Monday, July 27, 2015

The Best of Us

I woke up yesterday to sad news.  A good friend of mine had passed away after battling like a champ for several years.
I was shocked and saddened even though it was expected.  

I want to tell you a little about Becky Howerton and what she meant to me.  I met Becky thru LifePoint and honestly while I interacted with her, Dennis and Kaylee their granddaughter I really didn’t know her.

It wasn’t until last year that I really started talking to her and getting to know the Howerton’s.  Becky may well be the most thoughtful person I have ever met.  She is an inspiration to me on several fronts. 

First is her heart for others.  This is a woman who was in the hospital 14 times last year. She was in for extended stays several times this year and I was privileged enough to visit with her. You know what she was concerned about?
You, thats what.  She was concerned about you and me and Jesus. That was it.  Not her medical issues or pain. She wanted to talk about you. 
Not in a gossipy way, she couldn't possibly care less what one of us had done to the other. She was genuinely concerned about your heart and mine. About our families and our walks with Jesus.
I want you to think about this, because not everyone visited her and got to experience this.  There she was in the hospital  Literally fighting for enough breath to talk. Sometimes it would take a minute or more to get a sentence out. The pain was rough and she was poked and prodded.  However when the words came it was almost always “How is everyone doing,” and then she would start asking by name.
Her daughters Kristin, Liz and Chelsea (the “in law” part never came up Chelsea you were hers) her son Matt, Kathy & Dave Hutton, Steve Pierce, Stephanie Bandelow, Kelly and family, Jeremy and family, individually, the Tuckers, the Coday’s, Nate and his gang, Mindy and Travis, Liz Hutton, the Norfleets and the Richards families are just a few (a drop in the bucket) of the conversations we had. She wanted to know how you were doing and she wanted to pray for you.
Then there were the countless conversations about LifePoint.  How she missed us. How she wished she could attend, church and ALL of our activities.   

One day I got a call from someone at the church that needed to go to the emergency room.  I took him in and sat for a while that night with him.  I posted on Facebook that he could use prayer. It was about 10 minutes later I got an email from Becky asking if he was ok, telling me to let him know that she was praying for him and that she loved us.

She wrote that email from down the hall at the hospital, where she had been for several days already and was unaware at that time if she would ever be allowed to leave again.

I can’t imagine being there, late at night after visiting hours alone in a hospital in that situation and thinking about anything but that.  Not Becky, she wanted to let us know that she was still praying. She was at the foot of Jesus for him, for me and for you constantly.

It wasn’t that she didn’t get depressed, she did and who could blame her. It was how short those patches were that amazed me, that inspires me. 1 Thessalonians chapter 5: 16-18
“Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

That verse had to have been crafted with God’s eternal eye on Becky, because it describes her perfectly.

Next was Becky’s heart for service. 

She worked the child check in station at church every week she could. She was at every event she could talk Dennis into letting her go to.  I’m sure they had more than a few conversations about that. She was deeply involved in CR and was constantly praying and talking about that.  
I organized the fair parking this year for LifePoint.  It was something we were blessed to get to do but it required volunteers.  A lot of Volunteers.  
I was constantly begging for help. The fair wanted a certain amount of coverage and I just wasn’t getting the volunteers.  One night I get an email from Becky.  It asked if she could volunteer.  In the letter she said that she felt like she “needed to do this” and that she wanted to live the rest of her days “doing as much for Him as she can”.  She knew the Doctor would frown on it. She knew it wasn’t good for her. She knew it might even send her back into the hospital but she was determined and I love her so I said yes.

The day she was scheduled was rained out but had it not been, she would have been there. Raining or Not.  When Becky said she would do something, she did it.  
She was a rock and it is with stones like that the church is built.

I am so sorry for the Howerton’s loss.  To Becky Dennis hung the moon and vice versa.  It is a 36 year long romance that has given so much to so many.  My prayer is that the Holy Spirit comfort you all in this time. 

To all of you friends, and family I want you to know that Becky was concerned with you and your walk with Christ.  There is no better way to honor her than to live a life she would be proud of.  Seek God, find joy in the seemingly joyless. Pray without stop and find a church family that love you as much as she loved us and we her.

Until we meet again Becky, I love you

thanks for reading.


1 comment:

  1. Alan, this is a wonderful tribute to Becky. I wish I could have gotten to know her better. I was always greatful to see her at church. She always greeted me with a smile and a pat of the hand.