My Inspiration

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            When I first got a job in Coshocton, Ohio I was on my own. I trained in Newark and Coshocton, Ohio for about six months, while Crystal and our three daughters prepared to move from our home in Greensburg, Indiana (about three hundred miles away). I went home as often as I could, usually every week or two. I would arrive late on Friday and return to Ohio on Sunday. One of the greatest feelings I can remember in my life was being swarmed by my three daughters anxious for a hug and attention. I have never felt more important. Of course Crystal got her turn as well. I think she got the worst of our temporary separation. Being stuck there, trying to sell the house, and getting ready for the move without my help was rough.

            While the visits were great, most of the time I would either spend training for my job or at my apartment. For a while I lived in a cabin in the woods. That was nice, but lonely. In my spare time I would look for a house, suitable churches, and in general try to find my way around the area. Finally, I found the house we would buy. It was in a small rural town about ten miles from Coshocton called Warsaw. Crystal and the girls approved so we negotiated a deal. Once the sale was complete I moved a mattress and a box spring into the back room and started spending nights at our house. It would still be some time before my family could join me.

            One day, not long after I moved in, I was walking around the outside of the house when a man came quickly up to me. He was about my height (5’9”), slender build, dark hair, and about fifty some years old. He had a big smile on his face. He introduced himself as Doug, my new next door neighbor. I noticed that he seemed a little unsteady and had a slight tremor in his hands. We hit it off immediately. He was a husband and father as well. He quickly dragged me to his back door and got his wife Susan. They were immediately friendly and did everything they could to welcome me to the neighborhood. I knew that we had chosen the right house and the right neighborhood. When we couldn’t get the movers to move us from Greensburg Indiana, they volunteered their family and church group to help unload the truck that we drove ourselves.  The next day we cooked hotdogs outside in their back yard and picked raspberries from their bushes for dessert.  It made us really feel that this move was guided by God.

            Over the next thirteen years we have found Doug and Susan to be the best of friends. Doug and I shared a love of photography. We talked about it, critiqued each other’s pictures, and went out on outdoor photo excursions. Susan, Doug, Crystal and I have shared meals, gone to church events, spent times in fellowship, and helped each other out whenever we could.

            It wasn’t long after we moved in that I discovered that Doug had Parkinson’s disease. I watched from afar as his condition deteriorated. As long as he was able, we would periodically have Susan and Doug over for a meal and some fellowship. But what really impressed me was how Susan stuck with him. What a marriage they had. Susan insisted that she was the lucky one. Early in their marriage it was she who suffered with depression and thoughts of suicide. It was then Douglas who would not leave her side for the better part of eighteen years. Are you depressed yet? Well don’t be. In the end, you could have asked either one on their worst day, and they would tell you that they were certain that God had put them together. When Doug finally passed a year ago last month, Susan, while understandably saddened, bragged to me about their amazing 36 years of marriage. She knows, without a doubt, that Douglas is in a better place, and is truly grateful for their lives together.

            Susan and Doug’s love, faith and marriage have always truly inspired Crystal and me. Doug was survived by Susan, 5 children, 2 daughters-in-law, and nine grand children. I consider it an honor to have known him. I know that Heaven is a little better place now.  By the way, Doug, if you are reading this, take some pictures. I’ll be along before you know it to enjoy them.




Doug Susan and grandchildren

Category: Make Marriage Last

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