I have written many articles about my hometown Loris, her people, history and those who truly do make Loris “one of a kind.” I knew all about just how quick a group of people, once alerted to the needs of any individual due to a tragedy, accident, or life-changing event, can pray together, mobilize and come to their brother or sister’s aid.
That included financial assistance, prepared food or boxes of groceries brought to the family in distress. Or, it was simply letting the family know that people were there for them, night or day, rain or sunshine, in any way possible.
This latest miracle, which is one of many, has given my family and me a firsthand look at how blessed we are. We’ve learned we have the greatest neighbors anyone could ever ask for, along with a community of friends, local churches and civic groups. They banded together or acted individually to every need my family or I encounter as I, like many others, trust in God as we battle a combination of cardiac and respiratory issues which has me bedridden, for now.
The greatest asset has been the powerful prayers lifted up on my behalf and those have come to pray with and for me for healing, comfort and strength, all in God’s will. Our family has been working together, growing closer every day, thanks to seeing the love and compassion and prayers sent up on our behalf.
Our neighbors have been a blessing, as despite the busy pace of their own lives, they take time to slow down enough to help us in any way they can.
It was out of this that I discovered I have a long-time friend and brother in Christ who is a great landscaper. Another Christian brother, who despite his job in waste management, knows a little something about breathing problems. His 21- year-old daughter, Alex, one of God’s special gifts to me, has battled cystic fibrosis since she was diagnosed at 18 months old.
She played softball for years, began attending the College of Charleston last year, and takes our trash away for my wife every other day.
And if you live anywhere near the corner of Heritage Road and Woodrow Lane, you already know we are certainly not going hungry as we are blessed with a number of great cooks and dessert makers, as well as many in the healthcare industry who check on us regularly.
It goes on from there with churches bringing food and fundraising efforts that were very successful, due to hard work put in to make it so.
And all this being done amidst others in the community being served as well. Friends, churches and businesses from Conway, North Myrtle Beach, Aynor and surrounding communities, especially Green Sea-Floyds, also made and continue to make contributions to help us out.
Despite being a man of many words, as many of you may know and my editor will attest to, finding all the words to express our appreciation and love for each of you definitely comes up short.
So we offer each of you the greatest thank you we can, by praying for each and every of one you and your families daily. We pray God will bless you as only He knows how, beyond measure, and that your efforts continue to bless others as they have so richly blessed mine.
The Hardee family truly thanks you all. You will never know how the many get well wishes, calls, visits and some very heartfelt Facebook posts changed some very bad days into great days and gave me a renewed spirit of hope, seeing that we are loved and appreciated in our community.
So, it is in that same spirit I leave you these words - may each of you be blessed beyond God’s measure, which is endless, and may we all share that with each other every day while we can tell about them face to face.
Tell each other, before it is too late, how each other has affected your life in a positive way, often unrealized. Reciprocate that love and compassion to everyone. Forgive easily and swiftly. Give generously in times of need, as we seldom know the burdens our neighbors carry.
I told you these words would not come close to describing or fulfilling our joy, or explaining how much we love and appreciate each and every prayer, meal, dessert, card and financial blessing we received. To do so would be impossible. But simply know this my friends and neighbors - We truly love you all. We appreciate each of you and our life together, which is a life that is now richer.
We are even more astounded by the love and power of our almighty God, One like no other. I will share that with you, listen to you, and pray with you, anytime or any place. We love you and thank you for showing us what God’s love looks like in this sinful world of today.
Be blessed. Stay blessed.