Sunday, June 26, 2016

The Wheelchair Hike

Ryan was home for a visit recently. His 15-year-old dog is dying, his thirty-year-old horse is losing weight and slowing down, and Sam is increasingly frail. Ryan wanted to visit, but he also came to say some good-byes. Ole Lou will be gone before he returns, and Toby (his horse) may be, too.

More important, Sam's health is precarious. Ryan wanted some quality time while he could still have it. We packed an incredible array of activities with Sam into those few days. 

One of the activities we had planned was a trek on the Tanglefoot Trail. "We could take Sam if you want," I suggested.

"He'd like that, but how could he walk that far?"

"Take him in the wheelchair." 

Ryan didn't hesitate. "That's a great idea. I'll push him."

We walked a 5K route. Ryan pushed Sam in the wheelchair the entire way. They both loved it. Afterward, we were sweaty and tired, so we stopped for coffee before driving to the blueberry farm in Pontotoc. We picked three buckets of berries and laughed the entire time about Sam, his double vision, and how to decide which of the double-vision berries to pick. 

It was a wonderful day. We laughed, and reminisced, and enjoyed the time together. 

Later that evening, Sam called. "I sure had a good day today. Thank you for including me." 

"It wouldn't have been as much fun without you." I said it because I meant it. Sam rounded out the day's events in a way that made the entire experience richer and sweeter.

It was harder to do the trail pushing a wheelchair, but Ryan never complained. It was slower to pick the berries and watch out for Sam, but no one minded. He's family and greatly loved. 

"When I'm Sam's age and you're picking berries and hiking trails, I hope you put me in a wheelchair and drag me along, too," I told Ryan the next day.

He laughed and hugged me. "Don't worry. I will."

Time is short. We tried to make the most of the days we have left together. It's the way we're meant to live, regardless of how frail our bodies or how long our life expectancy.

Love while you can. Laugh while there's time. Hug and smile and enjoy each other, for life can end in an instant and regrets can last a long time.

"This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you."
John 15:12 esv
In case you missed it, here's the link to yesterday's post: The Teacakes That Changed the World 
#loveoneanother #disciple #SamWiley #love