Saturday, October 31, 2015

Extraordinary Grace

Extraordianry Ordinary blog by TLC Nielsen

My quest to find ordinary folks with extraordinary adventures has taken me to the edge of all edges. I asked a friend whose adventure was reaching a climatic peak to consider being featured on this blog and she graciously said yes even though she was dealing with hospice. She passed away the day we were supposed to meet about the blog and so mutual friend Christine South would like to step in and share Lona Dinnell’s story (Lona, circa 2010, pictured below.) They’ve known each other for 32 years.

Seven Questions for Christine about Lona

Q) I was shocked when I discovered Lona was in the hospital this past spring. It took them days to release her. What happened?
A) Her son noticed she was turning yellow and having problems driving so he took her to the hospital. The doctors discovered that the bile duct to her liver had become blocked and blood clots had formed around her heart. She had a stent and filter put in near her heart. After some more testing, they discovered she had stage four pancreatic cancer. The first set of doctors gave her 9 months to live.

Q) Lona was always the healthiest person I know- working out regularly, watching her girlish figure and carefully choosing what she ate.  How did her disciplined lifestyle help her during this medical time?
A) Her physical stamina kept her going until her last week, almost 3 months from the diagnosis.

Q) I know the future is sketched in the little things that happen before. What are a few of those little-but-big things that happened before the diagnosis?
A) Because she had a cleaning business, Lona had 30 years of exposure to chemicals. It may have been a factor, others in the medical profession have told me.

Q) As a Reike Master, Lona helped people with their pain. Chris, what are some insights you have while practicing Reike on Lona during these past three months?
A) I’ve been doing Reike on Lona for a long time now. In this last year, while I and a reflexology friend worked on her, we did feel something was off. Her colonoscopy came out fine that year but we still wondered. After her diagnosis, we mainly worked on pain management for her.

Q) What didn’t you expect during all this?
A) I could feel her pain. I wanted a miracle but knew that was not going to happen. But I was in denial, something I didn’t expect.

Q) How did you handle these unexpecteds?
A) I prayed a lot. I also cried.

Q) Where did the grace and hope that Lona had through it all come from during this?
A) Lona was a Christian and knew she was going to heaven. She had such strong faith.

Q) As Lona’s close friend, what is one thing she taught you that impacted you?
A) Lona taught me Reike but, more than that, she showered me with unconditional love.

From TLC: Lona’s funeral was beautiful, her pastor giving a wonderful talk on her loving kindness and her hope that he would share the love of Jesus Christ at her funeral. It felt more like a celebration than a memorial service. Lona was beyond extraordinary, an ordinary person who impacted everyone she met and she handled the last medical adventure with amazing grace.

Reike Master Christine South, another extraordinary ordinary person, is certified in Reflexology, CranioSacral Therapy, Acupressure, and Korean Hand Therapy. She practices in Illinois and you can check out her practice on Facebook 
or at her website below:

*Photos courtesy of Lona's Curves friends (thank you, ladies!)*

Thank you for reading this Extraordinary Ordinary blog. If you know an ordinary someone who'd like to have their extraordinary life featured, please email TLC at soulfixer13 at with the subject Look and Be blog.

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