Mad for…Joe

Perhaps you will forget tomorrow the kind words you say today, but the recipient may cherish them over a lifetime. (Dale Carnegie)

Several years ago, I spent about a week in the hospital following a rather “eventful” hysterectomy. Sore and scary looking, I was not having one of my finer weeks. Just down the hall and around the corner from me in another hospital bed was Nula Harmon. She was just a gem of a woman and she also happened to be the mother of a dear friend of mine, Julie (Harmon) Ferrucci. I’ll definitely talk to you about Julie some day soon, but today it’s her older brother Joe who is on my mind. He’s pictured above on the far right, with his siblings, Mike, Julie, and Nick, along with his little nephew, Liam.

Because Joe was spending quite a bit of time with his mom in the hospital that week, he stopped in to see me too. My healing was going slower than expected and I’d had a few post-op complications, so it was particularly encouraging to me when Joe, who is an OB-GYN, offered me his expertise and many words of encouragement. I’ve never forgotten his kindness to me at that time, and it’s gone much the same way in every interaction I had before or after that one.

Jokingly, I tell Julie that he’s the big brother I never had. I met both of his parents while they were still around, so I can’t for the life of me figure out how he is so soft-spoken. Genetically speaking, I’m thinking he inherited a recessive gene there…ha?! The truth is, Joe is accomplished, but courteous and humble. He’s kind and with the most genuine smile. Neither of those things cost a dime, but they are priceless qualities. Joe is a man who showers blessings on others by his presence.

He’s a husband and wonderful Dad to four terrific young people. Since I know him tangentially through his sister, I can’t say for certain what it’s like to live with Joe. However, he strikes me as a man who might underestimate the value of his finer qualities. The smallest act of care and concern truly does mean everything. In his roles as a physician, father, uncle, brother and friend to many, Joe is a treasure. He lives in South Bend and I live in the Indy area, and that fact is crystal clear all the same. How blessed are his patients and his children? They are IMMEASURABLY blessed!!

Yesterday was Joe’s birthday, and as we all should know by now, I am BIG on the festival approach to birthdays, and Joe’s life is one worthy of a large celebration that goes on for days! Celebrate loudly all weekend, Joe!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY to a truly fantastic human…my “adopted big brother”…Joe Harmon!