“Gran” Elizabeth Whitton

Last Tuesday was an extra special day for me, mainly because of three people who unexpectedly showed up in my path.

My experience reminded me of a recent post here on Pages From Joan entitled

Who’s In Our Path?

[pullquote]I get so much more from being here as a volunteer than I am able to give.” Barry Birckhead, Volunteer, Wellstar Health System[/pullquote] As I was picking something up at our local hospital, I ran into three people who brightened my day.

Barry, with his wife, Maureen, who is a Labor and Delivery R.N.

First, was a long time friend of ours, Barry, who has been serving as a volunteer at the hospital since his recent retirement. It is always great to see him, but on this particular day, it was wonderful to hear Barry emphasizing to me how much he gets out of the volunteer work he does at the hospital. The next person I crossed paths with was Brittany, a young Emergency Room R.N. whom I got to watch grow up at our church. Brittany is married and she is Mommy to Elliana Kinsley.

Brittany (R) and her friend & co-worker, Jenn.
When Brit isn’t managing emergencies, she enjoys her home in the country with Elliana and her husband, Seth.

Lastly, as I was nearing the exit, I saw a friend I had met back in October 2013, when my Daddy was a Hospice patient.

This is a woman I could never forget.

Mrs. Elizabeth Whitton.

And one of Mrs. Whitton’s granddaughters


is one I hope we will never forget.

You see, as of September 13, 2015, Tiffany has been missing from our community for two years. In fact, Balloons of Love for Tiffany was held on 9/13/15 at Living Hope Church.


I will tell you more about Tiffany in my next post, but first I will share about my friend, Elizabeth, known as “Gran” to many grandchildren and 13+ great-grandchildren.

Elizabeth Whitton, now age 80

Elizabeth Whitton helped start the Music Therapy Program for Cobb County hospitals, as well as Hospice facilities. She finds great joy in bringing peace to others with her beautiful harp. No stranger to sorrow herself, Elizabeth’s husband died 18 years ago of Glioblastoma (otherwise known as “brain cancer from hell”, according to Elizabeth) when she was sixty-three. Even amidst her tremendous grief, determined to continue living, Elizabeth used her harp to heal herself while she ministered to others. [pullquote]If you are sad, help someone. Not only will that person be helped, but you will feel better, too.” My Mama, Polly Shivers Walker  [/pullquote] The more she played, the more she wanted to play. One of her greatest memories, at the request of her granddaughter, was playing in the hallway while a new great-grandchild entered the world. Following the excitement of the birth, the delivering doctor told her this was the most peaceful delivery he had ever been a part of.

Elizabeth Whitton is a volunteer Celtic harpist who came and played for my Daddy in October 2013, and for all of us who were there with him. In addition, Elizabeth came to play Amazing Grace for my Daddy’s funeral service on November 13, 2013. Just weeks earlier, her granddaughter, Tiffany’s disappearance weighed heavy on her heart, and yet, Elizabeth continued to give her “gift” to help others like me…she played her harp. What an example Elizabeth Whitton is of giving of herself for the benefit of someone else.

With the unanticipated pleasure of crossing paths with Elizabeth this past Tuesday, what was her immediate response? Elizabeth sat right down in the Robert A. Lipson Center, the lobby of our local hospital, and began to play a concert for one: me.

And what did Elizabeth Whitton play? Amazing Grace.

What small or big way can you and I give back to others?

If everyone in this big world would answer that question,

and do that one thing,

what a difference we would see across our globe.

Global Globalization World Map Environmental Concept

6 thoughts on ““Gran” Elizabeth Whitton”

  1. My prayers for this beautiful missing woman. How sad and heartbreaking this must be for her family and community.
    I enjoyed your touching story about Elizabeth, What a beautiful way to give back.

    1. HI Colleen, My prayers for the return of Tiffany are with them, too…They desperately want to know the details…as you will read in today’s post.
      Yes, meeting Elizabeth has been a highlight of my adult years. We are called to give back our gifts, our talents, and that is precisely what she is doing!
      Thanks for your visit here!

      1. Thank you so much for those kind words. It was such a pleasure to see you there at Kennestone. As, I am sure with others, sometimes I wonder if I am making a difference in the lives I touch. I know they make a big difference in my life. Then someone like you comes along and reminds me that Our Loving God is still using my harp to bless lives.

    2. s’il faut redéfinir ce qu’humanité veut dire, dans la bouche d’un employeur, à propos de Rimbaud ce fut :« Sa charité, discrète et large, fut probablement une des bien rares choses qu’il fit sans ricaner ou crier à l’écÅ“urement. »

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