As I was pulling on my shorts in preparation for a trip to Lowe’s tonight I was struck with the thought that not too long ago such a trip would’ve been a fantasy. To think of riding in a car for 30 minutes, walking from the car to the store and then hoping upon hope that there was an electric wheelchair available for me because the thought of walking the store was laughable, then walking back to the car and then to ride back home another 30 minutes seemed at one time to be a nearly impossible task. Now I do it for fun.
And tonight I carried a gallon of herbicide. And when my mom comes over, I help her walk to and from the house. Imagine, me helping someone else walk. I’ve been blessed that even as my cancer has progressed I’ve been able to feel better, enough to have a somewhat normal life in many ways.
Just a couple of weeks ago I watched a softball game between my childhood church and my current one, sitting on the hard bleachers for the whole game, but not struggling too much with it. And although I had my ubiquitous red cup with me I wasn’t spitting up, so I looked like any other game spectator.
For months I could barely talk. When people called for me I had to have my wife Jamie do the talking for me. When we prayed together she had to do it because for me to make any noise required the same effort as yelling. But now I speak for myself, I pray for us both and I have even been able to sing a little bit, both at church and to Jamie in our lighter moments.
For months I couldn’t drive either, but now I regularly drive us to and from our house in Brownsburg, Indiana, three hours each way. I’ve been blessed and I don’t want to forget it.
And I got a reminder of how much I’ve been blessed this week with the death of Donn Wimmer’s beloved wife, Juanita. Their love story was truly inspirational. They got together when they were 14 and stayed that way until the very end at age 87. And Donn loved Juanita as much as any man has loved a woman. He glowed when he talked about her, which he did often.
And as I was reminded by Peggy Speer this week, hug and kiss those you love every day because you never know when you’ll have your last day together. She recently lost the love of her life, Bob. I make sure to hug and kiss the love of my life, Jamie, every day and I tell her I love her every chance that I get.
Make sure you remember to count your blessings and tell those you love that you love them. You never know when it will be too late.
By Dave Taylor