Roger Alford

A man boasted to his friends that he planned to take his wife to Hawaii for their anniversary.

“That’s going to be tough to beat,” one friend said. “What are you going to do for her next year?”

“I’m going to go back and get her,” he responded.

Little stories like that always brought a smile to Doris Taylor, an 82-year-old lady from London, Kentucky, who called me weekly just to say hello. I never met Doris in person, but I always enjoyed her calls because she was always so encouraging.

Doris was part of my network of friends brought together through this column. She told me that she clipped all of my columns from the Sentinel-Echo newspaper and stored them away like treasures. You can imagine how humbling that was to me. 

Anyway, not long ago I noticed that her phone calls had stopped. Weeks had passed without hearing from her, so I tried calling her number. It didn’t work. I ended up doing an Internet search, hoping I wouldn’t find an obituary. I did. I was heartbroken. Her funeral had long since passed.

I saw the mention in the obituary her son Randy who she absolutely adored. She had told me all about Randy and the good life he was living in Indiana. I also knew all about the stray cat that had adopted her, about a mischievous little mouse that sometimes showed up in her apartment, and about the neighbor ladies who would gather with her on summer evenings outside their apartments to pass the time.

On Friday afternoons, around 3 o’clock, my phone would ring and it would be Doris with the familiar, “How ya doing?” That was my excuse to stop whatever I was doing at the time and just listen. It became a welcome reprieve. She never talked long. After five minutes or so, she’d say, “Well, I’ll let you go.” And, as is the norm for folks from that part of Kentucky, she closed each call with, “I love you. Bye.” 

She came to be like a Mom to me, and I sure am going to miss her.

But I know where Doris is, because she loved Jesus and professed Him as her Lord and Savior. When she closed her eyes on this side of eternity, she opened them yonder in Heaven. So, while I never had the pleasure of meeting Doris here on earth, the Bible provides the assurance that I can have that opportunity in the hereafter.

You may recall the great King David who, after his young son died, comforted himself with the assurance that he would one day go to be with him (2 Samuel 12:23). The same is true for every born again believer.

The Bible tells us in I Corinthians 5:8 that when we’re absent from the body, we’re present with the Lord.

I’m glad for that, because I want to thank Doris for the phone calls, the prayers, and for the encouraging words.

Reach Roger Alford at rogeralford1@gmail.com or by calling 502-514-6857.

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