We all look forward to retiring so we can slow down and smell the roses. For those who know Jefferson Award recipient Nettie Clay, they'll confirm that while flowers are her signature, she is nowhere near slowing down.
"One day at a time Sweet Jesus, that's all I'm asking from you."
In just one day, Clay accomplishes more than most people do in a week.
"Just give me the strength to do every day what I have to do," Clay said.
With the same strength she sings about, it's Nettie's desire to be a positive influence in the lives of those who motivate her. When she's not leading sing-a-longs, this remarkable 79-year-old spends countless hours walking the hallways of hospitals and nursing homes delivering colorful bouquets of sunshine that brighten the days of all who receive them.
"They're just little arrangements for a dollar and nine cents and I said well who can't afford to cheer someone up with a beautiful flower arrangement like that," Clay said.
Besides bringing cheer to patients, Nettie spends time praying and counseling those who are sick, lonely and those who just need a friend to talk to. And as one friend reminded her, Nettie's love for others is remembered long after her good deed has touch them. For Nettie, the simple words from a Christmas card spoke to her soul and touched her heart.
"You are a wonderful reflection of God's love," Clay said. "For your life is truly a reflection of what God's special love is. The caring things you say and do bring Christ's peace and hope and joy to everyone around you."
And everyone around this blossoming senior citizen echoes the same sentiment.
"This is a lady that does things from her heart and she thinks nothing about it when she's in the process of doing it," said Nancy Harris. "If something needs to be done, she can get it done."
"Well, it's just in my heart, it's all I can say," Clay said.
And with such a kind heart, one can clearly see why it overflows daily with love and song.
"Yesterday's gone Sweet Jesus and tomorrow may never be mine," Clay said. "Lord help me today, show me the way one day at a time. Lord help me today show me the way one day at a time."
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