As I begin this post, it is May 7, 2015. I want to take time to return to the year 2013 and recount some events in my life. It is important to me and I have to believe, it might become important to you.
First recall that in late July of 2013, I was happily married to Derlene, my soul mate for the previous almost seven years and she suddenly had a physical problem that had never occurred before. We rushed her to the Emergency room at Cookeville's regional medical center where they were unable to find any reason for the profuse bleeding that was coming through her vagina. They suggested that she see her family doctor, but I knew that we had only recently been examined and declared to be "poster children for the Elderly" suggesting that we were doing very well for a couple of older folks - in our 70's.
But I had overheard a doctor suggest that if there was a recurrence, she should come to the hospital immediately and see him, if he was available. I didn't know who "he" was, but I made a point of determining his name and made an appointment to see him the next day. He saw us immediately and suggested a probe where they would take a sample of her blood and sent it to the lab. Three days later, it was back and the report, Stage two Cancer. They made arrangement for an appointment with a surgeon in Nashville and on Saturday, we were on our way to check into a hospital for a further exam. It was worse, Stage three cancer. The Doctor told us she needed further medication, before the operation which was to be scheduled for the following Monday. Unfortunately, that report was even worse. They were only able to remove 65% of the cancerous tissue and another operation would be necessary. They moved her to an ICU unit in the interim. Two days later, she was dead.
Three weeks from what we thought was a "minor" episode in our lives, she was gone.
I was devastated. I had moved to Cookeville to be married and believed, that we would live happily afterwards. Now, I was alone. I had no relatives nearby and very few real friends. The friends I thought I had among my in-laws turned out be far less than I might have expected. They were heirs to "her" house and I was asked to leave. And so I did. But in the interim, I decided it might be time to leave it all behind. I literally stopped eating and in the process, lost nearly 40 pounds. No one seemed to notice. It just seemed as though they were eager to get me out of their lives. That might not be true, but when you have lost the love of your life, you begin to wonder. So, I moved. I had an income, my Social Security check, but realized it would not be enough to sustain me. I discovered she had a life insurance policy and although it wasn't much, it was enough to sustain me for a few months. I knew I had to find a job.
Only problem was, I suddenly realized that my age, 84 when I began my search, I was no longer a potential asset. It kept me from accepting what I thought might be an offer, only to realize that their insurance policies did not cover people in my age category.
With nothing else to do, I started to write, something I had excelled at earlier on in my life and discovered, along with a close friend, this blog.
And I had a new church. I had been a believing Christian for nearly forty years and through another friend, I discovered a wonderful group of folks who were soon-to-be dear friends and often suggested, they had, in fact, "loved me back to life."
All the while, I continued my search for employment, not necessarily a full-time opportunity, a part-time job might suffice, but it seemed, no one had a need for guy who was now, 85 years old. Now, I might be many things to others, but this I can assure folks, having past through a period where their seemed to be no hope, I had no intention of growing - old!
Moving on, I heard a knock on my door. Strange! I had lived at this address for over a year and no one that I can recall, ever came to knock on my door. But, here were two young ladies, pamphlets in hand wanting to talk to me about their church, the Mormons. Having had some bad experiences with another group of "door knockers", I was not about to get interested in what they had to say. Nor, were they content - I was about to learn, to move along until I had heard what they had to say. I listened for a few minutes and then found myself, inviting them to come in and learned, they could not come in unless they brought another couple with them.
And so it began, a journey unlike any other I had experienced in all of my years. At first, I was even reluctant to believe any of their claims, but as they talked, I began to realize that what they were saying was - in fact, closer to the Bible I had trusted for almost forty years than what I had heard being taught in other churches. Not that others were wrong. but they were only focused on a portion of that the Bible teaches about living among the people that God has loved from the very beginning of time.
Years before, I had ceased to trust in the words of others, not that I might not have believed in what they were saying; it was just that they were not speaking to me. Don't get me wrong, as I love others, all others, but I have also studied the word of God and know that I know, we are often tempted to believe the man who may or may not have experienced all that the Bible has to say to all of us, not merely just to a few of us.
Words are important. Have you ever realized what it might say if you merely changed a couple of letters in the word, denomination? Try changing the positions of the letters 'n' and 'm' of the first five letters in that word. It doesn't mean anything, really. I just want to know that you were listening as I continue this particular blog, tomorrow