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In 1953 in Grimes Iowa, Violet Cross was getting sicker by the day. Finally her eldest son Frank insisted she go to the doctor. Eventually they ended up at the large teaching hospital in Iowa City. The diagnosis was devastating. Though Violet had never smoked she was dying of Lung cancer. One lung was already gone the other was rapidly being devoured by the malignancy. The doctors sent her home offering no real hope, six months of pain would ultimately lead to her death.

That Sunday violet went down to kneel at the altar at the tiny church pastored by her son-in-law, Clarence Lautt. There in Grimes Gospel Center she begged God for one thing. Her two youngest daughters, Kay and Linda were still in high school. "Please God," she prayed, "Let me see my girls finish high school."

Her husband Eddie bought her the engagement ring that he hadn’t had the money to buy 30 years earlier, expecting that to be one of his final acts of love toward her. But Violet started feeling better. Kay graduated from high school, and her mom was back on the farm doing chores again. Linda graduated from high-school. Both girls married. Grandchildren were born. In fact 18 grandchildren...

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