Thanks, Colleen and Bill

Some of you may be familiar with the true story of Louis Zamperini's life in the book Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand. Well, maybe, most of us have more of his fortitude and equilibrium in times of loss and hardship than we realize. Recently, my husband and I had lunch with two friends at Diane's Restaurant on Anderson Ferry Road. They are in their seventies as are my husband and I.

Colleen and Bill are just ordinary folks, the kind that keep the world spinning with love and hope. They were celebrating their twenty-first anniversary with us. She is the mother of two grown daughters whose father died decades ago. She sees her daughters and four grandchildren, who live in her home state of Iowa, once a year or so; and she loves them and misses them and is proud of them. She raised her daughters on her own before she met and married Bill. Bill is a veteran who used to love riding motorcycles before he could no longer do so. He misses much of the productive and satisfying work he used to do and many of the fun activities, too.

Colleen remembers her running track in high school, and now she struggles to walk one hundred feet. Bill remembers his days as a mechanic and his love of riding motorcycles. One day while driving his car, he pulled over to the side of the road because he realized that his vision was failing him, and he never drove again.

Colleen and Bill are very much in love with life and with each other, and they love their friends. Some friends they now visit in nursing homes to show their care and attention, and some friends they attend monthly meetings with as part of the work of the local chapter of the American Council of the Blind of Ohio engaging in various volunteer activities. At this point in their lives, they each have more than one disability; Colleen has been blind all her life and now has severe arthritis, and Bill has been blind for decades and is now hard of hearing.

And yes, we thoroughly enjoyed our meal together yesterday at Diane's because our friends are happy, delightful, engaged in life sort of people whom any one of you readers would enjoy listening to and being with. You are very likely to have some folks just like Bill and Colleen in your own families, and maybe you have not been out to dinner with them lately. Maybe, your are missing out on some very good times as my husband and I had yesterday.

I wrote this article for two reasons. One, I just had to share the joy with you readers that we experienced yesterday. Two, a friend of mine happened to see me last week at Mercy Queen City Healthplex just after I finished a yoga class; and he said to me very adamantly, "When will I see another article of yours?" My friend is a doctor in his seventies who still sees some patients "just to help out." Thank you, Roger for suggesting another article; and thank you, Colleen and Bill for your fortitude to face your limitations and find joy in life that starts within yourselves.

Name: Joyce Rogers

Note on September 5, 2016.

This guest column appeared in The Western Hills Press and other Press papers on August 24, 2016. It appeared on PTP on September 1, 2016.