I fought it. The symbol of weakness sat by itself in the guest room where I never went. Whenever I struggled to walk past the door, I purposefully averted my eyes, looking down or away. I did anything I could to avoid dealing with the wheelchair the young guy delivered in October of 2007. It was an ominous sign of my fading independence that I hated both for its invasion of my house and what it stood for.
Hey, Pop. I haven’t talked to you in a while, and I just want to say hi and see how you’re doing. I know you’re doing well, though. Continue reading “Hey, Pop”
I completed my 41st year on the 30th of last month. Birthdays are usually a big event when you’re a kid. There’s cake and ice cream, presents from all your family members, parties with your friends, and you get to feel special for moving ahead and leaving all those other kids behind until they catch up to you at some point in the next year. Continue reading “The Perfect Birthday Present”
The following is a Facebook post from Nicky Williams Dexter. She shared her daily reality and it gripped me. She and I share the struggles of FSHD yet we have different experiences. I’m reposting this with her permission. If you’d like to contact her, she accepts all friend requests from folks interested in FSHD. I encourage all of you to drop her a line of support on Facebook. Continue reading “The View From Nicky’s Seat”
On June 2, 1992, my family moved from Louisville to Brandon. I met a few kids that first summer before school started, but when band camp rolled around a couple weeks before the first day of school, I got a jump start on making friends. So, on my first day of high school, I wasn’t totally lost. There were familiar faces peppered throughout the student body. Little did I know that I’d met my best friend throughout high school on the first day of drum camp. Continue reading “The truck battery didn’t last, but the friendship did”
One particular Wednesday night in March of my 30th year, I was at my parents’ house sitting at a table in the living room while working on my laptop. They were at church, and I was there by myself. It had been raining for several days and was still raining. I could hear the fat drops as they pelted the roof above me.
Continue reading “The night my chair tried to kill me”
Several weeks after the rage of getting conned by a con man faded from the front of my brain, I met Mr. Roy. He was a nice, white-haired gentleman who worked the sign-in table at my voting precinct. I’d heard Martin say on many occasions he had to go see Mr. Roy to get paid for some task he’d helped him with or that Mr. Roy was letting him store his tools in his shop or some other guano. When my wife nudged me and told me who it was, I struck up a brief conversation with him about Martin. He responded with a blasé attitude and wasn’t too interested in getting involved with anything Martin related. So, I voted and left feeling let-down. I couldn’t understand why anyone who knew Martin wouldn’t want to gab about what a road apple he was.
Just as I was about to call it a week at work and head out for the weekend, I got a call from the Warren County DA’s office in regard to a 3-year old case against a homeless guy to whom we’d given some food, but not Martin. Martin stole my lawnmower. This guy stole a Honda scooter from my garage. The case has dragged out for numerous reasons and been nothing but a nagging irritation to me up to this point.
Shortly after the blessing of the balls and Martin’s mother’s funeral, he showed up and started working off the money I’d given him by mowing my grass that he’d been neglecting. Being the resourceful chap that he was, he also started using my lawnmower to cut other yards up and down the street. A few days after starting his new business, he even asked me if it was OK that he was using my lawn equipment. Even though it was a little out of sequence, I had no problem with the deal. I figured it was a way that I could help him out without it costing me more than a gallon of gas every so often.
Over the next few days, Martin’s attitude seemed to improve in spite of his mother’s death, and we assumed that someone must have put up the money to get his mother’s body released to the funeral home. He didn`t come by to attempt to chip away at the pile of work we`d paid him to do that he hadn’t done, but he called regularly to give us updates of his whereabouts and daily activities. However, we didn’t mind his scarcity because a tornado of restless energy tagged along with him whenever he came around, and I think we were exhausted just from his awareness that we were alive.
After a few weeks, I was running short on extra cash to help Martin secure food, a place to stay, or crack. So, I told him I couldn’t give him any more money, but I would help him get in touch with some agencies who could possibly give him assistance to secure a job and a place to live. Since I was under the impression he was a medically discharged veteran, I contacted a few organizations that could be of assistance to him, told them his story as I understood it, and they all sounded very willing to help him. He just needed to contact them and give them a copy of his DD214 discharge paper to get the process started.