Category Archives: God Stories

Stories submitted by our chaplains (and others) which show the movement of a Higher Power in events they have either witnessed or with which they have been involved.

A Story of Inspiration – Jeff Carver and the 2013 Louisville Mini-Marathon

The following, related by Signature HealthCARE stakeholder Rob Carter, is the inspirational story of his friend Jeff Carver:

Jeff Carver: Former Director WFBR 95.3FM, voice of Bullitt East Sports, recovering from severe TBI in summer of 2011 car crash, devoted Christian, Marathoner.

Jeff has 3 children, youngest one being 16 and a wonderful wife (Debora).

Jeff was a fantastic athlete. He participated in a 150 mile bike ride to benefit MS, many marathons and finished the full 2011, 26.2 mile Derby Marathon in 4:03:28. He is the owner of Carver Communications a cellular and paging equipment company.

About one month later during Fathers Day weekend 2011, Jeff had a car wreck that almost ended his life. He now suffers from traumatic brain injury (cerebellar ataxia) that he sustained from his accident. The good thing about Ataxia is that Jeff still has his full memory and intellect, unfortunately the portion of his brain that controls muscle movement no longer functions, there is no cure for Ataxia but Jeff is determined to beat it. For the few months following they were unsure of his future, but Jeff has a determination like no one else I know. He learned to walk again after about a year with the help of a walker or his wife by his side. He falls a lot but keeps saying that “my brain is not going to do this on its own, I will fall many times before I learn how to walk again.”

This year 2013, 2 years after his accident, Jeff is once again finishing the Derby Mini-Marathon. He had the help of some friends, but finished the 13.1 miles in 2:43:59. According to Debora this is the most amazing thing he has done since his accident. Two months ago Jeff bought a Terra Trike and was not able to peddle 4 miles before wearing out. This past Saturday he peddled 13 miles and finished up walking across the finish line. That day Jeff was a celebrity, I don’t think he ever quit smiling and I will say that I had tears in my eyes as I helped him cross the finish line.

I could have run faster on my own, I could have had a faster time but sometimes you need to slow down, help a friend and enjoy the moment. Jeff is my inspiration.

Rob Carter

Here is the Youtube video chronicling Jeff’s great accomplishment:

http://youtu.be/jFkF3QZuBhM

 

A Letter to the CEO – Thank You

The following is a letter sent to the CEO Joe Steier:

Joe,

I am Barbara M.’s brother. She is a resident at Four Courts. Remember, I met you several times at your office when it was in Palm Beach Gardens, and we talked about Penn, since we both went to Wharton.

Your facility is second to none. The care my sister receives is unbelievable. It is not only excellent and compassionate, but extremely effective.

My sister came into your facility almost not being able to move any of her limbs. You can see her now cutting and eating her food on her own, and wheeling her own wheel chair down the corridors. With the help of a wonderful woman named Sally, she is now learning to stand. I predict that with her grit and determination, and Sally’s skill and kind heart, she will walk some day.

Words can not express my appreciation for what you have done for my sister, and what you will continue to do. I read on your web site about your plans for the the nursing homes that you are acquiring. If the level of care is the same as Four Courts, then you are truly doing God ‘s work.

Again thank you so much. When I next come up to visit my sister , I will let you know ahead of time so that we can meet again.

With best wishes to you and your family for very happy Holidays and a wonderful New Year,

Harry

 

“Debbie’s Story” by Chaplain Carl Caffrey

This morning the nurse who lost her granddaughter in the gun accident in late June came to me and told me a wonderful story of faith about her daughter, Haylee (who lost her daughter).  The story speaks of the little gift that SHC Cleveland gave their family. She wanted to thank her Cleveland SHC family.

This morning Debbie came by my office and shared this wonderful, powerful story of faith with me. She asked that I would write about it and share it. It is below.

Chaplain Carl Caffrey

Less than two months ago, Debbie, nurse here at Signature Healthcare of Cleveland, lost her precious 3 and a half year old granddaughter, Kydalynne in a tragic gun accident. Debbie’s dear daughter, Haylee, mother of Kydalynne, had a beautiful assurance of God’s comforting presence and of Kyky’s well being in Christ.

A couple of weeks ago in West Tennessee, where Haylee is presently living, a scary summer storm hit the area. Haylee was cooking a meal for her and her boyfriend when the storm grew very strong and blew out the electricity. Everything went dark. The oven off; electric totally out.

Before we move on, I must give a little background to this great story. When Kydalynne passed, Signature Healthcare of Cleveland did not send a Peace Lilly (as is usual), but decided to send Debbie a porcelin Church furnished with a Christmas light (night light), electically powerd, of course. Since Kyky always used a night light, Haylee leaves the little church light on…always.

