Friends of the garden plant sale
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Friends of the garden plant sale
A few years ago, Dave was diagnosed with cancer. There was no treatment and no prognosis. The situation was very confusing. It was not what he was expecting at his age, particularly as he had been so healthy. His life and work and everything else centered on making it better and enjoying life. He was the kind of person you want in your corner. When he was diagnosed, no one could imagine how he would handle it, but he surprised us all.
He had a remarkable attitude towards the cancer and his illness. Although he could not say that he felt hopeful, he made it clear that he felt hopeful about life. While he did not say this in so many words, we could hear it in his voice. He had an upbeat, positive tone.
It’s impossible to explain why it feels good to hear this, or what it was like to be around this man. It was simply a great sense of relief to find out that Dave was fine. We know that if it happens again, or we need to take steps, it will be alright. We can put it off if we have to, but we will be okay. There is no need to worry. Even though that is a bit of an overstatement, he made it clear that he was in good hands, so to speak.
But we were not talking about the cancer, or the doctors. It was about what the illness meant to him, and to us, as his wife, friends, and family. It was about living a life with joy. His joy came from having people around him. It came from the work he had done. His work was his life. It was about making sure that the work would keep going. That was his work. He was good at it. He was not concerned about getting older, or what he had to do to make sure that his work continued. He was not concerned with his body’s limitations. He did not seem to want to let that get in the way of what he wanted to do. He had a great deal of faith in people. When he died, many people told me that they would never forget his sense of friendship and what he had done for them. He was their friend and the light of their lives. It is a very special place to go. He made the best of his days. He had so much love to give, and many people were there to give it to him. He could not help but have friends and make them.
He was as nice and friendly as could be. At the time that he had cancer, he was still the Dave we had known for years. He could still make me laugh. He was still the same funny guy, and he would still remind me that I was “the crazy one.” But his sense of humor did not come out of what was wrong. It was not a dark sense of humor, but one of fun. I remember the night when I had been out of town, and I did not have my phone or e-mail for a week. I called his house and he answered the phone. He asked me where I was, and when he realized where I was, I could tell that he was relieved to know that I was okay. He said, “Where were you?” I told him, and he said, “Did you get your phone fixed?” I said, “Yes, I did.” He told me to get back in the car and I did. He said, “Did you know I was going to call?” I said, “No, I didn’t know that.” I was not even worried about the phone. He called me because he had wanted to know that I was okay. That is a nice thing to do, not to have to call to be sure that your friend is alright.
What I have found in the way that he has aged, are the qualities of compassion. The last year, his health really has started to go south. He was diagnosed with cancer last spring. The cancer has spread from his prostate to other parts of his body. In the last year, he has been through a lot. He has had surgery and multiple rounds of radiation. He has taken pain medications that make him drowsy and tired. He has gone from walking without a walker to using a wheelchair. He has been unable to work full-time. I find that when he is in pain, he is the same old funny guy. He does not look that way. I find myself telling him, “You look tired. You look very tired.” And he says, “You think I can’t tell?” He can still tell! But now he is also very appreciative of others. He is still willing to give rides and assist others. He is still very compassionate.
How did you get to that place?
I met a man when I was a senior in college. He was much younger. I dated him for four years, and we are still friends to this day. It was my first college boyfriend. We did get married. I went to a Lutheran church. We had two sons, both teenagers by the time I was 25.
We worked together for a while. I got him his first job. We were both on staff at a day care center. He was an early childhood teacher. When our kids were young, we had a lot of fun. We had some good times together. When our kids started in high school, it became more of a financial struggle, and we divorced in the 1980s. I remarried two years later. That marriage lasted until my sons moved out of the house. I had another very serious divorce and remarried five years ago. Now I am working on my eighth marriage, with my eighth husband. My oldest son has just started to find work as an engineer. My youngest son is working in technology now. And my youngest son is in jail. He is in jail for drug dealing. So the story does not have a happy ending for me. But I will take whatever I can get. I believe in God’s mercy.
I would say that I always wanted to work. At an early age, I started babysitting. I was 13, doing overnight babysitting. By 14, I had a part-time job at a convenience store. At 15, I got a job at Burger King. I worked there for four years. I graduated from high school in 1977 and took my GED two years later. I went to work for Boeing for two years. I took my first college degree and got my associate’s degree in 1986. I went to work for a large employer in the Washington, D.C., area, first for six months and then for a year and a half. I began to lose interest in my job, so I quit. After I got divorced, I moved to Florida in 1988, working at a nursing home. I moved back to Florida after four years. In the meantime, I began my training to become an independent sales rep in the health-care field, which I did in 1989. After that, I got a good job working for Home Depot in 1990. In 1994, I moved to Tennessee to be with my mother, who was sick, and I worked for her until I got sick, too, with cancer. My husband is a retired engineer, and we live together with my three sons.
For a long time, I thought about working. I’m just always thinking about working. Maybe it is because I am so busy in my life that I didn’t really have any time to think about the consequences of doing