Monday, June 24, 2013

Allison Elaine Flint

 
 
A tribute to a coworker and friend, Allison Elaine Flint, who passed away Friday at the young age of thirty-four...
 
I’d like to share with you one of my last conversations with Allison, in which she expressed the value of life and every moment within it.

After she came back to work after having her initial surgery, she “ticked”! Allison had an artificial valve placed in her heart, which resulted in a quiet, but ever present, ticking noise. I first noticed it when sitting beside of her in a team meeting. I said to her, “Do you hear a ticking noise!” She gave me a sarcastic look, pointed at her chest, and said, “It’s me!” I had no idea; but after she said that, I recognized the familiar sound as I had an aunt with the same mechanical valve and the same
‘tick’.

From that moment on, my mission was to try to make Allison comfortable with “the tick” by simply getting her to laugh about it. Sometimes I would look at my wrist, as if checking my watch, to “see where the ticking was coming from”; and she would just laugh and roll her eyes at me. And I developed a nickname for her, calling her “Tick Tock”. A few times I said, “Allison – you are the ‘bomb’!” Anything to get a laugh out of her and to cause her to share her beautiful smile with me, which she did so freely, and very often!

In one of our last team meetings, we were passing notes back and forth (yes – like you do in school or church); and I asked her if she still noticed the ticking and if it ever bothered her. Her reply was, “At first, it bothered me. But now, every time I hear it (the ‘tick’), I say ‘thank you Jesus’!” And then she shared another of her warm smiles with me. In this conversation, I was made to know that Allison was not only aware of her mortality, but also that she was thankful for every moment that she had to share with her family and friends.

I remember seeing Allison around campus before I ever had the chance to meet her. At first glimpse, it was easy to see that she was a beautiful woman! She had skin like a porcelain doll and a contagious smile that would cause you to smile back at her while passing in the hall, whether you knew her or not. And later in our careers, I was privileged to get to know her; and found her to be as beautiful on the inside as she was on the out – a person of high morals and values. All of these things I will remember; but I think what I will remember the most – is “the tick”. All too often, we take life and good health for granted; but every once in a while, we should stop and consider not only our own “tick”, but also the “ticks” of others – living life to the fullest, and ending it without regret.

Thank you, Allison, for spending some of your ticks with me!
-BYRD

10 comments:

Kim Ray said...

I can't believe that Allison is gone. I always remember how pretty she was. Pretty smile and the long hair she once had in High School. I believe that she touched a lot of hearts along the way. She was loved by many and although her heart was not what we would have wanted it to be, Allison left this world with a happy and peaceful heart. RIP Allison, you will be deeply missed.

Al Brown said...

Beautiful tribute! She sounds like she had a lasting impression on everyone. May God rest her soul

706 said...

Hi Shannon,

Thank you for this wonderful tribute to her life. I live in Denver, CO, but my brother texted me to notify me of Allison's passing. I searched the web for Obit information and saw your tribute.

I am a former student of her mother, and I remember Allison when she was a baby and a young girl. I am shocked and saddened to here of her passing yesterday.
I haven't seen her in quite some, but she developed into such a lovely and beautiful woman. It also seems that she was beautiful on the inside and knew who her TRUE source of STRENGTH was.

God bless Her family and may He give them strength in their time of need.

Sincerely,
Mrs. Pamela Robinson-Tate

teddy1914 said...

Beautiful story!! Allison was such an awesome person. I knew her from hanging around UTC during my years there, but after graduation she and I started at Unum together....like you, I learned then just how beautiful she was..inside and out. Haven't stopped thinking about her and it will be a while before I do.

stirrednotshakentv said...

Wow, so beautiful. Allison was so full of life, hard to believe that someone like her is no longer here :(

Still hard to believe...

Robert Hudgins said...

When we worked together at the TN Aquarium was one of the greatest times in my life. She rode with me to Cats to buy that new Missy Elliot Debut Album on our lunch break & I was always getting in trouble & her exact words were.... Robert, we better be back on time cause I am not getting in trouble for you..... LOL! I miss you Allison!!!!!!

dre'bone said...

I watched Allison grow from a pre-schooler into the young woman she became – she’d roll her eyes whenever I addressed her as “Al”. Her electric smile could fill an entire room. My prayers of comfort go out to her family and all that loved her. A beautiful tribute to a beautiful person, thank you Shannon.
R.I.P. "Al"!

Scrappin' Sista said...

Your tribute here and at the funeral mesmerized me just as Allison's smile did. Thank you for being transparent and allowing a Jewish man to bring you two together. Many blessings!!!

Scrappin' Sista said...

Your tribute here and at the funeral mesmerized me just as Allison's smile did. Thank you for being transparent and allowing a Jewish man to bring you two together. Many blessings!!!

Raymond Woods said...

Wow, it's sad to say that I just found out that Allison passed away today, 3 years later, and my heart grieved. I was recently back home, and looking for a mutual friend of ours via FB, and I could not find her. So I decided to go to Allison's fb page to see if I can find them from our mutual friends list, and I could not. so I googled her and found this blog. Thanks for sharing some amazing moments you had with her in her last days.