That night when the storm was really rolling in, Haylee and her boyfriend made their way to the safest part of the house, which was the bathroom. (With all the bad storms that have come through TN in last couple of years, taking cover was the only wise thing to do.) As they made their way through the house to the safe room, they noticed the TV was off (of course, no electricity) and all the lights were off, as expected.

However, as they passed the bedroom where the church was they noticed that a light was on. They were awestruck to find the light in the Church glowing! Yes, the electrically powered little night light was shining brightly! They sensed the presence of the LORD! The Lord was with them through this, and there was also His sweet assurance that Kyky was just fine with her Savior in Heaven.

God is faithful! God is soooo GOOD! God Bless You!

A Special Remembrance of Mom

The following story was sent to me by my friend and colleague Kelly Friedman. I wanted to share it with you all.

In Kelly’s own words:

Below is an article that my Mother wrote and published in a local newspaper over Mother’s Day weekend. A local pastor read it and then based his Mother’s Day sermon on it.

It is personal to me because it is about my Mother, Grandmother, and Family, but thought that it might speak to you as a daughter. I also forwarded the article to other female friends who could appreciate it as Moms, Daughters, and Granddaughters.

When I was growing up, I never went to Disney World, nor did our family take vacations. I don’t remember my mother—a working mom In the 50’s—ever playing games with me.

Still, I didn’t miss out. Since Mother’s Day is next week, I’ve given a lot of thought about our relationship. How did my mother love me? Let me count the ways.

During my childhood, she stuffed Vick’s VapoRub up my nose with an extra dab in my mouth for double-protection against the flu.

She advised me to count my fingers—on the sly—while doing arithmetic at the blackboard.

She tried not to show her reluctance when she left for work.

She convinced me “everything will be all right” whenever I had butterflies in my stomach.

She told me she loved me several times a day.

When my father died, my 34-year-old mother became a single mom, just as I was on the brink of becoming a teenager. How did my mother love me, even during those turbulent teen years?

She insisted on curfews—shorter during the school week; a little later on Fridays and Saturdays.

She wanted to know who my friends were and where I was going.

She usually liked my fashion choices and always told me how pretty I looked.

She nixed a new pair of trend setting “hip huggers”—low slung pants, barely below the navel—I had purchased. She told me how awful they looked and sent me—despite my protests—back to the department store where I bought them.

She encouraged openness between us, never wincing whenever I told her about some of the teen antics going on.

When I grew up and got married, my mother continued to make caring a priority.

She gave my husband and me her blessings when we married and grew to love him like a son. Later, she admitted– at first– she wasn’t crazy over him or anyone I had dated who were “kids” in her eyes.

She surprised us often with practical items for newlyweds like a huge trash can she purchased and hauled in her car, delivering it to us one evening on her way home from work.

She helped me wash windows, turning a chore into fun, as we chatted while we worked.

She listened to my endless talk about friends, work, anxieties and joys.

When our children were born, she became the grandmother I strive to be.

She used her vacation to help me take care of each of my two children when they were born.

She spent her weekly day off with me and my two toddlers, having driven an hour to our home for shopping and lunch.

She took more vacation days –through the years–to watch our children during an occasional weekend when my husband and I could use a break.

She cooked our favorite dinners on holidays and in-between, insisting we take home leftovers so I wouldn’t have to cook.

She gave my children lasting memories of their times together.

At the end of my mother’s life, when she was 82 years old and confined to a bed, she still worried about my welfare.

“This is so hard on you,” she said.

As I imagine my mother in the wonderful place where wonderful mothers go, I silently thank her.

How do I love you? Let me count the ways.

French Couple Makes “Pilgrimage” on “Faithbook”

One of the most amazing stories in recent days is that of the French couple Frederic and Anne-Laure Pascal who decided on “an unlikely expression of their religious commitment: a worldwide “interfaith pilgrimage” to places where peace has won out over dueling dogmas.”

Since October, they “have visited 11 nations from Iraq to Malaysia in an odyssey to find
people of all creeds who have dedicated their lives to overcoming religious intolerance in some of the world’s most divided and war-torn corners.”

Check out the rest of the story in the article from the Wall Street Journal:

http://online.wsj.com/article/AP0fed5c332c504afca972ba81736472fc.html

And follow their adventures (in English) on their site:

http://faithbooktour.blog.pelerin.info/english/

 

 

 

Bonanza Ministry

Thank God I am me because I sure could not be anybody else. If something normal happened to me I would be in shock !!!

I am assisting in a funeral this Saturday for a resident who died yesterday evening. Our relationship was normal and I felt the family has been pleased with our care. My role is a prayer, playing the theme music from Bonanza and then relating how he ( Ed ) was able to make the connection between hope in Christ, accepting he could no longer ride a horse and the joy he received when he felt God sent him Bonanza reruns to watch every day at 3 PM. to remind him God knew his pain and sense of loss. I would see him about once a week around the time the show ended and he would say , “Ain’t God GREAT” !

