The famous song says, “You are my sunshine, my only sunshine.” This elderly woman from Virginia brightens drivers’ mornings, six days a week, with her infectious smile and waves.
74-year-old Patrica Bracey spreads sunshine as she smiles and waves at drivers passing by at Route 10 in Chesterfield County, Virginia. “It makes people’s day,” Bracey said. “And when it makes people’s day, it makes my day.”
Her day starts early, just after sunrise. She walks towards her most favorite spot and continues to do what she’s best at, day in, day out. Drivers smile, wave back and honk at her. Jolly Patricia had established a rapport with them. That’s why she was called the “Minister of Wave.”
The only reason why she does this is because of her faith. “The Lord told me to do it. In June of last year, he told me to come up here and wave and smile, and I’ve been doing it ever since. This is my ministry. This is my church. All it costs is a new pair of shoes.” She mainly knew the impact this simple act has, especially on this pandemic.
“I have really met some fantastic people here, really nice people,” she recalled. Driving along Route 10 has never been the same. Patricia has been spreading cheer for a year and a half now. She smiles at them, waves, and even shouts, “I see you!” Motorists driving at 55 miles/hour briefly honk to acknowledge her presence.
“She brings a lot of joy. She has a beautiful smile, and she always has a nice word from the Lord,” one of the drivers said. Patricia considers the drivers her family. Sadness and hopelessness are now not evident on this elderly woman’s face. She also had her share of challenges, especially when she lost her home 18 years ago. She lived in her car with her dogs and cat for more than a year. Things are a lot better now, and it’s now her time to be a blessing.
This joyful woman learned that if she keeps her “focus on the Lord, she will never be in the wrong place.” She also wanted these people to know that they are special and someone sees them.
This woman experienced the goodness of God in whatever situation she’s in. She, in turn, wants others to experience the same. The Lord has helped and sustained her in times of trouble. That’s where her joy is coming from. May we also find the goodness of God in whatever circumstances we are in. Indeed He wants us to feel His love and goodness so that in turn, just like Patricia, we can also make “someone happy when skies are gray.”