When I started this challenge I promised myself I wouldn’t use people or pets for my letter of the week.
I’m breaking that promise.
This is Oscar, my father-in-law. He’s no longer with us, his address is Somewhere In, Heaven, but the legacy he left behind is strong.
Oscar, much like his son, my husband, couldn’t sit still. Retirement and doing nothing with your time wasn’t a concept he practiced. He had small job at the local furniture store delivering sofas and chairs, he fixed lawn mowers, picked strawberries –for an old woman he knew (his words) he even worked at my husband’s store on occasion.
One afternoon I received a horrible phone call. Oscar was working at the furniture store, and the service elevator he was in fell 3 stories to the basement.
What followed were a lot of surgeries, a few amputations, and “He probably won’t make it, don’t get your hopes up,” comments. After many months he came home.
They said, “He’ll never walk.”
Oscar wouldn’t accept that diagnosis deciding instead to prove ‘them’ all wrong. He did physical therapy, practiced using a walker, and wore a prosthesis on his foot.
One day he called to tell me he’d walked 30 feet with the walker. After that he refused to use the wheel chair if he could walk. I would take him Christmas shopping for Elsie, my mother-in-law and he wouldn’t take the handicap hang tag with us. I would drop him off at the door and park.
Why? Because other people needed those parking places more than he did. His words, not mine.
He taught me, my husband and my children the value of perseverance. The need to keep at a task no matter how hard, painful or seemingly impossible and how doing so will produce results. It will build our character, and it will bring hope as we conquer each difficult task.
Many times since Oscar has died I have thought I couldn’t do something—write a book about our blended family, write an 80 thousand word book in less than 9 months, work through the pain that attacked my muscles, and then I would think of him.
Always in pain and almost always smiling and ready to tell a story. No complaints were heard from him—at least not to us, perhaps when we weren’t around he let his guard down with Elsie, my mother-in-law and also his caretaker and worthy of her own blog post.
What or who do you turn to when you think you can’t take one more rejection, argument or no?
New International Version (NIV)
2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we[boast in the hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope.
posted by Diana Lesire Brandmeyer