2010-02-10 / Opinion

Up The Creek Without A Paddle

My favorite day of the year-
by Terry Toole

Everyone knows what last Sunday was - You got it, Super Bowl Sunday. We had a little more interest in that game since our Colquitt football star almost got to play in a Super Bowl. The New Orleans Saints did good and would have done better if Charles Grant had been able to play

Next Sunday is not only the day of love, Valentine’s Day, it is my first wife's birthday.

Every year at this time, my first wife catches up with me in years. I won't tell you how old/young she is, but I am 74.

Over the years, I have had to eat most of what I said I wouldn't do. I have finally stopped saying, "I will not do that, or not me, never."

These past few months have been a bit trying. My Lord and I have really gotten to know one another even better than before, especially on my part.

When Paul said, "Pray without ceasing," I now know what he meant.

About three months ago, the love of my life got sick. She wasn't used to being sick, so the doctors gave her super treatments that killed all the bad stuff in her, but also killed all the good stuff in her. She came as close to dying as I have ever seen. It's good to kill the bad, but when the good is killed, all the bad comes back with even worse guests.

I took her to her doctor in Albany last Thursday, and he said she was 95 percent back to normal. The doctor and all the nurses were amazed that she has recovered as soon as she did. They told Betty Jo that the nurses in ICU would love to see how well she was doing. They didn't think she would leave the hospital alive at one time, as did I. That was one sick lady.

Betty Jo asked if she might make me an appointment for a checkup.

I replied, "I've been taking care of you, a lovely, but very sick 73-year-old; your mother, a lovely 96-year-old; and now Tammy, my main helper, has found she will have to be cut on soon, and be out for several weeks or months. Our baby daughter, Donna, has just gone through a heart procedure for the sixth time. In my spare time, I try to help get out the newspaper each week. I already have been diagnosed with several things that could kill me that we already know about. I don't think this is the time for the doctor to try and find something else."

My first wife agreed. "Maybe later," she said.

We still know the devil doesn't have us since he is still trying so hard to get us. We all know who to look for when things go right or wrong.

Valentine’s Day is my favorite day since my main girl was born on that day. Her mother, Uva, said it was as wet as it is now when Betty Jo was born in Baker County. The roads were all muddy, and the bridges were almost washed out.

Uva was telling me about the delivery of her Valentine baby just as I was taking her to the Senior Center for exercise. She doesn't like to be late for anything, especially to exercise and bingo. That is one busy lady, and she works every minute at the Liberal, for Snickers when she isn't at the Senior Center, playing cards at home, or at her church. That's not too bad for a 96-year-old going on 97. I've got to get the rest of that birth story of Betty Jo one day.

Who would have thought that a pretty young thing from Baker County would have still been married to a once freckled face, once red-headed, once scrawny town boy, for over 54 years? She hasn't changed that much, but I've made a few. It has been a trip that if I had planned to do it again, I can't think of too many things I would change.

After being sick, almost unto death, losing a bunch of pounds more than she wanted to, she is still the most beautiful girl in the world to this aging, whiteheaded, portly husband that loves her more than life.

To my Valentine, may this catch-up birthday be one of your best and may all your prayers be answered.

Happy Birthday, and I'm so happy, fortunate and thankful you are my Valentine.

May your Valentine be as good and blessed as ours.

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