Lonnie Bell is my uncle and he is greatly loved by all those around him, his family, his friends and me. He received a medical diagnosis lately that almost made me tear up. He is one of the sweetest, most compassionate and gentle men I have ever known and has always been an example for me to follow.
There are three children in my mother’s family. My mother, Uncle Rayburn (passed away) and Uncle Lonnie. All that side of my family were farmers and my grand parents (their parents) always farmed which meant the husband and wife both worked in the fields. My mother told me something today I did not know. When Lonnie was born, he had a heart defect and couldn’t lay down to sleep when he was a newborn baby. My grand parents took turns every night holding him upright on their shoulder so he could sleep. My mother is five and half years older than Lonnie and when my grand parents had to work in the fields, she (at 5-6 years old) took care of Lonnie.
This all happened just after the great depression when families were barely getting by. Add to that a sick child and a young child (my mother) as a care giver and you can get the idea of what life was like. Uncle Lonnie grew up like most children and his heart condition was finally diagnosed when we he was in his early 30’s and had open heart surgery in the early 70’s that saved his life.
When you think about what hard living looks like, it would do us all good to think about how life was two generations ago. That generation of people not only saved America in WWII and the Korean war but showed us all what actual resiliency, honestly and Integrity looked like. You are in my prayers uncle Lonnie. KT