A day or two ago I got a call from a friend of mine who affectionately (and reverently, I’m sure) refers to me as “Dr. Brown” I used to consider myself as somewhat of an expert on alternative solutions to every day maladies, and even considered (as much as I ever consider going back to school) doing some form of official education on the subject. So as many who have just enough knowledge to make them dangerous, I often volunteered this information to uninterested parties who happened to mention something in my presence about a sore or a cold. By the time I realized I didn’t really know so much about anything, Strokeman somehow became so impressed with my knowledge that he began to refer people to me for everything from a hangnail to cancer.
At any rate, Kelly, came into my life about this time, and she, being at the beginning of the childrearing thing, would call me on occasion to see if I might be able to help her figure some sort of solution for one of her babies who was suffering from one ailment or another. Thus the title, “Dr. Brown”. I am not a doctor, don’t even play one on TV, but I do have an opinion on just about anything, and am ready to share it with the slightest encouragement. Her children survived me, and she and I remain friends. (She does occasionally tease me about things that have “healing properties” – a phrase I apparently wore out).
Another connection I have with Kelly is that she trained my daughter to be a babysitter extraordinaire. In return, she got a baby sitter extraordinaire. That relationship lasted for years, and my daughter affectionately thinks of Kelly’s children as her kids.
Kelly has a knack for keeping me from taking myself too seriously. She is a big teaser. I remember her telling me once about a conversation she had with a mutual friend in which I was described as elegant. She not only laughed out loud at the lady who said it, she felt a need to tell me that she had laughed out loud at the lady who said it. What, Kelly, is that so hard to believe? She and I have shared many a laugh, and for that I am very thankful.
I am also thankful for Kelly’s deep desire to be a godly woman. She is tenacious in her efforts to take the scripture and apply it to her life. Rarely a conversation goes by that she does not refer to some verse and how it relates to what we are talking about. She has that “meditate on it day and night” thing down pretty good. It makes me want to be more like her. She reads the scripture, applies it to her life, and can’t wait to tell someone about it. It’s a good thing.
In that last conversation we had, we talked about a book we both needed to get out and read again. After we had hung up, she texted me several quotes from the book over the next hour. I finally asked her did she want to read the book to me over text. But that is the difference between me and her. I agreed I needed to read it, she went and read it. I need to be more like that! In all fairness, I did go look for my copy of the book (20 texts later). Unfortunately, I have leant it to someone and I don’t remember who. Perhaps I shouldn’t have said anything and let Kelly read it to me after all.
One of the hardest losses I had to deal with in that first year after the stroke was the loss of Kelly and her family. They moved away, and it was so painful for me to think about that for a long time I didn’t. It has been good to pick up again after a time of pained silence. Thank God for technology that keeps us from really having to say goodbye the way people did before the invention of such things as telephones, internet and texting. I know that many see these things as time suckers, and necessary evils. To me they are a means for keeping in touch with people like Kelly. And with her help, I’ll get by, maybe not elegantly, but I’ll get by none the less.