A TRUE LOVE STORY
Imagine being a highly skilled person in your field of work and then having something devastating happen to you that ends it all and brings it crashing down. That's what happened to Richard at the age of 44. He was a master machinist making parts down to the tenth of a thousandth of an inch. What happened to him? He suffered a stroke. Only to see him now you would never know he had suffered such a debilitating accident. CVA's, or cerebral vascular accidents as they are better known, happen in one of two types.
The first is a dry, or ischemic type, where the vessel supplying oxygen to it's designation of the brain is blocked, depriving that particular section of its much needed oxygen. The second is wet, or hemorrhagic, where the vessel leaks or bursts, damaging surrounding tissue of the brain. Eight out of ten times it's a dry type. A wet type is much more dangerous. Richard's was a wet one. For three months he was in the stroke ward with no cognizance of where or who he was.
He had recently gone through a divorce of a nine year marriage, so had no family to be concerned about him other than his mother and sisters of which he had alienated himself from for many years. They visited him each and every day, glad to have him back in their lives, even though he wasn't much to talk to. He was pretty stroked out.
Then one morning he woke up and finally realized where he was. For some reason he had come out of his stroke induced neurosis. He had work to do to put his life back together again. The therapists at the hospital saw that Richard was "with it" again and put him on a daily schedule of all the therapies he would need to recover from his stroke. He went through it grandly. Within a month he was ready to leave the hospital. It was as if the stroke had never happened at all. But what was it that had brought him out of it, and what was he going to do now?
His oldest sister, Linda, suggested that the hospital in the area where she lived was giving a school for certified nurses aides. CNA's are in high demand now days. They are the ones who cared for him when he had his stroke. Maybe it was time for a change in his life. He agreed. He found a place out where the hospital was and moved in and began taking the classes. Remember now, Richard had just survived a stroke, recovered from it, and was now going to be a caregiver to people that suffered from the same things he had just survived. Pretty miraculous, huh?
The class he went to had about ten people in it. They were mostly young people. But there was one older lady there, around Richards age. What were these two old fuddy duddies doing here in this class. Her name was Donna. And the curious thing was that she, like Richard, was left handed. That being the case, they sat next to each other so as not to bump elbows like they would if they sat next to right handed people. They practiced on each other taking blood pressure and the various things CNA's have to do.
It was winter time and Richard was in his car and noticed Donna bundled up and walking home, so Richard offered her a ride. She declined and told him that she enjoyed the walk. So Richard asked her for her phone number and was it okay if he called her to chat. He didn't have any friends to speak of. Neither did she. They had both given up of ever having a loved one in their life again. Richard didn't have anything to write it down on, so just told her to tell it to him, he would remember it. She did. She also thought, right, I'll never here from him again. For some reason, Richards memory hadn't been affected by his stroke. He had an excellent memory.Thus began a relationship that started as being just friends.
Richard would call her and they would talk and share their lives with each other. Then Richard got up the courage to ask her out for coffee. She said "How about you take me to church first and then we go for coffee?" It just happened to be Sunday. So their first date was at church. At the beginning of the sermon her church has what they call a passing of the peace, where everyone goes around and hugs everyone else and says "peace". Donna hugged Richard and said "I love you".
After they were done with church and having coffee, Richard drove to her house to drop her off. He had pulled up in the driveway and said goodbye. She looked at him and said "Do you mind if I kiss you?" Richard kissed her and he will never forget what happened when he was done kissing her. He opened his eyes and she was still there with her eyes closed and she said "more". She was just as starved for true love as he was. Later on he found out that her middle name was the same as his, Lee. It was a match made in heaven. They were soul-mates.
Later that week, the hospital where he had stayed when he had his stroke called and left a message to come and pick up his boom box he had forgotten when he left the hospital. Richard never had a boom box before his stroke. He didn't care for the noisy things. It was then that he remembered. What was it about that day that he had come out his neurosis from the stroke? He had to think hard, but he remembered the night before that he had a visitor, and she had brought him a boom box. Then he thought, that was strange, because the hospital didn't let visitors in at night. All he could remember was that she had touched him on the forehead and said "There, now everything is good". Who was she? We'll leave that up to your imagination.
Richard and Donna were married a year later. Richard has gone back to work as a master machinist. And all this happened because of a stroke. I guess you could call it a stroke of genius.