Prayers have been answered with the homecoming of Jimmy Poston.
That's how family and friends described the feeling that came over them when Mr. Poston returned to his home near Thomson following months of hospitalization last Friday.
Mr. Poston, a well-known businessman and the chairman of the McDuffie County Planning and Zoning Commission, was welcomed home by dozens of family members and friends. Some of those greeting him were motorcycle friends, who escorted Amy Jenkins and her father along Ponderosa Lane to the Poston home shortly before 4 p.m.
Along the route home down Washington Road, well-wishers greeted the beige Cadillac that brought Mr. Poston home. Along rail fencing leading to his home, Kelli Poston, Mr. Poston's daughter-in-law, had placed posters, yellow bows and balloons to express to Mr. Poston how much he's been missed and how much he's loved.
A host of grandchildren also showed their love for the man they call "Pops," displaying a big blue banner at his driveway with big smiles and shouts of "I love you" as Mrs. Jenkins and Mr. Poston drove up. Tears rolled down the faces of many there, including Mr. Poston and his daughter.
"It's a great day -- a day of answered prayers," said Kelli Poston.
"Wow, I am speechless," exclaimed Mr. Poston's daughter, Amy Jenkins, in comments she posted on CaringBridge.org "Daddy's homecoming has been amazing. We have been preparing for weeks and it finally happened. It was completely wonderful."
Mrs. Jenkins used her mother's car and drove to Augusta to bring home her father, who had been at University Hospital and other medical facilities for six months.
Mr. Poston, a longtime executive with Two-State Construction Co., went into the hospital for bypass heart surgery and developed an infection, which required additional surgery, according to Dr. Jim Ramsey, Mr. Poston's pastor at First Baptist Church in Thomson.
His return home from the hospital was an emotional and spiritually-filled day.
"It was really touch-and-go there for several weeks," said Dr. Ramsey. "It's a miracle. I really think it is. Thanks be to God and to the doctors who provided such great care, as well as to his church family and people from throughout the Southeast who have prayed for Jimmy through all of this."
Tinye Harding, a longtime friend of the Poston family, was among more than 30 people who showed up on Ponderosa Lane to welcome Mr. Poston home.
She echoed the sentiments of Dr. Ramsey, saying, "It's definitely a miracle. He's here because God answered our prayers. There's no question about it."
Allen Englett, of Thomson, another longtime friend of Mr. Poston, also attended the homecoming celebration.
"Jimmy Poston has been like a daddy to me," said Mr. Englett, a retired body shop specialist, whom Mr. Poston brought many vehicles to over the years for body work repairs. "He's been mighty, mighty good to me over the years. We've been close friends for a long time. I'm real glad he's finally back home."
Bob Smith and his wife, Becky, longtime neighbors and friends of Mr. Poston, also came out to welcome their friend home.
"He's been a great neighbor and he's a good man," said Mr. Smith, a local school board member. "We've gone to church together for many years."
Wynelle Ruehle, another longtime friend of the Poston family, said, "It's fabulous -- it's wonderful to have Jimmy back home. This is truly the Lord's work and answers to all of our prayers."
His son, Jay Poston, said last Friday was an exciting day for him and the rest of his family.
"This day has been a long time in coming," said the younger Mr. Poston. "It's the closing of a difficult chapter in our lives. He's still got a long ways to go, but he's progressing well."
Jay Poston said his family appreciated all the prayers that have been sent his father's way.
"This shows all of us that prayer really is most powerful," he said.