The Definition of Freedom

Ronnie Mincey

Mincey’s Musings
Year Two, Week Thirteen

To many he was a burden from the moment of conception. He was so unwanted by his birth mother that she tried to abort him six months into her pregnancy. Her efforts failed, but resulted in his premature birth with handicapping conditions that he was to endure for his entire life. There were many who pitied him and felt him nothing more than a prisoner in a deformed body.

His parents abandoned him in the hospital, and none of his blood relatives came to his rescue. His doctors predicted that he would not survive to leave the hospital, would never be able to speak or recognize anyone, and could never even suck through a straw. Even if he by some miracle survived, he would function at such a diminished capacity that he would throughout his life be a burden on the taxpayers to support while producing nothing meaningful.

His father’s stepmother, his step-grandmother, expressed a desire to adopt him. This turned out to be a difficult task. Though his biological parents abandoned him in the hospital, they fought the step-grandmother’s efforts at adoption; nevertheless, she was successful, and the unwanted child now had a mother.

Though an adoptive mother, no mother ever loved a biological child more. His birth defects caused him to need 24/7/365 round-the-clock care. In the beginning, his new mother cared for him alone. He was often hospitalized and required many surgeries to sustain his life. As the years progressed, very slowly his mom was able to obtain services to help her provide for his medical care needs until the young man received round-the-clock nursing care and partial day caregivers to assist the nurses with his care.

But even this was not ideal. In many instances, those who cared for him saw his mother’s input as an intrusion and an inconvenience. They wanted her to stay out of their way and let them do their jobs as they saw fit. It did not matter that Mom had been with him from the very beginning when he was a castoff—they, thanks to their medical training, knew more about his needs than she ever could.

And Mom was persistent, feral in her concern for her son’s well-being. This led in several instances to open hostility from doctors (one who termed her a “frustrated grandmother”) and care providers who should have seen themselves as what they were—employed guests in her home to assist, not dictate, the care provided to the young man. Some care providers were more interested in the drama they could create by promulgating this antagonism and stealing from their patient and his family. There were instances in which the young patient was intimidated by nurses and caregivers to the point of terror. There was even an instance in which a drug-addicted nurse sent to care for the young man was arrested on site due to his possession of illegal substances and his neglect and abuse of his charge’s well-being.

Many times appeals to higher authorities in the offices at the care providing companies multiplied the problems, and appeals to the higher authority of state agencies continued to worsen matters. Laws enacted by uninformed legislators influenced by unknown lobbyists threatened to remove the young man from his home for placement in government institutions. There were instances in which the family felt they were being discriminated against only because they voiced their concerns and sought assistance to improve conditions.

Along the way, there were many people who entered, and ultimately left, the young man’s life, even those who pledged to always be there for him. To all of us who failed this young man in our various ways, from the greatest to the least, the words of Apostle Paul to his young charge in II Timothy 4:14 (KJV) are grim: “Alexander the coppersmith did me much evil: the Lord reward him according to his works:”

Most probably no one except for Mom remained true to her vow to sacrifice all for his best possible quality of life while on this earth. Ironically, this sacrifice was her greatest freedom, for her joy was found in his smallest successes and happinesses. In spite of all obstacles, her efforts resulted in a charming, charismatic young man with a wonderful sense of humor and a strong faith in God that was an inspiration to all with whom he came in contact, particularly those with whom he worshipped in church. His victory over the limitations imposed by a crippled body were a sort of freedom.

Even at the very roughest going there were those who supported this mother in her struggle to provide the best for her child. There was the pediatrician who was the young man’s general practitioner throughout his life, even after he became an adult, whose tireless efforts undoubtedly positively affected both the quality and length of his patient’s life. There are the governors and legislators who fought for the best interest of the underprivileged throughout the years. There was the Legal Aide attorney who was so instrumental in ensuring that the young man got to stay in his home despite legislation that would have dictated otherwise. There were the remarkable lawyers who negotiated peace when all seemed in vain. There were the caring independent support coordinators and their supervisors who provided much support throughout the years to the mother and child. There were the law enforcement officers and the district attorney who supported the young man and his family in prosecution of the drug-addicted provider who jeopardized the young man’s life.

