We, at Ordinary Hero, want to pay tribute to the beautiful, God fearing, orphan loving, Proverbs 31, woman of God, Sallee Couch, who just lost her battle to cancer.
We rejoice that she is now free from her pain of this world, but at the same time,
our hearts break for this great loss to her family.
We met Sallee and her husband a couple of years ago through the adoption community in the Nashville area. She was so excited to be bringing her third adopted child home from Ethiopia to join her other 5 children. We were privileged to be able to meet him on an OH trip and take a picture of him for her while he was waiting to be brought home to live with his new, forever family. It was just before Christmas time so we took a picture of him with his Santa hat on :-)
During the adoption process, Sallee started her own sewing business to fund their adoption.
Thus, It's Poppy Dip was born. She made some of the most beautiful dresses you have ever seen.
Her beautiful daughter would always model them for her.
This small business went on to fund their adoption.
The time came shortly after, that they were able to go pick up their new, beloved son.
Little Samson was home and their family was complete. They were so excited!
It was very shortly after Samson arrived home that Sallee began not feeling well.
To make a long story short, out of the blue, she discovered she had advanced cancer.
She fought this dreaded disease with everything she had in her.
After many chemo treatments, she blogged in August...
"My doctor's main concern for me now is the quality of life. Being able to spend time with family, not being in bed all the time, ...that's what matters now. The cancer has spread to my liver and so we pray daily for a miracle. Because of the type of cancer I have, my doctor says that I'll probably battle it to the end. We try to remember to live each day as if its our last, take every moment as it comes."
So spending time with her family is what she did.
Her husband, Montie, wrote a powerful blog post on December 23rd, reminding us all of the beauty and great gift of love for our spouse and one another through the power of God's great love for us, even in such difficult times. It is something that we should all never forget.
This Christmas, 2012, I reflect back upon the year, a year that has been marked with suffering.
Not that there has not been good times, I am a very blessed man.
I have six great kids and they bring great joy in my life.
I know they have kept me going, at times when I thought I could do no more.
But most of all, I have the greatest wife in the world. She is my best friend and knows me only second to my God.
At times I search for good out of all that we have been through.
First I see that it has brought us closer as a family. We have been forced to pull together and hold one another up. Though we all deal with Sallee's sickness differently, it all comes down to a single thing. You are forced to ask the question; why. Why did this happy? Why did God allow this?
I know God loves me and my family.
And its okay to ask God why.
I believe suffering is a mystery, at least to me, not to God. He has allowed it and He has a purpose. There will be answers one day, I am sure of that.
But for now we trust.
One great blessing that has come from all of this, is the opportunity to love my wife in a way that not many have the chance to.
Through caring and comforting her as we walk through this together.
If marriage is a picture God has given us of Christ, and His relationship with His people, then I can see a glimpse into the answer.
We as His people, are suffering through the plague of sin. Christ, through His great love for us, came this Christmas day, to one day heal us completely from this dreaded disease.
Though we suffer now, He is there to comfort us. Not always with answers, but the very giving of Himself.
All of Himself.
Nothing held back.
I want to thank all of you for your continued prayers and support. We are blessed to have all of you as part of our family.
Sallee continues chemo. Next treatment, next part of January.
Today as we remember Sallee and her family in prayer, let us not forget the great lessons that they have shown us from this great battle they have been through. I call it a battle that was won because LOVE always wins. Their example of love to all of us who get so caught up in the day to day struggles of life, gently reminds us of what is really important in life. It is family! It is Love! As they discovered, you never know what tomorrow will bring. Stay true to those you love. Hold them close. Let not the small things of this world distract us from the big picture of God's love for us, and how He wants us to show it to others who need it. The Couch Family have changed the world for three orphans, but yet, they have changed the world for all of us who know them and have seen their great example of love through unthinkable circumstances. Sallee's husband, her twin girls, and her teenage son have carried the load for her while she has been sick. Now they can carry on her great legacy of love and faith and the example that she has poured into each and every one of those that she loved.
They rise and call her blessed!
"Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
“Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all.”
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
Honor her for all that her hands have done,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate." Proverbs 31
Thank you, Sallee, for letting your life speak!
I will leave you with Sallee's words, once again from her blog....
"Try to remember to live each day as if its our last,
take every moment as it comes."
And finally, the message on Sallee's shirt in this picture I found says it all.
Never let us forget to.....LOVE ONE ANOTHER!
If you would like to bless Sallee's family through this difficult time, tax deductible donations can be made to Ordinary Hero here. Please put "Sallee Couch" in the memo line. They will receive 100% of your donation.