A picture of gratitude

Published 9:18 pm Monday, August 15, 2016

It might seem odd to talk about the blessings that stem from the loss of a family member to cancer, but that’s just what some members of the Tillery family did on Saturday during their third annual Family and Friends Back-to-School Giveaway at the Salvation Army.

Faye Tillery died of cervical cancer at the age of 37, about 16 years ago. Since then, her surviving family members have organized a variety of events to honor her memory by giving back to the community where she had served in the Parks and Recreation Department. In addition to the back-to-school event, they have held basketball tournaments and have awarded scholarships to students and plaques to community leaders.

For youngsters filling new backpacks with school supplies on Saturday, Tillery’s name is not a familiar one. She had passed away long before most of them were born.

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But Tillery’s family and friends have ensured that she will not be forgotten and that her generous spirit will continue to be an important part of the community she touched.

“I thank God for blessing our family so we can bless someone else,” said Faye Mitchell, Faye Tillery’s niece.

That’s a great picture of gratitude, even in the face of loss.