In 1961 I was ten years old.  I ran next door to tell my grand father that Easter lunch was ready.  When I walked into his living room I found a little ole man trying to get out of his chair and slurring his speech.  Thirty minutes later he was being helped into a bed at Norris Booth Clinic.  That evening I was sitting with my father and the loudest friendliest laugh came booming down the hospital corridor from the kitchen.  I sat there in surprise as I heard this young lady bouncing around the hospital with endless energy.  When she saw me she came up and spoke to my father and then turned to me and talked and laughed and visited.  Several minutes later she left and went back to work.  I was certain I knew her; she must have been a friend of the family but I just didn’t know how I knew her.  

In fact this was the first time we had met but this lady never met a stranger and made you feel like it too.  I had just been introduced to Ailene Williams.  For thirty days I would walk to the clinic and visit my grandfather.  For thirty days I would be treated to the loud laugh and friendly visits with Ailene.  On the thirty-first day my grandfather lost his fight and I no longer returned to the clinic. 

Nine years later and it was my time to be in the Norris Booth Clinic.  I was admitted with hepatitis and as I slipped in and out of sleep with 104 degree temperature I suddenly realized that I was hearing a familiar laugh that had been burned into my psyche years earlier.  For two weeks Ailene would visit and stand at the door of my quarantined room.  Nothing had changed. 

Twenty years passed and it was mothers turn to receive Ailene’s help.  “Do you remember me”? she asked. 

“Good Grief, how could I forget”.  After I lost my mother it was my father’s turn for Ailene’s good nature and help.  By the time we lost dad,  we had become Ailene’s adopted family.

 Her entire life she would ask no one for anything or any help but when anyone needed support she was there.  She raised a wonderful family, worked hard, loved her church and found time to help anyone that needed it.  All this and she never stopped laughing.   When it came time to clean out the closet we would call Ailene.  She all ways knew someone that was in need and made sure they were taken care of.  Ailene crossed boundaries that had never been crossed before and built bridges with her enduring love of man kind.  If only everyone could take a deep breath and call a timeout, look around themselves in this pressure cooler world we live in and let a little bit of Ailene fill our lives and then give a little more back to our fellow man.  Wouldn’t the world be a little better to live in. 

A week ago last Sunday Ailene was in the one place she loved more than anywhere else, Church.  She suffered a massive hear attack and passed away fifteen minutes later.  There would be no more of a fitting time and place for Ailene to leave our world. 

Next week, it’s time to visit Iran if the world is in the same situation that it is today.


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