My parents met in Florida, after my father returned to the United States following his service in the Philippines during WWII. Not long after their marriage, my parents moved to California. I was born in May of 1947, in a nearby suburb of Hollywood. The brother whom tormented me while we grew-up was born in August 1949, in Grass Valley. We remained in California until I was around 4, then we returned to my father’s ancestral stomping-grounds (Newark, Delaware, and the Delaware Valley Region).
I’ve been a wheelchair user since I was around the age of 10, the result of Muscular Dystrophy (MD) – a progressive neuromuscular disease. (The MD diagnosis was confirmed through a muscle biopsy performed at the Shriner’s Hospital in Philadelphia when I was 5 years old. I have out-lived the Doctors’ estimates by at least 40 years.) During my first 25 years, or so, of wheelchair use I used/abused manual chairs. Since then, I’ve used power chairs; my latest chair has a tilt feature which allows me to take a nap if I want to. Now, after 52 years of sitting-down, trust me, my poor backside is SORE!
I married my second wife in March of 1997. She is 20 years younger than I and has stood by me through some very difficult times; I was hospitalized for 10 days with pneumonia within 12 hours after our marriage; hospitalized in February 2004 due to emergency abdominal surgery and then developing MRSA pneumonia (spent 6 weeks in ICU, and wasn’t able to go home until June); hospitalized for 4 days in 2007 after my daughter found me slumped-over, not breathing and “ashen” in color; and several other less significant hospitalizations. Despite the many challenges, I continue to bounce back
How my dear wife is able to tolerate my condition and some of my tirades is a mystery to me. I’ve told her that I prayed to God, after my divorce from wife number one, asking him to send me a “life companion”, if he saw fit; someone I could cherish and love; someone to love me and provide support to assist me as I declined in strength and independence. I firmly believe that my current wife is a “gift from God”, and I tell her so (although, as I think about it now, I don’t tell her frequently enough); she demonstrates her affection for me often through the things she does! 😎
I am grateful for my life: I have lived in a time which was appropriate to sustaining my weakened body and my curious mind; I had parents who taught me values to live by and supported my education, independence, creativity & free-thinking; I was able to find an employer where I could achieve success and work for 30 years; and I am part of a pension plan which provides financial support and a health care plan during my retirement which provides for my wife and I; and I have friends, as well as an extended family, who care. How much more can any man wish to obtain in this life?
It is my hope that during your visit to this blog you can find something interesting, enlightening or inspiring; something which may cause you to see things in a new or different way.
Please feel free to comment I look forward to hearing from you. Or, if you’d rather not that’s ok also. Your choice! I do hope that you will return again in the future.
May your life be full of joy and wonder; happiness and properity; health and family!