I don't know if it was her fabulous smile she flashed at me when she greeted me Thursday afternoon or her contagious positive attitude, but Glenda Lord is one incredible woman.
Glenda and I had only spoken on the phone once before we met and even in our short five-minute conversation I knew I already loved her.
Glenda and her husband, Fred, were picked by their niece, Denise Edwards, to be the next yard to have the Pinwheel Fairy land in their pretty green grass.
The Pinwheel Fairy was the genius idea of Brittany Griffith's mom, Deborah Kelly. Brittany and I are walking in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day Race for the Cure walk in October and this is just one of our fundraising ideas.
So this is how the Pinwheel Fairy works -- the Fairy lands in a person's yard and then she and all of her pinwheels stay a few days and then that person picks the next person's house she lands in next. It has been a great adventure for Brittany and I.
And that is how we met Glenda.
Glenda called me Tuesday and raved about the pinwheels and she wanted to know when we were coming to move them because she wanted to see Brittany again and meet me for the first time, plus she had the four or five places picked for the Fairy already.
Glenda was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2006. In 2007, the breast cancer cells spread to her bones. She had been in and out of remission and then in 2008, the cancer had spread to her liver.
Thursday morning she had a chemo treatment and you would have never know it by looking at her Thursday afternoon.
She told a story about how she lost her hair the first time and always had a hat to wear. But the wearing of the hat was more for everyone else, because people tended to stare and feel sorry for her.
One day she forgot her hat and she was in the grocery story and she watched people's faces. She said she just wanted to tell to everyone "I am fine, please don't feel sorry for me."
And she doesn't want you to feel sorry for her. She said that her mother told her that the good Lord won't put on you more than you can handle. Well, my gosh, cancer three places in her body and the lady hasn't stopped yet.
She continuously showed her appreciation to Brittany and I for doing what we were doing. What we are doing? We are only walking 60 miles in three days. In the beginning of this journey, I thought to myself "That is a lot of walking in three days."
But my attitude continues to change as I hear people's stories and it surely changed as I listened to Glenda talk.
Glenda told us that she knows the money that has been raised for cancer has made a difference. She is taking a new kind of chemo and she knows it is because of all of the money and research that is being done. Fred said that Glenda's doctor said at one point there were only 20 different kinds of chemo options, now there are more than 400. Wow.
Lisa Aaron, Glenda's niece, said "She would have a fit if anything would ever happen to any of us." And Glenda said "You've got that right, I would rather have this than you girls any day." That is pure love ladies and gentlemen, pure love.
Glenda's niece Lisa and her roommate, Carolyn Davis, have made sure for years now that Glenda and Fred have dinner on Thursdays after her treatment. People forget sometimes that the patient isn't the only one who has cancer.
It may only be one person who physically gets the cancer in a family, but the whole family is affected. I appreciate the love that Lisa and Carolyn pour into Glenda and Fred.
Glenda, Fred, Lisa, Brittany, Hannah and myself, we all prayed before we left and sweet peace feel upon that house.
When we are going through things in life and we allow God to really use us a tool for His glory and kingdom, while going through those trials and tribulations, He does some mighty things. And I saw some of those mighty things in that family Thursday evening.
There is a closeness with all of them that I couldn't really describe. Their love for one another is incredible. And the strength that pours from Glenda is inspiring.
When Apryl Gossett (the person for whom we are walking in the 3-Day) was diagnosed with breast cancer last year I saw her strength come through like I never seen before. And I know that to see Glenda's strength makes me pray even harder that if cancer hits home with me, I have the strength of these two ladies.
I know that we can all have that strength. The Bible says, "The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song." (Psalm 28:7 NIV)
Glenda is living proof of that scripture.
Julie Wells is the editorial assistant in the newsroom at the Rockdale Citizen. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.