He’s always walked with purpose.  Long strides to go with his long, lean physique.  He would carry a big walking stick and his silver streaked hair was the only thing that gave away his age.  The body, in years, did not match the condition of the body.  When he would walk with his wife, either around the neighborhood or on the canal, she was always a few steps behind him.  It wasn’t in deference to him, she just couldn’t keep up.

It was always so much fun to run into them…walking partners from a distance.  We’d always wave and the best part was the ‘high five’ I would get from him.  He was like a comrade in walking shoes!  We never really stopped to talk, that would be silly to break stride, but the “hello” and the slap of hands was a bonding among walkers.

So imagine my shock when I saw his wife working in their yard and after we exchanged hello’s I could tell something was terribly wrong.  This strong oak of a man, the picture of health, is in the hospital.  Terrible back pain got him there….a CANCER diagnosis keeps him there….spine surgery has taken away his ability to walk and he’s now in a wheelchair. 

Just like that….it’s all changed.  

No more walks…no more long strides…no more high fives.

 

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