And there were several loving nurses and care providers who saw their vocation as more than just a job and reached into the deepest parts of themselves to make the young man’s life as enjoyable as possible. In so doing, they became better individuals themselves, getting more than they ever expected the young man could give. This is a sort of freedom. To all who supported this young man and others like them speak the words of Matthew 10:42 (KJV): “And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.”

This young man realized his greatest freedom of all when he entered Heaven early on Sunday morning, March 31, 2019, at age 30. It was most appropriate that my stepson, Dustin Ryan Woods, would enter his eternal home on the Lord’s Day, for he lived for Sunday, asking every day throughout the week how many more days it was until church. Now his eternal existence will be one never-ending Sunday with those he loves and who love him. His mother, my wife Mary Ann Townsend Woods Mincey, will realize her greatest freedom when she joins him in that eternity. Her story is reflective of Christ’s love for the world as stated in John 15:13 (KJV): “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”

We could all benefit from these words from the story of the Good Samaritan found in Luke 10: 36-37 (KJV): “Which now of these . . . thinkest thou, was neighbour unto
him . . . ? And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.”



Out of the Attic Interiors

One of Union County’s newest businesses shows promise of opportunity for both, today and tomorrow. Out of the Attic Interiors is owned by Duayne and Toni Huddleston of Corryton. “Where there is a will, there’s a way; and God made a way.” says business owner, Toni Huddleston. This new venture opened on April 5, 2019 and is planning its Grand Opening Celebration for late April with items so unique that there is always something new to see.

Veterans: How to Receive Services Provided by a Doctor of Chiropractic

Many VA primary care providers are routinely discussing the services provided by DCs as an option with their patients.

VA provides chiropractic services on-site at one or more VA facilities in each VISN. VA facilities that do not have on-site chiropractic clinics provide these services via Community Care mechanisms. A list of VA facilities that have established on-site chiropractic clinics is available at ...

Ever Lasting Arms

Brooke Cox

Isn’t it funny how you can look back on things and see them differently after you are grown?

Back in the ancient times of the 1970s, there were no SUVs. When we went on family trips, we took one of Papaw’s station wagons. At least once a year, we all piled in one and headed south and east to Cades Cove in the Smoky Mountains. We always packed a picnic. Sometimes Papaw would stop at the KFC in Maryville and pick up a bucket of chicken to have with it.

Which Came First, the Egg or the Basket?

Ronnie Mincey

Mincey’s Musings
Year Two, Week Fifteen

When I got to work this morning after the Easter weekend holiday, I was clearing my email when I came across this interesting subject line: Do you have all your eggs in one basket? It is a question perhaps best not contemplated first thing on Monday morning of a work week.

Trip to Missouri

The year was 1981. My nephew, Chris Bouldry, had been attending Bible College in Springfield, Missouri. He came home for the Christmas holidays and decided not to return to school. That left one problem. He needed to retrieve his possessions from his room there. The second problem was how to make the trip. He didn't have a car or any money.

Tick Season Never Ended

Since I’m in the woods a lot it’s reasonable to assume that I would have more ticks get on board and use me as a meal. But for the first time that I can remember I pulled ticks off every month of the year, including the winter months when they are normally dormant. That’s not right people! All of them have been the smaller deer tick, which are harder to see and feel crawling around. Now that your family is outside more with the warmer weather, best start body checking yourself and the kids. Since it’s good to know your enemy, here is a rundown on the tick lifestyle.


Tennessee Bats and Eagles

Little brown bat. Photo in the public domain, Wikipedia

My son’s Eagle Project, back when he was in Boy Scouts, was planning and overseeing the construction of bat houses and distributing them on a state tree farm located next to the Hiwassee River in Polk County. At first, he was reluctant. Who, after all, wanted to do anything for bats? They were scary, ugly, carried rabies, get in your hair, and they lived in caves and old houses spreading guano.

Quantum Computing - A Leap Ahead

A Quantum Processor

Photograph of the D-Wave TwoX 1000 Qubit quantum annealing processor chip introduced in 2015

You’ve been told since the first time you heard the term “computer” that they are all about bits and bytes, right? Computer geeks (like me) are sometimes referred to as “bit twiddlers”. I even wrote a novel called The Bit Dance that has a bunch of ones and zeros on the cover. Computers are all about binary choices, right?

