Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Fear, Love and Devotion

I continue to be amazed and humbled by complete strangers.

With regard to people we DO know, a man that Mike worked with came by tonight. Mike worked with him 13 years. Mike has not worked there for 8 years yet every year at Thanksgiving, one of their employees comes by and give us a turkey and at Christmastime they have a collection at work, and give that to us.... every year since Mike was let go. Tonight when his ex co-worker came by, he apologized for not being able to do more, but what he didn't realize was just how much he DID do, and I told him this. This man cries each and every time he leaves our house, yet that will not stop him from coming. He knows he will leave upset, yet his fear does not keep him away. I wish this could be said for everyone. There's not a day that goes by, that I don't think about Mike's only surviving sibling and how he has not seen Mike in years (6 to be exact). I have no idea what keeps him away, but it is beyond anything I can even imagine - to completely ignore your own brother who has a terminal illness. How do people live with themselves? How do they explain that away?

On the flip side, there are complete strangers that have reached out to us with words of encouragement and support, love and prayers - always just when I need it the most. Tonight, Mike's friend from work said that he feels that it's because Mike was always a "giver". He would go anywhere for anyone, and do anything if asked. He helped this man understand Christianity so he could convert for his girlfriend so they could get married in church. He told me once again how Mike explained to him our religion and how important it was to him. He taught this person the meaning behind our holidays and helped him "study" for his conversion.

Mike is a kind, gentle and caring soul. It's no wonder, that even to this day, anyone who meets him, falls in love with him.


bob said...


Your blog today gave me goose bumps. How wonderful that Mike converted his friend! It's great that his former co-workers continue to help.

I know how you feel about Mike's only sibling. I hear that same story from many families with eFad. My husband's aunt recently asked why I was not up to date on my SIL's life. When I told her we never hear from the siblings she said " what is it with you?". I had to explain that it wasn't my place to contact them- their brother has Alzheimer's disease and I have my plate full. Sis lives just 5 miles away. How hard is it for her and her brother to call and talk to him while he still remembers who they are?

Karen H said...

You hit the nail on the head. I have had people tell me that I should take the first step. I totally disagree! My husband is sick and I'm trying to raise 2 young children, now I have to go chasing someone down just to get them to acknowledge their own brother. I don't think so. I'm also tired of hearing "he's scared", "he doesn't know how to handle it". Well guess what - I'm scared, I don't know how to handle it, but I do, because I love my husband.

Anonymous said...

I so agree with you!! It is absolutely unforgivable that he has not contacted you or the kids. I am sure he thinks about him but actions speak louder! Do you hear ever from the Zehnle's? I remmeber they were involved in Richard's care. I hit anonymous beciase I cant seem to log in to my account, Susan Nerheim