When we fall down, encouragement can come from unlikely places

I know this week is Christmas, and you’d expect a message about loving one another and putting Christ first this holiday. But, I think I’ve harped on that subject for quite enough.

It’s the people in our lives that make holidays special.

Without families gathering together and sharing love, Christmas and other holidays would just be another day.

Throughout my career I have had the blessing to meet all kinds of different people. I especially have a heart for senior citizens and children.

I think my love of seniors stems from my love of my grandmother. As I’ve written on many occasions, she and I were very close. While my parents were always the disciplinarian in my life, my granny was the one I’d go to with a problem. She would usually give me what turned out to be good advice.

In October, I met a special lady, Barbara Heavner, but she said to call her “Bobby.” She was the daughter of a breast cancer survivor I interviewed for our special breast cancer section in the paper.

What set Ms. Bobby apart from a lot of people I meet is that she claimed to be one of my biggest fans.

I can’t tell you how humbling it was to have an 87-year-old tell you that she was my fan.

 It seemed like it should have been the other way around to me. She carried on about how she loved to read the paper before her eyesight got so bad. I suggested someone read it to her, but her hearing wasn’t too great either.

I wanted so badly to make her able to see and hear as she once did. Friday morning I learned on Facebook that Ms. Bobby had passed away in her sleep. She’d went peacefully into the night. While she’s gone to be with her Father in Heaven, Ms. Bobby’s family is left here to grieve her loss at Christmastime.

I believe that God brought Ms. Bobby into my life to show me that I do make a difference with this column. That, while the contribution is small, people are reading it and taking it to heart, and that’s a huge compliment to me.

At the time, I was thinking of retiring my column because I’ve written it continuously for over eight years. Then, Ms. Bobby came into my life. I saw how much some readers really enjoy what I write in the column. It’s like when I question myself and what I’m doing, God sends someone into my life to tell me that I am on the right track.

Ms. Bobby isn’t the only reader out there that has been such a blessing to me.

Two years ago, I was struggling. I was having a tough time with different aspects of writing. I felt myself wavering when I went to eat at the Huddle House with my family.

As we were leaving, a man ran out of the restaurant to tell me how much he and his family loved my columns. He told me that if I wanted to become a famous writer in New York, he felt like I could.

He followed up by saying he was glad I moved to Monticello to write for the paper. I don’t know what made him run into the parking lot that night, but I’m glad he did because we all need a little encouragement from time to time.

I’d like to thank every reader out there who has ever shared with me how much they like my writing, or thanked me for an article I had written. Knowing I am able to reach people through the newspaper is a blessing to me. It lets me know that I am making a small difference in the lives of my readers, and that means everything to me.

Ms. Bobby’s family will be in my prayers.

Melissa Cason is the staff writer at the Advance Monticellonian. She can be reached at 367-5325.

The Advance-Monticellonian

Mailing Address:
PO Box 486
Monticello, AR 71657

Street Address:
314 Main Street
Monticello, AR 71655

Phone: 870-367-5325
Fax: 870-367-6612


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