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Sharing God's love with the world, one heart at a time.

Patti, Your Life is a Prayer

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Patti at 12 years of age

Patti at 12 years of age

This last weekend, I was blessed with some ‘one on one’ time with my oldest sister, Patti.  We usually get to visit only once or twice a year, being that she lives in Ohio, and I am in Virginia.  My mom has been living with my husband and me for over ten years now, so naturally all our visits with Patti are always together, as a family.

For some reason, I felt compelled to see my sister, and spend time with her alone.  There was no question in my mind…I needed her.  Just like I did throughout my childhood, and then as I grew to adulthood.

So, let me tell you a little about Patti.  She was a beautiful and feisty young girl, who now describes herself as a tomboy who loved climbing trees and neighborhood roofs.  To be honest, she was a little mischievous.

That very sweet and active little girl contracted polio when she was 12 years old. 

Sisters: Bernadette and Patti

Sisters: Bernadette and Patti

As a foreshadowing of the strength of character that would radiate all through Patti’s life,  when she was suffering through the onset of the disease, the doctor was called to the house to check on her.  When she realized she was to be taken to the hospital, she insisted that she would not be carried out.  She  climbed down the stairs on her own, saying that she wanted to do it herself, knowing she would never walk again.  According to my mother, Patti never cried about her plight…which was a very different reaction than that experienced by my mom, who as a young mother, watched her daughter suffer through a horrible disease that almost killed her, and then caused her to be totally paralyzed.  My mother’s heart broke for her daughter, and always wished there had been something she could have done to prevent this from happening.  Even now, my mom’s eyes fill with tears as she remembers those days when Patti first got sick, how scared she was that Patti might die, and what lie ahead.  The prognosis, according to the doctors at that time, was that Patti  probably only had about ten years to live in her condition.

Well, God had other plans.

Patti is now 72 years old, and I can honestly say I have NEVER once heard her complain or cry about her ‘handicap.’  Just so you understand her condition, she can only move her right hand and her neck.  Our mom and dad took care of all of her needs; my two sisters and I also learned to care for Patti’s personal and physical needs.  That is, until she moved away so she could attend Ohio State University, where she ended up earning her Master’s Degree in Social Work.  You see, Patti could never refuse to “walk” through a  door  that the Lord opened for her.  She walked by faith and the Lord blessed her life tremendously.  It was not always easy for her, however, her life has always been filled to the brim!

The funny thing is, I never saw my sister as ‘handicapped.’  In fact, she is the least handicapped person I have ever known. 

Patti is totally open to The Holy Spirit directing her life, and she always makes herself available to those around her.  When Patti is with you, she is focused on knowing not only your needs, but your heart.  She has a way of reading between the lines; she is an edifier, always loving and supporting in any way she can.

She has touched so many people’s lives, and is loved by so many, that it boggles my mind.  Being with her this last weekend was a Godsend to me.  I was once again reminded of all the ways my sweet sister  impacted my life…through all the stages I went through, the joys and the struggles.

She was always there for me:

When I climbed up on her hospital bed, snuggling up against her as she read my favorite stories and poems over and over again.  She never refused when I asked her to read to me.

When I headed straight to her room after school all the way up through high school, unloading the highs and lows of my days.

When I needed advice about friends or boys, and then later on as I was struggling in my marriage.

When I started to question my faith, and did not understand why my life seemed so hopeless.  She always gave me hope, and always shared her faith with me.

When she shared my joy as I became a mother; and as she loved my sons and enjoyed the time spent with them.

When she overlooked my selfishness, impatience and misdirection…always just loving me through everything.

Mostly, just by being present; in the moment.

So, as we visited, the time flew by.  There is so much in our hearts to share with each other, and really only had hours to connect.  And connect we did.  I realized that my sister is truly  a saint.  I am not saying that lightly, and being the humble person that she is, Patti will most probably not agree with my assessment.

My life has been richly blessed with the privilege of having Patti for my sister.  Through her journey, which she travels completely trusting the Lord in every way, I have learned faith, hope, and love.  I am learning to bloom where I am planted, and never to compare myself or my personal journey to others.  To just be me…the person that God created me to be.

I have learned that God works great things through all things.  Patti’s life, which has been filled with great adventure and much love, shows us that the Lord works beauty  through any situation we may find ourselves in.  All we need to do is open our hearts to Jesus, allow His Spirit to flow through us, and then trust that He is working through us.  The amount of hearts touched through Patti’s life is not even measurable; his love exudes from her.

When we were talking, Patti mentioned that she needs to work on her prayer time with The Lord.  That she feels bad that she hasn’t set aside as much time as she would like for praying and meditating.  I asked her if she talks to God, and she answered’ “all day long.”

Although I understand her desire to spend more alone time with Jesus, all that comes to my mind is…

Patti, your life is a prayer!