Fettuccine Alfredo

The Olive Garden is our favorite restaurant. A few years ago we celebrated my eighty-ninth and half birthday in July. (When you approach ninety, every day is a luxury.) We had an Alfredo dish. My daughter Anne had chicken and I had shrimp. We decided we could make a recipe at home that tasted just as good.

Truan Targets Cumberland

Pictured, seated L-R: Dalton Truan, Cathy Norris, aunt; standing L-R: Cumberlands head wrestling coach Travis Barroquillo, UCHS head wrestling coach James Ramirez, UCHS head football coach Larry Kerr and UCHS assistant football coach Josh Kerr.

Pictured, seated L-R: Dalton Truan, Cathy Norris, aunt; standing L-R: Cumberlands head wrestling coach Travis Barroquillo, UCHS head wrestling coach James Ramirez, UCHS head football coach Larry Kerr and UCHS assistant football coach Josh Kerr.

Union County High School senior Dalton Truan signed to wrestle with University of the Cumberlands Patriots April 10.

“Dalton is the hardest working guy, day in, day out,” said UCHS head wrestling coach James Ramirez.


Area Worship Leaders, Pastors, and Faith community leaders

Thursday, April 25, 2019 - 07:30
Area Worship Leaders, Pastors, and Faith community leaders

"We invite all area Worship Leaders, Pastors, and Faith community leaders to come together on the last Thursday of each month at Hardee's at 7:30 am. This is to be a time of fellowship, prayer, and discussion about how we as a community of Faith can work together to have a positive impact on our county. All are welcome!" For more information please contact Kathy Chesney at 865-566-3289.

Project Planning Workshop

Thursday, April 25, 2019 - 19:00
Project Planning Workshop

There will be a “Project Planning Workshop” Thursday, April 25 at 7:00pm at the Union County Courthouse. This meeting is the second planning session to include the public, along with elected officials, to discuss and determine future projects. The meeting will begin with ...

Union County 10k/5k and Fun Run

Saturday, May 4, 2019 - 08:00

Come out and run on some beautiful East Tennessee country roads, right here in Maynardville!
Registration starts at 7am and the run starts at 8am.
Entry fees start at only $25.

2 courses to choose from.
5k = 3.1 miles
10k = 6.2 miles

The fun run will be held in Wilson Park and open to all ages.
Free admission to the fun run with 2 canned goods to benefit the Union County Food Pantry,

A portion of all funds raised will donated to the American Cancer Society.

May Pick Up Party

Saturday, May 4, 2019 - 12:00

It's that time again!
May is a Pick Up month for our Wine Club and we are having a party to celebrate!

Saturday, May 4th from Noon till 8 PM

Live Music From:
A Pair of Jokers Noon-3:30 pm
KUDZU, the band 4-8 pm
Rocking the soul of country and all its relatives! They grab pieces of all the best music and stitch them together to make something new but familiar.


Jeanette Mahan

Jeanette C. Mahan, age 75, of Anderson County, passed away peacefully at home on April 23, 2019. She is survived by children Lynn Hewitt, Jeffery Weaver, and Clyde Mahan; grandsons Dustin Ray Hewitt and Travis Shawn Hewitt; granddaughters Cassandra Frye and Whitney Mahan; great-granddaughter Grace Cox; and brother Roy Childress; special son-in-law Frank Courrier. Family will receive friends Saturday, April 27, 2019 from 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm at Mynatt Funeral Home Halls Chapel. Funeral service to follow with Louise McKinney and Gordon McKinney officiating.

Stanley "Shorty" Max Joyce

Stanley "Shorty" Max Joyce, age 82, passed away on April 20, 2019. He was of Baptist Faith. He served his country valiantly in the U.S. Army. Stanley retired from the Knox County School Janitorial Department.
He is preceded in death by his parents, Newt and Edna Joyce; brothers, Robert, Kayo and James; and sisters, Mildred, Zelma, Mayme, Jenny and Lockey. He is survived by his loving wife of 55 years, Linda Joyce; daughter, Rhonda Womack (Guy); grandchildren, Joshua Womack (Miranda) and Ashley Duffey (Luke); great-grandchild, Baby Duffey; as well as many nieces and nephews.

