When our son, Brisen, was born 8 1/2 years ago, I spent many hours through the night in the rocking chair nursing him. I am one who has never struggled with sleep, so it was very different for me to be awake in the middle of the night. It wound up being a precious time to me, though, because the house was dark and quiet, there were no distractions, and I spent hours in prayer for my family, my home, and my precious new baby! But I also spent lots of time in prayer for a special person in our life, Mr. Pat Reddish. Right about the time Brisen was born, Mr. Pat was diagnosed with cancer and was undergoing chemo treatments.
This diagnosis was a shock to us all. I had known his family since I moved to Jesup in 1996. They were members at the church where my dad had come to pastor. The special thing about this family is that his wife, Melissa, was a preacher’s daughter of a previous pastor of the same church. There’s definitely a connection between preacher’s kids especially when you’re in the same church together. I was in the youth group with their oldest son and helped in the youth group when their youngest son was involved. We went on youth trips with them and my husband served as deacon alongside Mr. Pat. They were a part of our lives every Sunday and Wednesday. When your dad is a pastor like mine, and you don’t live near actual family, these are the people that seem more like family than just friends.
So needless to say my heart was broken for this family, and I would pray for the whole family during those quiet nights alone with God. I would cry out for peace for the family and healing for Mr. Pat. As you can imagine it was a joy to us all when he recovered from the cancer and was able to get back to normal life!
Then Addie was born 4 years later, and there I was nursing another sweet baby in the night. Unfortunately I was also crying out in prayer again for the Reddish family, because Mr. Pat’s cancer had returned. It was never lost on me that I had nursing babies during both of these times and that I knew I was there as a prayer warrior for this family!
I am sad to say that Mr. Pat never fully recovered from that second round with cancer, and he passed away in May of 2019. He was a quiet man, but he was highly respected in our church as a man who loved his family, his church, and most importantly his Savior! And although we know he is in heaven, our hearts have still been broken. Just in the short time since his passing, Mr. Pat has gained a daughter-in-law and a precious grandbaby! He leaves a legacy behind that will never be forgotten.
But another legacy Mr. Pat left behind was through his career. He worked as a forester, so he was obviously very familiar with land in the area. He purchased a piece of property in Wayne County where he and his wife built their beautiful home. He was a wise business man and invested in acreage for his family. Before he passed away he gave Mrs. Melissa instructions on how to handle the land. So when we were looking for land, Mrs. Melissa commented that she had some land. It wasn’t initially where were looking to purchase land, but once we saw it we fell in love.
As we walked the track and saw the beautiful oak trees and pictured our future there, I couldn’t help but think of Mr. Pat and how much he meant to us. So while we did fall in love with the land for its natural beauty, I also treasure it for its sentimental value. When we are out working on the property, I will tell my kids about Mr. Pat and his sense of humor and his love for bargain shopping! I will tell them about his love for land and what grows on it, his love for his family, and his love for Jesus. I pray we will honor his legacy as we build our future on the property that he cherished.