A Tribute to Elliot

Kathryn Elliot Paterson Williams
   Daughter, Sister, Wife, Mother, Friend  

My beautiful friend was so much more than I can express to you in words. She was more than cancer.

I have cried so many tears. I have laughed at wonderful memories. I have wished for more time…to be a better friend and stay in closer contact.

Since learning of her passing, I have been rather quiet and still. Unlike me, I know. I always have something to say, but this has left me at a loss.

God is faithful. I know He is. All I must do is look at his track record. It speaks for itself. When the pain is so intense that my insides ache, He is my constant. When I feel as if I cannot catch my breath, He is my comfort.

I don’t have the words to adequately describe what I am feeling. I’m rather numb. For the last several days I have been trying to picture her in heaven. Without a doubt, I know that she would not come back for anything in the world.

Still… I think of the days ahead. I will travel to the site where her earthly shell will be laid to rest. I think of the sweet faces of her little ones and I wonder what Chris must be going through as he has to explain multiple times that she is not coming home.

I wonder how one tells a child that their mother is gone and it is all part of this master plan that the creator of all things has been working towards since the beginning of time.

The same God who they pray to at night allowed their mommy to be very sick and die. What goes through the mind of a 3 and a 6 year old as they try to process such grown up information? I don’t know? I am without answers and feel sure that I will remain so until I meet my Jesus face to face.

Elliot has impacted so many during her life and as she gracefully walked the path of cancer.
It is time for her to rest now.
No more sickness, no more pain.
She is whole.

The following lyrics are from two songs that I would sing, read or pray over the last several months. The meaning within the words brings me peace. I hope it does the same for you.

I Need Thee Every Hour

“I need Thee every hour, most gracious Lord;
No tender voice like Thine can peace afford.

I need Thee, O I need Thee;
Every hour I need Thee;
O bless me now, my Savior,
I come to Thee.

I need Thee every hour, stay Thou nearby;

I need Thee every hour, in joy or pain;
Come quickly and abide, or life is in vain.

I need Thee every hour; teach me Thy will;
And Thy rich promises in me fulfill.

I need Thee every hour, most Holy One;
O make me Thine indeed, Thou blessèd Son.”

Never Once

by Matt Redman

“Scars and struggles on the way
But with joy our hearts can say
Never once did we ever walk alone
Carried by Your constant grace
Held within Your perfect peace
Never once, no, we never walk alone

Never once did we ever walk alone
Never once did You leave us on our own
You are faithful, God, You are faithful

Every step we are breathing in Your grace
Evermore we’ll be breathing out Your praise
You are faithful, God, You are faithful”


WILLIAMS, KATHRYN ELLIOT PATTERSON 36, beloved by God and man and a resident of Birmingham, departed this life May 28, 2012, after a brief and courageous battle with ovarian cancer. Elliot lived an exemplary life, possessed a servant’s heart, and had compassion for all people. She was a 1998 graduate of Auburn University where she was a member of Alpha Gamma Delta sorority. She is survived by her husband, Christopher Wyatt Williams; son, Wyatt Edward Williams; daughter, Bradford Elizabeth Williams; parents, Edward M. and Beverly S. Patterson, sister, Erin Elizabeth Joye (Jay), parents-in law, Chaplain James R. and Susan E. Williams, all of Montgomery; brother-in-law, J. Kevin Williams (Cynthia), Birmingham; nephew, Elijah Brooks Joye; nieces, Bramley Ann Williams and Ellison Anne Joye; and great-grandparents, H. Lamar Smith, Sr., and Rebecca S. Smith, Montgomery. Visitation will be held at Brookwood Baptist Church, 3449 Overton Road, Birmingham, May 30, from 5:30 -7:30 pm. Private burial service for family and close friends will be held May 31 at 10:30 am at Southern Heritage, 475 Cahaba Valley Road, Birmingham. A memorial service celebrating her life and ministry will be held at 2:00 pm, May 31, at Brookwood Baptist Church, Birmingham, followed by a reception at the church. Pallbearers will be John E. Durkin, Jr., Rev. B. Jay Joye, Jeffrey L. King, Brooks B. Sauders, Sr., Dr. J. Michael Straughn, Jr., and J. Kevin Williams. Memorial contributions may be made to The Elliot P. Williams Memorial Fund by mailing contributions to 4326 Paxton Way Birmingham, AL 35242. Contributions will be divided between The Norma Livingston Ovarian Cancer Foundation and a college fund for Wyatt and Bradford. “I have fought the good fight; I have finished the race; I have kept the faith. Henceforth, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness.” 2 Tim. 4: 7-8

Related Posts:
When Cancer is no longer a Stranger
In the midst of the storm
A Father’s Love
When the monster returns, Thy will be done 

* For obituary source click here
* Pictures were taken from her facebook page and CaringBridge site.

37 thoughts on “A Tribute to Elliot

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  7. Joy I have written about the death of my best friends. After 25 years of friendship she died suddenly. It was almost unbearable. It has been four years and a few days ago I had a meltdown. I found this quote by Anne Lamott and I wanted to share it with you.

    “You will lose someone you can’t live without,and your heart will be badly broken, and the bad news is that you never completely get over the loss of your beloved. But this is also the good news. They live forever in your broken heart that doesn’t seal back up. And you come through. It’s like having a broken leg that never heals perfectly—that still hurts when the weather gets cold, but you learn to dance with the limp.”
    ― Anne Lamott

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  11. A beautifu tribute! May God continue to bless and comfort you. Your tribute demonstrates your great love for your friend…and the friend that you are!

