Bethesda News: Be sure to take time to thank a front-line hero

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Columnist Joyce Smith

Columnist Joyce Smith

Thought for the week: The Bible warns that bitterness is dangerous and self-destructive. So, today, make a list of the people you need to forgive and the things you need to forget, and then ask God to give you the strength to forgive and move on.

I hope that each of you have had the opportunity to read the article that Cassie Jones, publisher of Southern Exposure, wrote in this past week’s issue of the magazine. She wrote, “We are a nation divided. We need to know how to do better. Kindness, empathy and love are what the world needs now.”

The thought for the week this week can give us a head start on that.

We continue to praise our front-line heroes and all they are do for each of us during this pandemic. I have the opportunity to work with one: Paul Rucker, the newest member of the staff at Williamson Memorial Funeral Home.

Rucker works with Williamson Emergency Medical Services and also is a volunteer firefighter at the Goose Creek Fire Station. He and his wife, Michele, are the parents of four children, Selah, Lauren, J.P. and Emilee.

Our county was deeply saddened to learn of the tragic death of another one of our front-line heroes: Officer Destin Scott Legieza. He is from a family of law enforcement officers. I understand that his father and grandfather serve in this area. Our deepest sympathy is extended to his wife, parents and other family members.

I have saluted front-line heroes in this column over the past few weeks, but I have a very special one who I would like to salute with the highest of honors.

He is Tom Woodside, and he is one of our very few remaining World War II veterans and will be celebrating his 97th birthday on Sunday.

To his grandchildren, Diane (Ron) Reid. Bubba (Debbie) Crutcher and Pete (Kate) Crutcher he is “Kitty.” To the rest of us, he is Mr. Tom or just Tom.

He is one fine man, and before this epidemic, he was still driving to church. He has been in and out of the hospital with pneumonia but always bounces back.

To him, we say thank you for your service and happy birthday on Sunday. (If you would like to send him a card, call me and I will be happy to give you his address. I would love to see him get 97 cards or more.)

Bethesda Masonic Lodge is taking orders for Boston butts. The cost is $40. They will be cooking them on July 3 and you will be able to pick them up later. Call Buster Robertson at 615-439-0171 or Joey Taylor at 615-501-3161 to place your order. (You can pay when you pick up.)

Children ages 3-12 are invited to Mt. Carmel Cumberland Presbyterian Church on July 11 for vacation Bible school. It will be 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. Snacks and lunch will be served. For more information, call Krystal Cothran at 615-477-4766.

How can anyone say they do not believe in prayers? If you do not, then you need to call Joel Pedrick and talk with him.

He has been battling leukemia as well as other types of cancer for six years. Six months ago, he was told that 95% of his body was filled with cancerous cells. He decided, after talking with doctors about an experimental treatment in which the blood is drawn and filtered and then returned to the body, that he had nothing to lose.

He stayed in the hospital while receiving treatment. Of course, he had prayers going for him in most every state. Between treatments, he and Pam, along with family and friends would go on camping trips. Just this past week he returned to his doctor for the results of his count.

You can imagine how he felt when he was told he is in remission.

When Pam sent the word out, I would be willing to say there was not a single dry eye. All of us were praising God and saying, “Thank you Lord.” This is just one example of how God hears and answers prayers.

My deepest sympathy is extended to Paula Shinnick, a retired teacher from Johnson Elementary School who recently lost her mother, Peggy Christian Harris. Prayers are with each family member.

I hope each of you have a great Fourth of July. Please be careful and continue to take caution with COVID-19.

Our prayer chain for sick family and friends continues to grow. My own husband, Russell, has been really sick with tick fever. He is so much better now, but I caution each of you to do a body check if you have been in the yard or fields.

Please continue to pray for Todd Ruth, Julie Parris Fast, Kim Ham, Patricia Barker, Tommy Heithcock, Fred Reyes, Elaine Culberson, Agnes Peterson, Rex Hunnicutt, Judy and Ronnie Pitt, Dee Lynch, Charles Giles, Jessie and Charlie Bennett, Connie Marlin, David and Delores Gilreath, Brandy Travis, Nellie Jo Stephens, Dotie Hazelwood, Ellen Bogle, Howard Yancy, Terry Marlin, Brian Kinnard, Donnie Cameron, Billy and Katie Giles, Annie Lee Farrar, May Johnson, Charlene Lancaster, Larry Marcum, Stephanie Mangrum, Tom Woodside, Roger Cathey and others.

Our deepest sympathy is extended to the families of Loretta Polk, Hubert Taylor, Becky Weaver, Janice Ring, Wayne Toombs, Destin Legieza. Gregory Bennett, William Homer Dodson, Barbara Tucker Ethridge, Royce Johns, Savannah Miller, Jane Watson, Wayne Ragsdale, Linda Williams, Wilma Smith, Tony Ellis, Dennis Chambers, Irene Locke Moss, Violet Allen, Whitney McCord Hubble and Cara McMurry.

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