Alice A. (Lody) Guinn

Alice Annalou Lody Guinn-age 81 of Maynardville, born September 9, 1937 passed away Tuesday morning, April 23, 2019 at Willow Ridge Center. She was a member of First Baptist Church of Maynardville. Preceded in death by mother, Trula Lody; father, Cecil Lody; sister, Lena Mae Tharp; brother-in-law, Fred (Red Eye) Tharp; grandparents, John E. and Lennie Monroe.

Survivors: daughter, Dyane Lody; grandson, Blake Hopson along with five great-grandchildren. Nephews: Denny, Conley, Randy, Fred Allen and Charlie Tharp and their families. Special aunt, Bobbie Johnson and several cousins.

Jason Mathew Dobbins

Jason Mathew Dobbins, born April 15, 1977, passed away April 19, 2019, losing his battle to cancer. He was a member of Sutherland Baptist Church. He is preceded in death by mother Jackie Juanita Maples Dobbins, and grandmothers Dorothy Maples and Lorene Doane. Survived by father Sammy Dobbins, son Cody Cummings, daughters Jayla and Jaylan Dobbins, step son Isaac Mashburn, brother Sammy Dobbins Jr., sister Dottie Maples, and girlfriend Sara Cunningham.

Helen Maples Foust

Helen Maples Foust, age 86 of Knoxville, passed away on April 22, 2019. She was preceded in death by her parents Charlie C. and Dorothy E. Maples. Helen is survived and will be greatly missed by her sons, Steven R. Tallent and Charles A. Monroe; 4 grandchildren; 8 great-grandchildren; as well several nieces and nephews. The family will receive friends on Thursday, April 25th from 5:00-7:00pm at Mynatt Funeral Home Halls Chapel. Friends and family will gather at Joppa Cemetery on Friday, April 26th at 9:45am for a 10:00am interment, Rev. Donald Daniels officiating.

Dorothea Elizabeth Cox

Dorothea Elizabeth Cox – age 90 of Maynardville, went home to be with the Lord on April 21, 2019. She was a longtime member of Milan Baptist Church. Dorothea enjoyed reading her Bible and enjoyed her friends at the Union County Senior Citizen Center. She was a retired nurse from San Joaquin Hospital in Bakersfield, California.

Ralph Robert Lane

Ralph Robert Lane, age 85, went to be with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on April 19, 2019, after a brief struggle with cancer. He was of Baptist faith. A wise saint once said, “The stronger a man is, the more gentle he can afford to be.” If that is true, then Ralph Robert Lane was one of the strongest men in the world. Ralph was a kind and gentle soul, with a generous and giving spirit. He was a man who brought out the best in all who were around him.

Joyce Louise Ridener

Joyce Louise Ridener, age 80, of Knoxville passed away peacefully at home on April 20, 2019. She was a member of Valley View Baptist Church. She was a Devoted mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. Her and her husband loved traveling together. Preceded in death by husband Bob Ridener; parents Ennis and Glenna Robertson; and sister Bobbie Henderson. Survived by sons Mike Ridener and Ronnie (Brenda) Ridener; 9 grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren; sister Donna (Ronnie) McConkey; as well as a niece and nephews; and cousin Jeanne Rose.

David Allen Berry, Sr.

David Allen Berry, Sr., age 67, of Corryton passed away on April 19, 2019. He was a member of Rockydale Primitive Baptist Church. He owned Berry’s Wrecker Service and Auto Shop for over thirty years. He enjoyed farming in his spare time. He is preceded in death by parents Elmer and Lorene Berry; and brother Donald Berry. He is survived by daughters Connie Berry and Abigail Berry; son David Berry, Jr.; grandchildren Brent Allen Berry and Jessie Lynn Berry; and siblings Mike Berry and Janice George.

Denise Hurst Caudill

Denise Jean Hurst Caudill, age 45, of Tazewell, Tennessee, was born on September 23, 1973, and passed away at Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center in Knoxville, TN on April 16, 2019, with family by her side. She professed faith in God at an earlier age and had a personal relationship with God.

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