Editor's Picks Opinion

Life on The Outside

Sometimes I am amazed at the increasing mobility of my right arm/hand. The difference is probably not apparent to others, but I am certainly aware of the expansion of this skill. A goal: turning on a light switch with my right appendages.

By Yvonne Stegner
Guest Columnist

One evening was Burgers in the Park. Back in the days following the stroke when I received nourishment and fresh drinking water through a stomach feeding tube, I thought an experience like this would never be mine. Instead, I found myself savoring the appealing scent and mouth-watering taste of grilled beef, the crisp crunch of potato chips, and the eye-catching watermelon, to be followed by refreshing cool clear bottled water. Never mind that cold rain was threatening and the wind was brisk. The heat in the welcoming house on return was so appreciated. Thank You God that takes pleasure in our comfort and happiness!

I recently attended a retreat that invigorated me in many ways. I was reminded of the kindness shown by total strangers as I contemplated navigating the buffet-style lunch line. The lunch provided smelled enticing, and I was so relieved when a friend, who had yet to make my acquaintance, offered to fill my plate and carry it to a vacant, but wheelchair-accessible, dining space. An answer to a desperate prayer!

Following the wonderful retreat and an undesired but necessary stop at Walmart, my eldest daughter humored my inclination to stop at Menards to find a bedding plant I had discovered last year. The plant I was hoping to locate was unavailable, but I felt like I was in heaven amongst aisles of aromatic colorful greenery teeming with life. I was so reluctant to leave that paradise, but I knew there was a limit to the patience of my anti-plant daughter.

Another answer to prayer was realized when my youngest daughter received her diploma at New England High School’s graduation. I recalled sobbing hysterically and lying awake sleepless in bed one night at the nursing home when I thought I wouldn’t be alive to see my youngest child graduate. The hushed tones I had overheard led me to believe my heart was shutting down. I guess it doesn’t always pay to be a “rubberneck”, although I won’t retire my keen sense of hearing for any reason!

I am now sporting a “Jack-o-lantern” smile, as a top incisor broke off when I was flossing. In cases like this, a person has to look for the blessings: #1, I wasn’t eating sticky, chewy candy when the breakage occurred, and #2, at least a front tooth didn’t split. Thank You Jesus! Such is “Life on the Outside”.

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