A Christmas Story – Part 1

My most popular books, at least based upon sales and letters, are the Bryson City series. In the second book in this series, Bryson City Seasons, I wrote about an encounter with a patient on Christmas 1982 in Bryson City, North Carolina. Today, tomorrow, and on Christmas eve, I’ll be excerpting the story for you and hope it will be a Christmas blessing for you and yours:

The morning before the Christmas of 1982, just a year after beginning the practice of family medicine in the small hamlet of Bryson City, North Carolina, I was in the office when the ER nurse, Louise Thomas, called. “I’ve got a patient named here, name of Evan, with a pretty bad pneumonia. He’s an older man and he’s skin and bones. I think he needs to be in the ICU.”

I agreed and gave Louise the admission orders. “Does he have family?”

“Not that I know of. Just a friend who brought him in.” She and I both suspected that this probably represented some sort of end-stage cancer.

When I arrived at the hospital and entered the patient’s room, he looked worse than I could have imagined. Another man was sitting by Evan’s bedside. As I entered he stood.

“Hi, I’m Dr. Larimore. I’m the doctor on call today.”

“I couldn’t be more delighted!” the man exclaimed. “My name’s Richard. Evan and I have heard of you. Many of our customers at our flower shop speak of you.”

“Richard, Evan, it’s good to meet you.” I then turned my attention to Evan, taking a complete history and then doing a complete physical. When I was done, I pulled up a chair.

“Evan, I think you know you’ve got pneumonia.”

He nodded.

“But, it’s not a typical pneumonia. It’s atypical. Given your weight loss and fatigue, I’ve got to be honest with you.” I paused for a moment.

Evan reached out and took Richard’s hand and at that moment I realized they were more than just friends. Evan looked fleetingly at his partner and then back to me. “Is it cancer?”

I nodded. “To tell you the truth, that’s my guess. We would need to do tests to be sure. But, that’s what I suspect.”

“Is it treatable?”

“It depends on the type. But, my guess is that it’s probably already widespread. So, we’ll just have to see.”

“When can we start?”

“Well, let’s get the infection under control, and then, we’ll talk about getting started.” I was quiet and let them absorb the information. When it was clear they didn’t have any more questions, I left the room.

At that moment, I had no idea of the eternity changing events that had been put in place by a God who loved Evan more than he could have then imagined.


If you’d like to learn more about beginning a personal relationship with God, check out my blog on the topic here. This may be the most important blog I’ve ever written.

Also, here’s more information on the Bryson City series:

  • Bryson City Tales: Stories of a Doctor’s First Year of Practice in the Smoky Mountains – purchase on Amazon or read a sample chapter here.
  • Bryson City Seasons: More Tales of a Doctors Practice in the Smoky Mountains – purchase on Amazon or read a sample chapter here.
  • Bryson City Secrets: Even More Tales of a Small-Town Doctor in the Smoky Mountains – purchase on Amazon or read a sample chapter here.

2 thoughts on “A Christmas Story – Part 1

  1. Becky Wood

    Walt, I read your book years ago. I enjoyed them so much! Adding to the pleasure of each story was actually seeing you in them. The Lord has gifted you greatly. Two of them are the way you love people and your ability to write. Thank you for sharing them with so many. Have a blessed Christmas! Love to you and Barb!

  2. Walt Larimore Post author

    Becky, thanks SO much for the feedback and encouragement. Both are such a blessing to me. I hope you and yours have a Christ-centered, warm-memory-creating, family filled Christmas and a Blessed New Year. Love to you both.


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