I guess this is a God Event for sure.

Neal

Neal Myers, Chaplain
Bluegrass Care and Rehab

A 60+ Year Love Affair

The following is a letter from Jeannette Sanlley who recently married her childhood sweetheart at our Gainesville facility – some 60 years later after they originally met.

The event was celebrated via Skype with both the bride’s and the groom’s families in the Dominican Republic.

The story is an uplifting one of both hope and love.

TO THE ENTIRE STAFF OF SIGNATURE HEALTHCARE OF GAINESVILLE:

Virtual Weddings are a blessing from the Lord God, Our Father,  and Jesus Christ our Saviour, whose generotisy took my husband and I to Signature Healthcare of Gainesville.  God has been so good to us that He truthfully placed us where many angels could guide our path.  Through His Holy Spirit God gave us Faith, Hope, and Charity.

My husband, Rafael, and I found in signature Healthcare a wonderful loving family.  We were longtime young sweethearts and next door neighbiors in the Dominican Republic since our teenage days in the mid 50s.  We have memorable happenings in this beautiful and  sunny caribbean island where we were born.

Rafael and I parted after a beautiful three years deep love affair that remained in our hearts forever.  We each drifted apart and formed our lives without each other, and also married the wrong persons.  Rafael did not have any children, while I had three wonderful kids from my first marriage. I lived 14 years in Canada while Rafael searched for his lost love until years later he found me, but it was too late. Our lives continued appart from each other with only an impossible dream hoping that some day it would come true.  Rafael’s greatest plead to God  was that some day he could marry his teenage sweetheart.  After 40 years he found me through the internet and since he became a widower and I was alone we decided to meet each other for the last time, fell in love again and decided to reunite.

Rafael became ill and had to have a laryngectomy due to cancer.  I stood by his side immediately all the way to be with him straight from the Dominican Republic where I was living, to the United States in Shands cancer hospital.  After the operation, Rafael was sent for recovery to Signature Healthcare of Gainseville where I am at this moment, still living with him while he recovers.

I do not have sufficient words to express our gratitude to these wonderful people who I call our angels.  They have given us excellent care and love, and made our impossible dreams come true.  Thanks be to God.

A Virtual Wedding Celebration was made for Rafael and I, which was seen and enjoyed live through SKYPE by our families in the Dominican Republic.  These angels gave us the happiest day of our lives where Rafael 76 and I, Jeannette, 72, finally fulfilled a lifetime dream on October 14, 2011.

I do not mention any names because I would have to write down an inmense list of wonderful people who went our of their waty to make things possible and make us happy.  All we can say is  THANK YOU to all the staff of Signature Healthcare of Gainseville, from the bottom of our hearts, for contributing to make our marriage memorable, and so that we may spend whatever time God may give us, finally,  as husband and wife, in holiness with joy and love until death do us part.

May God bless you all forever,

Mr. and Mrs. Rafael Cott M.D.

A Special Prayer About a Difficult Loss . . .

The following is a special submission from Deneetra Belmar from one of her very best friends Natoya Hopper who recently lost both her mother as well as her young 10 year- old daughter Di’Asia from two seperate illnesses.

Her prayer and her courage are indeed marvelous to behold . . . .

My prayer is that what I am about to share will draw each one of you closer to God.

As you may know, this has been a difficult few months for me – within a 2 month time frame I lost both a mother and a child. I grew up hearing things like, “God Know Best”, “Lean and Trust on Him”, “God Will Never Put Know More On You Than You Can Bear” and “God Is A Comforter”.

I can testify that all of these hold value and that God is indeed just that awesome.

As humans when we experience any type of tragedy or oppression, we tend to ask the question as to “Why”. During my time of loss I didn’t want to ask God “Why” not because I didn’t want to know “Why” more so

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because I was taught “God knows best”. After losing Di’Asia, God felt as though I needed to know “Why”, and without me asking, God told me.

God spoke to me on Tuesday October 4 th and told me why he took Di’Asia. He explained that he took her in order to draw others closer to him and that the time of his return is sooner than we think. The Lord told me to share what he has revealed to me with all my family and loves ones. Now is the time to seek him and become close to God for life on this earth will soon be over.

We all have a purpose, Di’Asia Nicole served her purpose here on earth and even in her death she continues to serve a purpose, and that is to draw others close to God so that they can spend eternal life with the Father.

“Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him. Matthew 24:42-44 (NIV)

With Much Love,
Natoya Hopper

Purpose Within A Purpose

Sometimes God makes his will to us known in the most amazing ways.

The following conversation comes from emails on our Company Prayer Chain and it brings to light a point that all of us should remember. As Angie McAllister so clearly says below: “Their purpose may be to teach us our purpose.”

