2 Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. 4 And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
Nobody chooses to go through hard times but everyone does in one way or another. Everybody dies eventually. Through a lot of prayer and great medical care I got an extra 20+ years with my beautiful wife from the first time she was diagnosed with cancer. Some people die from the kind of cancer she had in less than a year. We were blessed. I won’t bore you with all the times the cancer came back and all the different treatments we endured. I’ve told it all before. She had never been put under hospice care before so I knew the medically expected outcome from the beginning. It’s not unheard of for someone to recover and get off Hospice and return to a normal life but it is extremely rare.
All I could do is give her the best care I could, pray for her daily, I asked for a total healing but if that was not to be I asked that she would be pain free and keep a clear mind until the end. I was granted that second part of my prayer. We talked every day, talking about the good times. We had many good times and up until the last month she had good enough vision I could show her photos of the good times and we would talk about them and the many ways God had blessed us. I told her how much I loved her every day.
We had a hospice aide Monday through Friday for between one and two hours a day. She would help me bathe my wife and change the bedding. It is really hard to change the bedding by yourself with the person in the bed. Our aide was named Joselyn and she was an angel. She would always bring a smile on my wife’s face.
This went on for 15 months that she was bedridden and it was wearing me down. I had my first heart attack in July the year before she died and the second one the last day of February one month before she passed. I came through the heart catheterizations and stent placements With only a few problems. Each one took four days in the hospital and our son came over and took care of his mom. I took care of her the rest of the month until she passed.
I called our three sons and told them she was dying and John took the first flight out of Nashville. He got here while she was still breathing but unconscious. She passed during the night. John’s wife and family drove up and they stayed with me for a month until we had the celebration of life service.
I was just starting to get back to riding my bike when my oncologist called and told me I had to come in and start chemotherapy because my blood counts were way out of whack. Indeed they were, she showed me what they were and what they were supposed to be. I drove myself to the cancer center for my treatments but they didn’t always go well and they would call an ambulance to rush me to the hospital. One time they just pumped me full of saline and let me go. I had to have my son come and get me and drive me back to the cancer center to get my car. The second time it happened the hospital kept me for a week and gave me two pints of blood before discharging me.
I finally finished my chemo and the blood numbers are much better. Once I started riding my bike again my strength started to return. My vision was really bad by now because I needed cataract surgery but couldn’t have it with everything else going on. I scheduled my cataract surgery and was expecting this to be easy peasy. It wasn’t, I came out of surgery blind in the eye they just operated on. My other eye was near sighted and also had bad cataracts so I was unable to see well enough to drive. I had to depend on my brother or an 89 year old friend from church to take me to appointments every other day and grocery shopping and to church.
All of these things were a test of my faith but God had never let me down before so I trusted him to bring me through all of this and he did. In six weeks I got my vision back and had the surgery on my other eye and it went as planned. I came out of surgery able to see better than I had in years.
Living as a Bachelor after 45 years of marriage is not easy. I wondered if a 72 year old man should even consider a dating site. I prayed about it and felt it would be ok to try it. I got on two sites eHarmony a Christian site and Silver Singles a dating site for old people. I have had dates from both sites and I will say I never met a woman I didn’t like.
Trying to choose who to concentrate my attention on was difficult. I never expected to be so much in demand at my age. One lady told me she decided she wasn’t ready for a serious relationship and one lady I knew right away was not a good fit for me. She really didn’t have much information on her profile so I took her to Olive Garden and treated her well. I coached her on how to fill out her profile to attract the men that really want the real you. I told her the more information you put on your profile the more likely fit you will be with the men that want to see you.
The Silver Singles site has a lot more women on it but it also has a lot of questionable profiles. I don’t even think they are women, they might be robots running some kind of scam. I get about twenty five of these a day. They all have their age listed from 25 up to fifty. I put on my profile I was only interested in age 65 and up. They usually have a photo of a pretty young lady. I was deleting these one day without really looking at them and just as I was about to hit the delete button on this one pretty lady I noticed she listed her age as 67. I opened up her profile it it was just what I have been looking for. We started messaging each other and I have been told to slow down by everyone. Well I didn’t want to let this one get away so we set up a time to meet for a walk and lunch in two days. We ended up meeting for dinner that night and again on the day we planned. This is the happiest I have been for a long time. Is she really going to be the one? I don’t know but for now we are really getting along great. She lives further away than I had planned but we are making it work at $4.00 a gallon. I mostly drive over to her house but she has driven over to mine and sometimes we meet in the middle. She lives 60-70 miles away depending on which way you go.
I told her I was trained and certified by Crisis Response International to go into a disaster areas and help out but was never able to be deployed to the fires and floods and hurricanes and tornadoes in this country or Puerto Rico because I was caring for my wife. Now they are sending teams over to the border of the Ukraine to help with the refugees. She thinks I should go. I’m thinking about it.