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Are You Feeling Sorry For Yourself?

Story ID:10720
Written by:Charles Dishno (bio, contact, other stories)
Story type:Musings, Essays and Such
Location:Klamath Falls Oregon USA
Year:2005
Person:Chuck
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Are You Feeling Sorry For Yourself? Don’t, It Could Be Worse.
By Chuck Dishno
10/7/2015

How many times have you felt that life has dealt you a cruel blow? I think we have all experienced that feeling at some time. It is only human nature but if you think about it there are always some who have it worse than you.

This all came to me in a 60 second conversation about 10 years ago. It was graphically pointed out to me that I didn’t have it so bad.

About 15 years ago, I was rapidly losing my ability to walk and would soon have to rely on a cane then a walker and eventually an electric scooter. This didn’t bother me too much and Roz and I decided to take life as it was being dealt to me. I eventually got a scooter with a lift put in my Ford Windstar. This gave us the ability to travel and go almost anywhere. I don’ think I ever felt sorry for myself as I could make do with what I had.

About 10 years ago, Roz and our two cats attended a Bly School reunion. We were staying in a large motel in Klamath Falls, Oregon near Bly. This motel complex had a hot breakfast room and as it was too far for me to walk I rode my scooter knowing I could get in and park at a table. As I was tooling across the parking lot I saw a man walking ahead of me with two canes. He was really having a hard time and as I came up to him I jokingly, said, “This is what you need.” He then said something that really hit me hard and I have thought of it many times over the years. He said, “Oh, I have one of those too but I have only had my new legs for about two weeks and I promised my daughter I would walk her down the aisle on Saturday.”

This really hit me hard and I apologized for being so flippant. He said, “That’s alright, I know you were trying to be helpful. I am determined to keep my promise and I have two more days to make these things work.”

With tears in my eyes, I said, “God Bless you, I have no doubt that you will succeed and making you daughter a happy person. I wish I could be there to watch and pray for your success.”

With that I sat and watched him cross the parking lot an negotiate a few steps into the breakfast room. When I rode my scooter up a ramp and into the room, he was sitting at a table, waiting for his wife to bring him some breakfast. I shook his hand and said, “Good job, buddy.”

By the time I had eaten he was gone and I never saw him again, but he lives in my memory as a strong man who set a goal for himself and saw it through to the end.

This incident reminded me of poem I once read and every time I think of it I think of that strong, determined man. Here is the poem, author unknown:

Don't Quit

Don't quit no matter what!
When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you're trudging seems all uphill,
When funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest if you must, but don't you quit.
Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about,
When he might have won if he'd stuck it out.
Don't give up, though the pace seems slow -
You may succeed with another blow.
Often the goal is nearer than
It seems to a faint and faltering man;
Often the struggler has given up
When he might have captured the victor's cup,
And he learned too late, when the night slipped down,
How close he was to the golden crown.
Success is failure turned inside out -
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are -
It may be near when it seems afar;
So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit -
It's when things seem worst that you mustn't quit.