And thank you for covering me, and all the ones that the Lord has entrusted to you, with the light of that prayer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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28 thoughts on “Patti, Your Life is a Prayer

  1. Berni…what beautiful words. They brought me to tears. God Bless you and Patti. She is truly an amazing lady.

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  2. I was very moved by your sister’s story and your words. I pray that I remember all that Patti has accomplished despite the hardships placed before her when I begin to doubt myself. Furthermore, I pray to have a heart and faith like your sister. It would of been a whole lot easier for her to be resent and angry instead she used it for God’s glory! What an amazing testimony and I thank you for sharing it with us. God bless.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Missy,
      Thank you very much for taking the time to read and leave such a thoughtful comment. I also think of Patti when I allow self doubt and/or a “woe is me” thought to enter my mind. I am learning, through my faith journey, to realize how God has worked and is working through not only Patti’s incredible life of faith, but is also working through ours. The key is to keep our eyes, ears and hearts open to Him, and to have the trust to walk through those doors He opens for us:-)

      May God bless you! I am looking forward to getting to know you through your blog posts:-)

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Bernie, this is so lovely. We are all blessed to have Patti in our lives. I always treasure whatever time I can spend with her too.

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    • Sharon, we sure are blessed, aren’t we? Patti and I spoke a lot about the wonderful visits she has with you and your family. You bless her with yourself…and she especially enjoys the awesome foods you cook for her:-) I get a little jealous when she lets me know how you cook for her when you visit…so I HAD to bring her a few dishes of mine to share!!!

      Hope it doesn’t take too long for us to get together for a visit again. When we do, it is like old times:-)

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  4. Berni, your life stories make me feel Little stronger getting through life. I do do a lot of praying for things that happen to my family and myself each and every day. You are a great inspiration. ThNks for sharing. Love you

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Terry, thanks so much for your support and love:-) You and Marty are an inspiration to me…I am very blessed to have you both as friends as well as family. You both, and your whole family are in my prayers.

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  5. Berni, your story about your sister was beautiful! It really touched my heart.. you are soo sweet 🙂 See you and Joe soon. Love, Donna

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    • Thanks Donna:-) I am very blessed to have Patti for my sister, and for my whole family:-) So happy her story touched your heart.

      Have a wonderful Thanksgiving! We look forward to seeing you guys for Christmas!

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  6. Wow, this was a awesome post. I have a cousin that’s conquering ALS. Just like your sister, I have never heard her complain and her faith in God is unwavering. Patti is an inspiration to you just like my cousin is a huge inspiration for me. Thank you for sharing her testimony. I live in Virginia as well.

    Blessings,
    Aisha

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    • Aisha, may God bless your cousin and your family:-)

      God works His divine plan through all of our lives…and does so in a special way for people like your cousin and my sister. His strength is made perfect through ‘weakness’, and is especially seen in the lives of those who love and trust His purpose in their lives, no matter what is seen in the physical world.

      We live in the Northern VA/DC area. Are you close by???

      Love in Christ,
      Bernadette

      Liked by 1 person

      • You’re exactly right. God uses people like Patti and my cousin Shelly in a really special way. Their spirit reminds me of a gospel song titled “I Won’t Complain.”

        I live near Williamsburg, Virginia.

        Blessings,
        Aisha

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  7. So very beautiful!! ❤ ❤

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  8. Add me to the list of those who are inspired by her! This post is beyond words. It’s a heartwarming, swift kick in the pants! I read it aloud to our family this evening and we were all able to glean something from both you and Patti. Thanks, I needed this…

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    • Tina, thank you so much for your beautiful comment:-) So happy my words (through the Holy Spirit) touched your family in a positive way. (as your story touches my heart) All of our stories are meant to be shared for the Glory of Christ!

      Yes, Patti IS an inspiration to us all. Of course, as I grow older, I appreciate and understand her as a person, and as God’s vessel in a more profound way. I love her more and more every day.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Sounds as though Patti’s life is an equally inspiring testimony, and the word “handicap” would not describe Patti. What a legacy in leadership to leave a younger sister, and what a precious tribute to Patti do you inspire Bernadette! Blessings ~ Amen :Y

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    • Yes, you are so right…the word “handicapped” has never described Patti. She is an inspiration to me every day.

      Thank you for taking the time to read and leave such a sweet comment!

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  10. How blessed you are to have Patti. Love between sisters is so very special. We are all called to be saints. From your description it sounds like Patti has fully answered that call. We have so much to give thanks every day. But I pray our Lord bless your Thanksgiving celebration tomorrow. Mary

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  11. This is so beautiful. What an inspiring angel, God bless her! And you too, this was a pleasure to read. Your family will be in my prayers – stay blessed 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  12. What a wonderful testimony. My mom had polio as a little girl. She eventually walked again, Though she had a bone taken from her leg and put into her back to straighten it. As a little girl, I knew my mom was in pain a lot. But she also loves the Lord and her dad found the Lord through her bout with the dreadful disease so she always said that it was worth it, if just for that. Thank you for sharing your sister’s story. It is beautiful and you both are blessed to have each other!

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    • Thank you so much for stopping by! It is amazing how God takes ALL circumstances and works good through them. Your mom and my sister are shining vessels that He works through:-) My prayer is that the holy Spirit works through me. allowing me to share His saving love and mercy with hurting hearts.

      Love and blessings,
      Bernadette

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  13. I love this story. I’m so inspired by your sister. Patti, wherever you are, thank you for being you. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  14. This Story make me cry ❤ GOD Bless Ye All Everyone ❤ Beautiful Story!! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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