Monday, January 26, 2009


It is high time I wrote a blog tribute to one of my favorite people in the entire world: Sister Deborah Tilley.

Deborah is wacky, hilarious, optimistic, strong...all around, she's one of my heroes. She had a stroke about seven years ago, and in spite of all of her physical challenges, she is always laughing and making others laugh. She joined our church almost two years ago, and she has completely changed her life and her perspectives. She is awesome. We drive her to church almost every Sunday, and we've gotten extremely close to her over the last year and a half.

We've had some classic moments with Deb. Here are some of my favorites:

-One day after church, Deb said, "Rachel, I'm real hungry. Can we swing through Wendy's on the way home and pick me up a bacon double cheeseburger?" Chuckling, I reminded her that we try not to spend money on Sundays, so we can keep the Sabbath Day holy. Instead, I invited her over to our apartment for lunch. Ry and I aren't gourmet chefs, and we didn't have much to offer, but Ry whipped up some French toast. Of course, Deb loved that Ry was the one doing the cooking and serving us. Ry also said the prayer to bless lunch, and he specifically said, "Thank you for our friend, Deb." After downing about five pieces of French toast, Deborah announced, "Ryan, that was way better than Wendy's. And I even got a prayer out of it too!!"

-When we took Deb to the Smith Farm and the Sacred Grove (a historical sight for our church), we brought her fold-up wheelchair because we knew it would be difficult for her to walk because she uses a cane and one entire side of her body doesn't work. The fold-up wheelchair is cumbersome and hard to push, but we figured it was better than making her trudge around the Farm. Well, when we wheeled her into the Visitor's Center, our missionary tour guide immediately said, "Ma'am, would you like to ride in one of our electric powered wheelchairs?" Deborah took one look at their high-tech contraption and told the missionary, "Girl, get me out of this Pinto; I want that Cadillac!"

-When I gave Deb her Christmas present this year, she held the package for a moment, shook it, and then said, "Girl, I hope this is a new leg--because mine sure don't act like it belong to me!"

-This is my all-time favorite. When my dad was in town, he took us and Deb to the Anchor Bar for some original Buffalo chicken wings. After a few minutes of chatting, my dad excused himself to go use the restroom, and Deb looked at me and said, "Girl, you got a good lookin' dad. You better watch out or he gonna be snatched up in Buffalo!" As if this comment isn't hilarious enough, she then went on: "He look real fit. Mmmm, hmmm...I bet he look good in some shorts!" OH MY! I was dying! Was Deborah lusting after my father?!? After regaining composure, I assured her that I had seen my dad in running shorts many times, and it was not a sight worth writing home about. :) When I told my dad the story later that evening...well, I don't know if I've ever seen him laugh so hard.

-Deborah is also inclined to make random, loud coments in lessons at church. She'll just shout something out, and I don't think the teachers know quite what to do with her. There are too many hilarious comments to remember, but this past Sunday when the teacher was talking about the Resurrection, Deb proclaimed, "So I'm gonna get my hair back?!" WHAT THE?? I loved it!

Overall, I absolutely love this woman.

Here is another photo of us from this past Sunday, all bundled up to go out Visiting Teaching for church. Deb had been wearing that puffed-up stocking cap all day--even through all of our church meetings. Classic.


  1. I came across your blog, and got into your story. Thanks for making me smile. Give her a hug and thanks for being a good LDS

  2. Oh, Rach, you are too cute! Those stories were fantastic ... almost as fun as hearing them from you in person, but note quite. :) Hey, can you email me the pics of us in front of the Capitol?

  3. I love Deb too! You did a good job of illustrating her great personality!

  4. What a character! I wish we could have met her. And you HAVE blogged about her before. "I'm blessed to be stressed." :)

  5. i don't know if you are just a great writer, or it's just Deborah, but that was hillarious. I am so glad you came along for her.
    Let us know how things turn out with her and your dad. :)

  6. Thanks for the smile Rach, and Deb. I think she looks just about like what I had imagined in my head when you've told me about her before. I love the 'hair back/what the' quote. I think I would always sit near her during Sunday School, just to keep me on my toes.


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