This one is, as our friend Paul Harvey used to say, “partly personal.”
For the past few months we’ve been very concerned about a dear friend of ours who lives in Florida. While not a blood relation, she has been a part of our family for years.
Steve’s Dad, who always had an eye for class, hired Gale in the 70’s when he was the city clerk of Panama City Beach. From day one this genuine “Southern Belle” cast her spell over anyone she came in contact with. BTW, the key word in the previous sentence is “genuine.” If you thought you were getting a pretty face with attitude, you came to the wrong place. If you wanted a warm smile, a sympathetic ear, a REAL friend with a helpful hand and solution, occasionally accompanied by a friendly (not flirtatious – friendly) wink, that’s what you got from Gale.
We’ve both seen her turn heads just by walking in a room. She served as the secretary to several Panama City Beach Mayors, in no small part, because they knew she absolutely put the best face on Panama City Beach and did it with a smile … and a wink.
By now, you’re thinking “Oh, come on, everybody has a fault or two. What’s hers?”
OK, here’s one. She can’t say “no.” We’ve often seen her come to someone’s last minute request for assistance without a thought for her own inconvenience. If we mentioned it to her, the reply would be “Well, there was no one else to do it.”
More recently, this miracle worker found herself in need of one. Hospitalized in Intensive Care for weeks with her immediate family by her side and her “extended” family getting texts and watching Facebook for updates, the news ping-ponged from cautious and hopeful to apprehensive, anxious and fearful. Her family was cautioned to prepare for a possibility none of them wanted.
But, we’re talking about a pretty special lady here.
Defying the odds, Gale surprised her family and the doctors by opening her eyes and looking right at one of her two sons who was at her bedside. Taking it as a sign and refusing to give up hope, the family made sure family pictures were arranged so that she could see them if she continued to wake up.
She did … and smiled at the pictures. Within days she was sitting up and videos were being posted of a beautiful smile that we’ve all been hoping to see.
One doctor said she beat the odds and only a few people could have done what she did. Another said it was absolutely a miracle.
So, why are we sharing this story with you? Well, for several reasons…
First: To underscore something Steve’s Dad always used to say, “Why do you think they call them PRACTICING physicians? If they had all the answers, they wouldn’t be PRACTICING!”
Second: Seriously, not to sound like motivational speakers, if you find yourself dealing with what looks like a hopeless situation, you’ll often be pretty surprised at what happens if you don’t give up hope.
Third: You know how you feel when you get some REALLY good news and you just have to share? Well, we did … and we did!
Fourth: Miracles? What do you think?