Handfuls of Purpose...
This has been a most interesting adventure this past 30 years.
It was September 1986.
Christine had moved out, it was HER house, she was finally fed up with my nothingness! Not long after, the Sheriff's department delivered the divorce decree papers. Whoa! Sent my brain Into hard-core reality!
My life is a meaningless existence...I am a loser, failed at my attempt at being a part of society, I was a waste, having nothing not even a car.
And now!... I'll not even have a place to live.
I couldn't think of a thing to do. But then...what I always reverted back to when I ran into obstacles, RUN!
I devised a plan.
And I would have gone thru with it too, The Lord knew it too.
Tho I knew not the Lord yet.
This was such a dark and dismal time. I didn't know what to do. The idea of getting her to change her mind, did not exist. To get a place to live was out of the question. So I reverted back to the plan that I relied on when on the road.....run!
I figured if I had the proper equipment, and got to Montana before it got too cold, that I could survive living in the woods and never be found again.
So for the next two weeks, I sold everything I could (none of her stuff) to some guys from where I worked... Tools and stuff like that, and had planned a date to leave for the Friday I got my paycheck. I had already had a sleeping bag, fishing stuff, and small crossbow, tho I couldn't hit anything with it, but figured, when it got serious enough I would learn how to use it. So I went and got the few other things I thought to get, hatchet, knifes, pup tent, lots of matches .....
So Thursday after work came, in the morning I'd go to work and not come back, I would cash my check and hitchhike west out of here, and when she came to the house after work to get my paycheck, I would be gone....
I was slowly realizing the worst stomach ache imaginable had come upon me. A guy from work came by and wanted to check out some stuff to buy from me, so I, hunched over from this belly ache situation went out to the garage in the back yard... An agonizingly long walk. He wanted to haggle but I said, " whatever you want to pay is alright" I took my money and stumbled back to the house hunched over. I had no idea what my problem was.
I just went back to the couch and laid down writhing in pain but relieved to be off my feet.
The longest tormentingly HOT night in the history of mankind was THAT Thursday night! And I was getting increasingly scared and worried. I laid and wallowed on that couch all night, smoked pot but still no sleep. In the morning had to call in sick, told them I'd come get my check later that day. She came by after she got off work, mad as a hornet... Because I hadn't got my check. She stormed out.
That weekend... Every emotion, pain, doom, dread...
Saturday, desperation came on me. I had no idea where she was or even thought she was an option I had in this trouble even if I knew how to contact her, I figured I should go to a church to see if they would help me. I got myself up on my bicycle and painfully pedaled up to Turton Road to Heavenly Heights Baptist Church. There were a couple guys in the parking lot talking, so I rode to them and explained what I was going thru. Could they help? The one guy, suppose he was in charge, said, " Brother? We don't really know what we can do, we will pray for you. And they went back to talking with each other, figured my part of the conversation was ended... I just pedaled back to my house then back to my death couch in despair.
Hopeless, helpless, meaningless, useless, and now pain and weakness... What a pitiful waste I was.
I didn't get any sleep all weekend long. Sometime I tried to eat something, knew I was getting bad weak, but hoping I would throw up so to get rid of this stomach virus... I ate some pudding I had in the fridge. But no throw up, more sick.
As I lay there all day Monday, oh such dread!
After she got off work she came back over to see if I had my paycheck yet, and there I lay on the same spot that she saw me last. She asked me a few questions about how I feel, I told her not good! and then I had to get up for some reason and she saw how I was walking all hunched over, she said that's how she did before she had her appendix taken out so she said she would take me up to the emergency clinic on Dunn Avenue. So I pulled myself into that little Ford escort car she had, and she took me on the bumpiest ride that I could ever have. She stopped in front of the place like on a dime. And I got out. She took off I thought. (Thanks for the ride...) so I got in there and they put me in a room in the back and asked a few questions and felt around, said you're going to have to go to the hospital we can do anything for that here I still didn't really know what they were talking about. But said I don't know how to get there and I don't know how to get a hold of her who drop me off. They went out of the room for a few minutes then came back in and said she's on her way back. So I guess she left her information there after she drop me off at the front door she was staying only a couple blocks from there, at Ann Larners house.
Well if I thought the ride from the house to the emergency clinic on Dunn was a rough one, I hadn't seen nothing yet... It was like breakneck speed no slowdown over railroad tracks or anything she got me to St. Vincent emergency room lickety-split!
So she screeches to a halt, in front of the emergency room doors, I squeeze out and stumbled in hunched over to one of the desks and they take me right, now! no questions asked. It doesn't take long at all for them to have me up on a cart fixing to roll me away for emergency surgery, I don't remember anyone telling me why. The only thing I can remember, just before they shoved a tube down my throat, they asked if I had eaten anything, I said yes. Then they ask, what? I said chocolate putting. Then I heard someone say "oh no!"
That's the last thing I remember for a couple of days.
The doctor came in the next day or the day after or whenever it was. I asked him what happened? He said " Acute appendicitis"He had to cut my whole belly open, not just one of those little incisions, They had a tube stuck in me pumping green stuff out of me for almost 2 weeks.
So when it was time to get out of the hospital, she came and got me and drop me off back at the house. It was even hotter and more miserable in that house by then. No air-conditioner and all... So the windows are open and I have a fan blowing on me I'm just laying on the bed I guess I was watching TV I don't remember that part, The same day I got out I started hearing the ice cream truck coming down the road.
Man I could sure use some Popsicles right now... So I went to the backyard and got that bicycle again and Chase that truck down, got my popsicles and went home. I felt like dying once I finally got inside. Wouldn't you know it? She shows up about that time. She walked in the room looked at me and said "You're white as a ghost, what did you do? I told her and she was furious! she scolded me and then left. I deserve that...
She came back a few days later and had a proposition for me. She said she had arranged that I move in a halfway house for a couple of months, let me decide what I want to do and if I wanted to make another try have it then I can move back in the show called the divorce off. I really have no other options anyway so I said yes let's do that.
I wasn't really hooked on any kind of ds or drinking or anything so I don't know what she told them. But it any rate the time that I spent there I decided to read the Bible that she'd been talking about since we got together. So I started in Genesis and read all the way through Revelation, I don't know if I ever even told her I did that, but for sure, God!...
I moved back home after 45 days At tat place on First and Hubbard and she was already moved back in. And we stayed together and did that for a couple of months.We went to those three different churches all at the same time, she was searching for God, but I still hated going to church and that stuff.
Then things were happening in her body, and she knew it, though I really never had a clue. Now after almost 30 years, I realize she was trying to tell me but I just didnt comprehend the seriousness of it.
It was determined that she was out of remission again. Another round of chemotherapy and a few radiation treatments.
But things did not improve.... I took her to see fireworks on the forth of July... But rain so they canceled them. But earlier that day we had our picture taken with the some of the fore fathers, and she was beaming.
That was the end of another chapter of my life, but the beginning of the next.
What, other than God, could've put up a barricade so definite as THAT?
He directed me to Christine way back in 1979. It was her that laid little crumbs out for me to pick up on all along the way. She moved here to Jacksonville to take care of her dying mother in 1983, I soon followed after. We were married July 28 1984... I buried her July 28 1987. From there I followed the crumbs he allowed me to find right to the front door of The Jacksonville Assembly of the Body of Jesus Christ...
The place that introduced me, to the entrance to know His Way... Where I can have purpose, meaning, life, joy and peace even more abundantly...I do know now, it IS attainable!