  12. For those of you that would give anything for one more chance to see Elliot and talk to her, I found an audio recording of her talking in her church giving her testimony. Hearing Elliot’s voice for 20 minutes made me feel better and gave me comfort….and I’m having a very difficult time getting over her passing. Here is the link:

    [audio src="http://cbsclass.org/Portals/0/CBS/LessonLectures/10467/OP%20032912%20Elliot%20Williams_2012_03_29_12_19_16.mp3" /]

  13. Praise God you will be in services today! Elliott will always be right here with you and today she
    is so proud of the decision you have made. Just know that she is right beside you and one day you will be reunited with Christ in Heaven…what a joyful reunion that will be but until then, know she is with you every day!

  14. I just saw this but I am so sorry for your loss. I know all to well what it is like to lose someone you love to cancer. I find great healing in my involvement with Relay for Life. I actually have a link to my page on my blog. Maybe you could find one in your area!

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    • Thank you, friend.
      The services were beautiful yesterday.
      I am writing about it, but am trying to condense it so that it’s not 5000 words 😉 There were so many beautiful moments.

  16. I am so very sorry for your loss and for her sweet family’s loss. This world is so very harsh and cold. May the Lord bless you and keep you and make His face to shine on you and give you strength…

  17. I pray God will bring you peace during this time. There are no other words other than to simply say, “I’m sorry.” You and Elliot’s family will continue to be in my prayers.

  18. I am visiting your blog for the first time just now. A friend linked this post on facebook. I am a recovering Senior Pastor’s wife, so I appreciate your honesty. But that’s not why I left a comment…I just wanted you to know that I am so sorry for your loss. Your friend Elliot looked like a beautiful woman inside and out. I am sure there is a great celebration going on in heaven at her arrival, but such deep pain felt here on earth. Who can explain? I will pray that the God of all comfort will minister to your soul. Bless you sweet new friend. ~Linny

    • Hi Linny!
      Thank you so much for reading and commenting. I love these connections! I looked at your blog briefly and look forward to being able to sip my favorite coffee and read your work. Thank you so much for your prayers. Truly, I appreciate it and do not take one single one for granted. Blessings and Light to you my new friend!

  19. This is a beautiful tribute to Elliot. I am heartbroken for the physical loss of Elliot in this world. But I know she is in Heaven, watching over all of us, saying, “Please don’t cry. I’m with The Lord. He has a purpose for my life. Like I said when I found out I had Ovarian cancer…’God’s got this one for me.’ I’ll see you all again in Heaven. Don’t cry. Celebrate my life!”

    I can even hear her talking to her friends, as if she were going to be greeting us all this week, and things she would say. Her presence will be felt for a very long time. Her faith could move mountains and perform miracles. We all know that. So, while we are all heart-broken, we should also be joyful she is home, with God, not in any pain. I’m grateful to have known her. And since she passed, I’ve challenged my own faith to grow closer to God. She would love that. Elliot will always be an inspiration to everyone.

    • Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Lindsay.
      I definitely believe that her presence will be felt this week.
      I love what you said about her life challenging you to grow your own faith closer to God. I cannot agree more.

      • I posted on May 30th, after Elliot, my good friend passed. We met when we were 15 thru a friend, in our hometown if Montgomery.

        I’ve been to many funerals. But I just cannot get over this loss. I cry now as I write this. I don’t know how to stop my grieving. I’ve cried so much, and sometimes so hard, I can’t breath.

        We were both 36. Maybe I cannot stop my grieving bc she was so young, and with a beautiful family. I feel so much sadness for her children. I hope they know one day how special their Mother was/is. Chris was wearing the bowtie he wore in their first date Thursday at the church service.

        All of Elliot’s wishes were carried out. Even that everyone go to the church fellowship hall to have a dessert party after the church service : )

        She did not want us to leave there thinking if her, but rather Jesus and how to glorify Him through her cancer.

        Chris said in the hall of the hospital that “Elliot made non-believers believe, and even believers believe more.” I’ve challenged myself to grow closer to God.

        I don’t know who to turn to for advice now that Elliot has left thus physical world. I have no doubt she is in Heaven watching over all of us. Crazily, every time I said someone’s name yesterday, I said Elliot’s instead. It was very weird. I like to think she was guiding me and will continue to from Heaven. I’ve been absent from worship service for a few months now…just due to laziness. Does not mean I’ve fallen away from God, but I’m attending worship tomorrow. I know it will bring me closer to God. And I am going to join a Sunday School class.

        It’s been so surreal since Elliot passed. It’s just now starting to sink in, but I know I’ll be crying for sometime over the loss of Elliot. May peace be with her family now+

  20. This is the most beautiful tribute I have ever seen. This story of you and your friend, Elliot, has hit me strongly as I have a friend who is also dying of cancer. God Bless and comfort you and all of Elliot’s family as they remember their loved one forever!

    • Janie,
      Thank you.

      I am so thankful that we will see her again and when we do, she will be healed…and so will I 🙂

      I am so sorry to hear about your friend.
      I hate cancer, but I know that God hates it more.

      Prayers are with you, friend.

  21. Joy, this is beautiful! While the pain of loss is devastating, there IS peace to be found in the truth that our Lord walks along with us every single minute of the day and night. Love you!

  22. Joy,
    I know the pain is intense… I know that not only did she fight the good fight but her family and friends like you did as well. May God bless you all.

    • Thank you, Mark.
      Honestly, I have prayed and lost sleep and cried, but I have not sat by her bedside, holding her hand like so many others. I wish I had been a much better friend, but I am so thankful for the time we had and the memories that I will keep.

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