The emails are shown in chronological order from the top downward and the Spirit is indeed present here in these words.

From Fred Jeans, Chaplain, Kenilworth Care & Rehabilitation Center

Please pray for Stanley Myers. Stanley is a resident who was a missionary his whole life. He has had what appears to be a debilitating stroke and it is indeed sad to see such a good and active man now in such bad shape.

From the time I started the Bible study, prayer group and choir, Stanley has been a regular. He told me that he wanted to be back in ministry so I had him start our Bible studies and choir sessions with prayer. He reads Scripture on Sunday morning worship, passes out song sheets and generally does everything he can. Join me in this prayer. Pray also for our little choir. Just a few weeks ago we had eleven people singing. Now we have five. Death and sickness have taken their toll. Ask God to add to our number.

From Dianne Timmering, VP of Spirituality

Dearest team: Please see prayer request below. I was struck by the power of Mr. Myers’ purpose.

From Angie McAllister, Director of Quality of Life

This reminds me of a precious Elder who lived in the home I worked at before coming to Signature. He had been a Pastor for many years and wanted so much to still serve in any capacity he could. He used to do devotions daily for our Staff members and other Elders. It wasn’t long he became our Volunteer Chaplain (because we didn’t have one) and he would go up and down the halls and visit new people and pray for the sick. He was in a wheelchair and had suffered a stroke as well. Then one day he became sicker and I remember him asking me “Why? Why can’t I just go on to be with Jesus and not be here suffering anymore?”. It was heartbreaking and we cried together.

I then responded by telling him all the good he had done for me and he had taught me so many things in our time together. So many times we don’t understand why things happen the way they do but be sure of this, there is always a reason.

I do love Mr. Meyer’s purpose just as I lovingly remember Bro. John’s purpose. Team, let’s continue to encourage our Elders to be purposeful for as long as they can be. Their purpose may be to teach us our purpose, something I learned long ago.

Remembering A Friend . . .

The following is a tribute and a reflection by Gary Cooke, the Administrator at the Cedar Hills Facility in Jacksonville, FL, on the life of Kitty Mulloney, a former Respiratory Therapist at that location who committed suicide on August 27, 2011.

Please continue to pray for her and for her family.

Kitty Mulloney was the person that helped us launch our Respiratory Therapy Program at Signature HealthCARE of Jacksonville.  I remember meeting her for the first time during an interview, she had a “quiet strength” about her, that was also engulfed in gentleness.  As I got to know her better, I found out she was a woman of many interests and had a insatiable curiosity.

If something was mentioned in a Tuesday Department Head Meeting, she would almost always go home and “google” our discussion and leave something on my desk or make a point to talk to me the next day.  As a 20 year Marine Corp Vet, Kitty certainly lived the term semper fidelis or “always faithful.”

One example of her compassion and faithfulness was when she volunteered a Saturday of her time to take our residents on a special trip to Tampa, Florida.  While she was there with the residents she happened to remember I collected Hard Rock Cafe Pins, and took time out of her busy day to get my a pin from the HRC in Tampa (photo 1).  However, Kitty, when not doing her respiratory treatments, would always be doing something to bring joy to one of our residents daily, by playing cards with them, taking them for a walk, or assisting them with BINGO.

The Scriptures speak over and over again, about being faithful in “little things” before God bestows greater responsibility.  This has caused me to reflect on how am I doing with the “little things” in my life?  How many times do I walk by a resident or stakeholder that could use a hug or a smile?

The second quality about Kitty I admired was her “gentle candidness…”

Proverbs 27:6 speaks of “Faithful are the wounds of a friend…” What this means to me, that gentle reproofs from a friend if they are said in our best interest are a good thing.  Kitty would be the person to speak up and talk about things from a different angle, or say “have we considered this…”  That takes lots of courage…and again an example of her faithfulness.  She cared enough about what we were trying to do that she would speak up!

In our culture of avoiding “nay-sayers” we do need to remember the value of “faithful wounds of a friend” as well as we consider all the changes we are all experiencing.

Yes, sadly, there is a reason I have referred to Kitty in “past tense,” for some reason she decided to end her life.  As I spoke with her brother and sister, we are left with more questions than answers, as it just doesn’t make sense to any of us that knew her.

But from the grave I learn another lesson from Kitty…let’s all take the time to listen to one another and bear each others burdens (Galatians 6), we never know how God can use our light to help someone that is hurting.

Please pray for Kitty’s family who is hurting from the loss, Kitty leaves behind 4 children and siblings that are searching for answers and comfort.

The link below is to her obituary at staugustine.com:

http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/staugustine/obituary.aspx?n=kathryn-mulloney&pid=153379413

Gary S. Cooke, Administrator,
Signature HealthCare of Jacksonville