Lynn Horton is a freelance writer and editor who in another lifetime taught English and Creative Writing at McIntosh High School and later worked in the Starr’s Mill High School Media Center.

One knows that an Ode usually takes the form of a lengthy poem, like Rime of the Ancient Mariner, a lyric ballad, by Coleridge, or To a Grecian Urn, a lyric  poem of praise by Keats, or The Odyssey. Homer’s “heroic hexameter.” Well, I don’t plan to write the details of this journey in Iambic Pentameter or any other poetic form, but like the aforementioned pieces, Bill and I want to “Rave on, Rave On” about the amazing services and the splendid care that he has received at the hands of both our local hospital facilities and at the metropolitan home of Piedmont Hospital during this first month of his battle with that most frightening enemy, cancer.
Chapter I. Fayette Piedmont Emergency Room. 5 a.m. June 13. The admission staff was professional and efficient in getting Bill into the hands of a doctor who immediately ordered blood tests and a CAT scan to determine the cause of the band of pain that clamped across Bill’s forehead. A very compassionate physician came back to my daughter and I as we waited with Bill, who had been mildly sedated for his pain. This man, this doctor, in less than two hours as gently as possible shared the diagnosis that would change our lives and quickly assured us that he had already contacted a team of physicians in Atlanta and had ordered an ambulance which would take us to Piedmont Downtown where treatment would continue. Wow. This must have been some kind of record!
Chapter 2. Though we had to wait for a room to be made available, by 4 p.m. on June 13th, Bill was comfortably ensconced in a hospital room on the fourth floor. We began to learn that the nursing staff on this hall, on this floor, were the best-trained, the gentlest, and according to Bill the youngest and prettiest nurses in the Universe! While these ladies all wore lovely smiles and had sweet dispositions, I believe it was the quality of genuine, sincere kindness that made them truly Beautiful. My daughters and I, like Bill before and after the scary Brain surgery, six days and nights later, found the nursing staff on the fourth floor to be phenomenal! I was also pleased to discover that many offered their prayers and almost all spoke of the role of Christ or God in healing. Wow. Such a comfort.
Chapter 3. Meeting the team of physicians who would see us all through this trauma was a privilege. Not only was the surgeon, Dr. David McCracken, (they call me “Jay”), warm and friendly, his handshake was firm and lingering. No limp fingers in fear of damaging his gifted hands. The neuro-oncologist assigned to Bill is a stunning red-haired Irish lady in four inch heels with a gentle, sensitive bed-side manner. Dr. Erin Dunbar’s tone of voice is comforting and encouraging.  We continue to thank God daily for such an incredible team of talented, caring professionals. Bill, my daughters and I were made to feel as though he was their Most Valuable Patient!  Wow. MVP. Double Wow.
Chapter 4. A Shout Out to the support staff is important as well. From the precious mood-lifting techs who had the job of tiptoeing in several times in the middle of the night, to those who served the attractive and delicious meals and to those who cleaned as inconspicuously as possible, we have nothing but the highest praise! Talk about diversity. We met and enjoyed talking with staff from the four corners of the world. Most wore outward symbols of their faith. Hooray that this has not somehow been disallowed. I am certain that it is a boon to 99 percent of the patients and families; it was to me and to Bill, who witnessed to everyone who spent more than two minutes at his bedside! “Do you know Jesus,” he would ask. Praise Jesus for the constant reminders of our Faith and for Bill’s uncharacteristic ministry. Wow.
Chapter 5. The future is promising. While it will bring even more grueling MRIs, other needed tests, more surgery and more doctors, days and days of appointments at Piedmont Fayetteville, Riverdale, and Atlanta, it also brings more and more beautiful cards, (almost 100 well-wishers to date); prayers and novenas asking God to give us strength and courage, lovely covered dishes, and delicious baked goods, and visitors asking, “Is there anything we can do? Please let us know.” They are sincere and we love them for their offers. Our family and friends have been and will be a grand support system and our God is ever present. We believe. “I am with you always.” Matthew 28:20.