McDowell Technical Community College

Grace Baptist Church-Morganton

Love

By George Patton Jr

Burke County

Well I had hoped this article I could write about the oldest couple still alive in Kenya, but they passed away last year after being married for 79 years.  It really caused me to start thinking about my own wife.  She has been in heaven now for 10 years this coming July.  It was because of her that I am where I am now.  We had worked together for 5 years before God saw fit to put us together.  I was a manger in a factory and she was a foreman.  After we went out to eat for the first time I knew it was love at first sight.  However, she was a Christian and I was not.  She married me anyhow.  For 3 years, she prayed for me daily and invited me to church with her but I continued to refuse.  I was a business man and all I was concerned with was money and power.  Finally, one Sunday I went.  It was the next day after the pastor visited our home that I gave my life to Christ.  The following year I left the factory and all the money and we moved to the border of Mexico to be missionaries.  She was taking cancer treatments at the time, but we were able to move her care to the Texas/ Mexico border.  She was willing to leave her big house and cars and all just to take the Lord’s message.  We were only there about 9 months and the cancer grew worse, causing us to return home.  We arrived back to Morganton in January.  We were as poor as a church mouse.  For Valentines that year we could not afford anything for one another so we went to Walmart and found each other a card and a gift.  We met in the aisle and exchanged gifts and cards.  I said,  “Sweetheart this is what I would have gotten you if I could.”  She said the same to me.  It was a touching moment.  We, after exchanging gifts and cards, put the things back and went home.  The next year I started Bible School and six months after that we got our first church.  She was such a wonderful pastor’s wife.  The people loved her. However, in March of 2007 they told us that there was nothing else they could do the cancer had gotten too bad.  Her goal was that she would be able to attend my graduation from Bible College which she did and her second goal was that our youngest Son who we had adopted would turn 18.  She had gotten down to about 85 lbs.  She still never missed a day of church.  I would pick her up and put her in the wheel chair and wheel her in.  She said never let me miss a day.  She only missed one Sunday.  The Sunday before she passed. I had planned a special service that last Sunday night she attended.  I hid a dozen roses under the pulpit.  After the praise and worship, I said I have something to say.  I began to express to her my gratitude for being the wonderful wife she had been.  I thanked her for bringing me to Christ and for being there for me and the children.  I thanked her for loving me even when I was unlovable.  I reached under the pulpit and took out the flowers while the sound people played Dolly Parton’s song “I will always love you.”  I got down on one knee in front of her wheel chair and poured out my heart to her for all she had meant to me.  The whole church was crying.  That was her last Sunday. The following week our son turned 18.  The next day she started talking about angels.  I told her everything was going to be ok. The following day she slipped into a coma.  Then on July 4th I set by her bedside from 6am until 2pm.  I knew the Lord was going to take her home but I promised her that I would not let go of her hand until Jesus took the other.  At 2pm she lifted up her little hand towards heaven and smiled and took her last breath.  She had finished her race.  Dear friends please do not take for granted that one you love.  Tell them every day just how special they are. I sure do miss my wife, but know someday soon we will be reunited again.