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From Chris's Heart


September 2012
From Chris' Heart
by Chris Harris

This last week I shared an experience with a close childhood friend, Barbara Coates, that I have to tell you about. We drove to Dallas, Texas to see a lady who truly inspired my love for dance. Her name is Jackie Troup Miller and she is 81 years old. The last time Barbara and I saw Jackie, we were 11 years old. We had not seen her for 50 years! I was so nervous. Jackie had been that person in my life that was bigger than life. You know, you all have a person that comes to mind. Well, as she opened the door of her sweet home my heart was beating so hard I could hardly breathe. As our eyes met I saw that same kind, beautiful, gifted teacher that had loved and taught this little 7 year old so much about not just dance but life in general. Oh, her hair color had changed and like Barbara and I, life had happened, but there she stood, with that same beautiful smile and that special twinkle in her eyes.

Jackie, Barbara and I spent the next four and a half hours at the Cheesecake Factory catching up on 50 years of life experiences, both the good times and the hard times. You see, Jackie had lost a husband when she was our dance teacher and we were 11 years old. Her husband drowned in a fishing accident where she attempted to save him with no success. It was devastating. I shared with her how I remembered that time and how it had affected my life. When I shared my story of also losing a husband in a motorcycle accident at a young age, with a four month old daughter, she was surprised. I was so glad I had an opportunity to share with her that the courage and strength she showed to that 11 year old girl gave me the hope I needed to survive that difficult time in my life. During our time together there were many questions answered and memories shared.

Jackie has a dance studio in her home with beautiful wood floors and one whole wall covered with a huge mirror. She asked us if we had brought our tap shoes and I was just sick that I hadn’t. We were so surprised when she asked us if we would like her to tap for us. Oh my gosh!!! She told us that she doesn’t usually ask, but we had been so kind to come see her, it was the least she could do. Oh my, I truly was amazed. I mean it. She was incredible! I had to keep reminding myself that she was 81 years old. Never have I been so inspired and blessed. What a gift and what a blessing.

I was thinking about the kind words and the appreciation that was shown to Nick this last week by Craig Groeschel. He spoke of the honor we should show to those who have gone before us and appreciate the gifts they have shared with us. I must say, I honor this beautiful woman and will continue to thank her for being "that person" in my life.

What a blessing…..thank you Lord!





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