“People often ask me, ‘What do you do for a living?’ and I always reply, ‘Anything I want to do!’ My business is an extension of me, it is me, and when I market my business, I am marketing me,” Brister explains.
With so much community involvement, her numerous honors come as no surprise. Her awards include the MANA Las Primeras Imperial County Woman of the Year in 2007 and Citizen of the Month in October 2005 from Rep. Bob Filner.
With the return to a simpler and sane life, her multiple sclerosis symptoms have nearly disappeared and she finds fulfillment giving of her time and talents to local causes. But she also found fulfillment by answering the call from God.
“I came to know the Lord Jesus Christ as my personal savior and dedicated my life to him in 1997,” Brister says.
“Both Gene and I now direct the choir at the New Creations Men’s and Women’s Home. We delight in encouraging others who have to live with the consequences of bad choices in their lives.”
The couple’s other ministries include singing worship at an RV park in Yuma for the snowbirds during the winter months, working the soundboard backstage for church services at Christ Community Church and a multitude of other volunteer work for various churches and community groups.
Her future continues to grow with possibilities multiplying as she melds her talents with her desire to serve other people and she attests to several miracles in her life that she uses as proof that God still has plans for her.
One account occurred in 2004 after a sleepless night during which Brister sat in her backyard praying. Later that morning, she was driving to pick up Gene’s Grandma Bessie in Calipatria when she was run off the road by a hit and run driver. Over-correcting, she swerved off the road. As her car flipped, she recalls the dream-like slow motion sequence of events.
“While in mid-air, I had thoughts of what my family was going to be like without me around,” she remembers. “I sat back, took my hands off the wheel and had a long conversation with God.”
“When the car landed, it was soft, like landing on a cotton ball. I was thinking, ‘Wow. This was easy.’ It was all white, silent and fluffy. I thought I was in heaven.”
Miraculously, the car landed with each end supported on the high sides of a ditch, effectively keeping the roof, her head and neck safe from being smashed in. Bystanders called out to her asking if she was okay, and in response, she beeped the horn in the proverbial knock pattern recognized by all. Emergency workers were astounded at her total absence of injuries — including no bruising from the seatbelt since it never even tightened from the impact and a normal blood pressure reading.
This is just one of the many miracles that prove she has a purpose, Brister says. “I’m excited to see what’s in my future, through God’s help.”
“Now my work is all about people,” she says. “Meeting them, relating to them, enjoying them and helping them. That is my passion and my pleasure. My joy has been to work with the New Creations Choir for the last few years. To see the transforming power of God in the lives of so many and to help in just a small way by sharing my skills in music and what I’ve learned… It is an awesome privilege for me.”
“I can see myself in the future maybe recording a Christian CD of music,” Brister admits. “I don’t see age as being a detriment. I could be doing this until I’m 80. No, come to think of it, I’m supposed to go back to school at 80, so I might have to put that off until I’m 90,” she laughs.
Just add it to her “bucket list,” an incredible array of goals and wishes she had compiled that has steadily been whittled down over the years. Among those achieved are conducting a symphony, flying an incredible 7.3 Gs with the Blue Angels, skiing the Black Diamond courses in most of the West Coast ski resorts, winning a team penning competition, experiencing a hurricane in Louisiana, witnessing a total eclipse of the sun, and attending an Iditarod musher’s camp in Alaska.
And through all this, she’s discovered Gloria Uribe, Gloria Michaels and Gloria Brister are one and the same woman. “I finally figured out that I am all those people rolled into one,” she confesses. “That’s the way I was created.”