Tennessee Orange

There are occasions when the world is given the gift of a truly caring & giving soul. Such was the case when Les Acree was born. Beloved by all, he spent a lifetime mentoring and inspiring those around him. He worked his way up the ranks where he was positioned perfectly to help many whose paths he crossed. Becoming a prominent and well-known country music disc jockey and program director, he was considered a friend by all. He spent countless hours helping others. One of his prouder accomplishments was realized when he successfully developed a partnership between St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and country music. As program director of a Memphis, Tennessee radio station in the early ‘70’s, Les was fundamental in developing a fundraiser for St. Jude aptly called “Country Cares.” As a direct result of his early efforts, hundreds of millions of dollars have been raised to benefit not only the children and families battling cancer but the research needed to cure this devastating disease. In February of 2007, Les had the distinct honor of being inducted into the Country Music Radio Hall of Fame. It was a proud moment for Les, his family and a multitude of friends. However, just 6 weeks later while staying with his sister Geri, he suffered a massive stroke. She awoke early in the morning to find him lying in the floor of the living room. They rushed him to the hospital where he survived, but not without cost. Previously a man in perpetual motion, Les was now paralyzed on the right side and unable to speak, with the exception of...

My Hero Forever

Susan lived what she considered to be a very normal life. She had a wonderful childhood growing up with 6 siblings and two loving parents. She counted herself fortunate when she met and married a very good man named Bob, who had 2 sons from a previous marriage. Having 2 children herself, they became one big happy family. Everything was going well up until she lost both parents to cancer. She felt the contentment from a full and satisfying life give way to a void that clouded her heart. Through it all she was forever thankful that her sisters and brothers were there for her. Sharing and relying on the love they had for one another helped ease the pain of their loss. As time went by they made adjustments and things began to take on a new kind of normalcy. It didn’t surprise Susan that her older brother, Jim, became more and more of a father figure in the absence of their own. He had always been her hero and she looked up to him as much now as she did as a child. The pride she felt for him was deeply rooted. She fondly recalled a visit she had from him during the second grade. All the kids attended a Catholic school and Jim being the second oldest had already graduated and joined the Army. After completing basic training he came home and surprised her at school. She was so happy and proud he was there that at first she couldn’t say a word. Beaming with excitement she finally declared to everyone around, “That’s my big brother!”...

If We Would Only Believe

Submitted by Cyndi November 2009 Cyndi had been aware of her brother Tim’s struggle with drug and alcohol addiction along with the challenges of depression. Watching someone she loved go through such hardships and emotional changes left her with a sense of helplessness. She knew she could not make his decisions for him. Each of us has our own path and our own choices to make. Eventually, Tim found himself unable to emerge from his perpetual downward spiral. In 1995, he resorted to taking his own life to escape what had become unbearable for him. Although his death brought her sorrow and heartache, she had in some small way tried to prepare herself for this very event. Living the life Tim had, she was completely aware of the possible outcome. Still it was a loss and she thought about him often. One evening after falling asleep Cyndi began dreaming. She could hear her phone ringing but for some reason decided not to answer it. As the persistent ringing continued, a thought crept into her mind. What if it was Tim? She saw herself rise up and go to the phone. Picking up the receiver she said, “Hello?” There was silence on the other end. “Hello,” she repeated, but still there was only silence. That same thought popped in her head again. Could it be Tim? This time she addressed her brother. “Tim?” She listened in total amazement as he answered her. “Hey it’s me. How are you?” Awestruck , the first thing she could say was, “Where are you?” Tim proceeded to explain, “I’m doing well. I’ve been assigned...

Brotherly Love

Submitted by Helen Morris October 2009 Typically older boys don’t want their baby sisters to hang around them. Not so in Helen’s case. She and her older brother, Jay, were extremely close. With only 3 years separating them it wasn’t unusual for them to participate in the same things socially. Jay loved having his sister around, which worked out well for Helen. She was allowed to go on dates a little earlier than most her age because she would always double date with her brother. That made it ok in her parents’ eyes. Jay and Helen spent a great deal of time together so it was rather upsetting when their parents split up. Jay went to live with their father and Helen stayed with their mother. Eventually Jay returned to live with his mother and Helen. Time passed and Jay had become a man. It was time to venture out on his own. He decided to move to another state where he met his first wife. The interactions between Jay and his family changed after that. Helen saw her brother less and less until it came to the point that she never got to see him. Conversations were few and far between, if any at all. Of course, all of this was hard to bear for Helen since she and Jay had been so close in their childhood. She knew her brother was going through some hard times himself and it hurt deeply that she was being shut out. She wanted to be there for him but it just wasn’t meant to be. As they were getting older the...