDERFUL tribute to your sister Patti!! She sounds like an extraordinary woman. And what a great family she has: husband Jason, and son Jonathan. They are blessed to have such a lovely wife and mom....and YOU are blessed to have such a great sister!! Well done!