I am very fortunate to have made some wonderful friends through my workplace. When we moved to North Carolina in 2005, my group was so welcoming and friendships blossomed quickly. Through the years, co-workers have come but mostly gone, and a core group of true hearts has remained.
One of those friends is Ann, who is married to Ronnie. Ann and Ronnie have been sweethearts since the 3rd grade. They are one of those couples who are truly made for each other, and inspirational both through their devotion to each other and their faith. They were fortunate to retire together a couple of years ago.
Shortly after their retirement, we got the scary news that Ronnie had fallen off of a ladder and severely broken his leg. His injury was very complicated, and over the next several months, he underwent many surgeries to first clean, and then stabilize his break.
That was almost 2 years ago. Earlier this year, Ronnie's wound still had not healed. He was unable to walk. Together and inspirationally, Ronnie and Ann made the difficult decision to have Ronnie's lower right leg amputated. Once they came to the decision, they both felt a peace that they hadn't known for several years.
Ronnie has had his new leg for 5 weeks. I was so very fortunate to see him and Ann for lunch today with some of our other wonderful work friends. You'd never know it by watching him walk on his new prosthesis that he has only been able to walk for 5 weeks out of the past two years.
It was wonderful to catch up with Ronnie and Ann. They are avid blog readers, however I hadn't seen them for a long time before lunch today. As we were saying our goodbyes, Ronnie gave me a big bear hug. Such a good hugger he is. He got a very serious look on his face and said this to me (paraphrasing):
"Please keep writing. I love your family and I love your stories. I really look forward to what is coming next. Thank you for giving me something to pray for."
I was absolutely awestruck and not sure of what to say. I assured him I would keep writing. I went back to work.
Since that time, I've realized that without knowing it, I've managed to inspire Ronnie. I've been able to provide him with our day to day stories, and make him laugh and cry and be a part of something that is different than the pain he was living.
You're never sure who's out there reading your words. You're never sure who's out their laughing or crying or feeling your pain. But to know that I've been able to help one person feel a little better... feel enough to pray for me and my family... and to thank me for it. That's a beautiful silent inspiration that I am extremely proud of and humbled by.