MY WORD: A word from a man full of thanks

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By Andrea Cottrell

My name is Andrea Cottrell, the wife of the late George Cottrell, Jr.

Our family would like to thank everyone for all their love and support throughout our entire journey with George’s ALS diagnosis.

We were blessed and highly favored by our Lord and savior! George and I often talked about our blessings and how much we appreciated them all.

So, one day, George says to me, “Dot, read this.”

I did, and it was one of the most sincere letters I have ever read. This letter is addressed to everyone in the community. It reads:

“To All My Friends,

This storm, like all others, was filled with learning experiences. I learned without a doubt that there are blessings in each storm life brings. I learned that the smiling faces of those with whom I shared sunshine would be identical to those who helped endure the dark days. I learned to question how rather than why, to be receptive to blessings and to be tolerant of those who use the gift of breath to utter complaints! Philippians 4:11 I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content.

I was fortunate to have seen and felt the effects of so many phenomenal people in my life. My family and I were covered with love and support from so many people since the clouds began to swell and gather. This storm allowed me the honor of renewing friendships I had allowed to fade or inadvertently packed away. Each of those small reunions helped me tame the tempest and collect the precipitation of joy to replenish my cup.

Tragedy is inherently associated with a fatal diagnosis. However, I was granted grace to appreciate the opportunity in knowing. The time allowed me to view the voids in my dash and the opportunity for correction and addition. Knowing gave me a chance to see God use the disease in me to help other learn that He provides strength and peace. The thoughts and prayers of countless people were evident in the way God allowed continuous spiritual prosperity in my failing body.

Friendship is a term I treasured because its meaning evokes responsibility, privilege and emotion. As friends we accept responsibility to be honest and support each other without regard for event or circumstance. We earn privilege to learn what is important to others and through the trust we gain. Emotions are the glue that holds friendships together. I am grateful to you for making me responsible, for allowing me the privilege of your friendship and each opportunity we had to laugh, cry and celebrate together

Thank you!”

I pray that we all allow his voice to resonate in our hearts and minds in a way that brings about a positive change in our own lives. This would be a very nice way to honor the memory of my late husband, George Cottrell, Jr.


Andrea Cottrell lives in Shelbyville.