A moment of reflection2

Discussion in 'General OFF TOPIC' started by R_W_B, May 1, 2011.

  1. R_W_B

    R_W_B Senior Member

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    Well I read every post on the Moment of Reflection thread. It was an excellent thread and enjoyed reading it but there were so many and diverse replies, there was nothing I could add. But it did remind me of a somewhat similar (but different) occurance at my local dealer about 5 months ago. And not wanting to hi-jack robermv32's thread, I decided to post this same title the 2nd. So here it is.

    I had gone down to the Harley shop about noon on Sunday for parts (they are only open from about noon to 4 pm on Sundays). When I got there were two guys ahead of me at the parts counter and only one guy working the counter. So I figured a wait since I have been there before and it doesn't always move real fast. Well one of the ones waiting was this old guy sitting on a stool. He was weathered and his skin looked like leather. He had a bandana on his head and was dressed like a biker. He kinda kept looking at me and I noticed he had a bit of a smile on his face. He made a couple of small talk initiations and I began to see that he wanted to talk. So I figured what the heck I got to wait here anyhow might as well talk to the old feller. Well he just kinda talked about anything and then slowly it got around to some health problems he had.

    Come to find out he was a Korean War Veteran and he was 81 yrs old. I was amazed, I hope I look that good if I live that long. He is still able to ride his Harley now, but the past few yrs he had a rough time of it. He had cancer and the only family he had was his daughter and when the Vet hospital started him on Chemo he got so weak he had to check into the hospital permanently. He was supposed to have 6 Chemo treatments but the 5th one almost killed him and they had to stop the chemo. He said he laid there in that hospital bed so weak he could not even roll over in bed.

    He said well God I am either going to die here or I am going to get out of here one or the other. So he asked the nurse what it would take for him to be let out of the hospital. She told him he would have to be able to dress himself, go to the bathroom by himself and walk a hundred yards. It took him 4 months but little by little he did it. He first just got to the point where he could roll over in bed. Then after about 4 weeks he got to where he could sit up in bed, then he worked on getting out of bed etc until he finally completed every test and they let him out.

    And now he walks around just like you and me at 81 yrs old. He said the cancer could come back anytime, he has to be tested every so often. But he said at his age what the heck, he can't really complain. He said he has made his peace with his maker and he just likes to talk to people until he passes over for good. I felt in awe of him. It was him that gave me something rather than me taking the time to 'listen' to him.

    He was rough looking but so friendly and I had such a warm feeling talking to him. When the counter guy finally finished with the first guy he said who's next. I said this guy here (pointing at the old guy), but the old guy looked at us both and said 'oh I'm not here to buy anything, I just wanted to talk to someone, I'm just an old man and I need to be going anyhow.' He got up and shook my hand and walked out.

    As I began to tell the counter man what part I needed I had such a feeling like I had just talked to a brother in Christ. A very genuine brother that I had the honor of giving him someone to talk too. I am so glad that our country gave him a hospital bed. From what I read of it the Korean war was the most hideous to me for various reasons. But I will never forget that old Vet and the way I felt as he left.
     
  2. ktpea

    ktpea Member

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    Wow, how cool, so lucky and good for you. Cherish that, as it seems you do. Thanks for sharing with all of us.
     
  3. dbmg

    dbmg Experienced Member

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    Sometimes when talking to someone like that old Vet, you become a better person because of their shared perception of life. Thanks for sharing your story RWB
     
  4. Rubyred

    Rubyred Senior Member

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    Another story of an one american veteran to another. Funny how vets can pick each other out. Yes I too am a better person for helping out at the VA hospital if just to listen.
     
  5. Joyflyin

    Joyflyin Experienced Member Staff Member Moderator

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    It was him that gave me something rather than me taking the time to 'listen' to him.

    That's usually the way it goes. :s I love encounters like that, thanks for sharing.
     
  6. Billbo

    Billbo Junior Member

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    R W B --- I really enjoyed reading your post. Made me think of what is really important in this world - people. You did a very nice and rewarding thing. I am pleased the 'old' man is content with his standing with his 'Maker' , and Im pretty sure that your standing just moved up a knotch too - Thanks so much for sharing this wonderful story and I can only say 'keep it up' to you and me and everyone else.

    bill
     
  7. docster

    docster Member

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    Great story RWB. A few years ago,my wife and I ran into a man named 'Buffalo Don' Thompson. In his late 80s, wearing a blue suit, white shirt, and red cowboy hat. The thing we noticed most was a paratrooper pin on his lapel. Of course we struck up a conversation. He was in the first bunch of Airborne in the Army Air Corps. He fought in the Battle of the Bulge. Several Purple Hearts, via a 50 caliber leg wound (he lost the leg) and even a wound from a sword in hand-to-hand combat. He was a POW for over a year. Became an entrepeneur over the years, and even had a buffalo ranch to sell meat to grocers. Lots of retail businesses, including a t-shirt and gift shop in Sedona. He ONLY stocked US made goods. He loved to see bikers go by, and would stand out front and wave, his store adorned with multiple US Flags and POW flags. He closed the store 4 months ago after a fall aggravated old war wounds. I wouldn't put it past him to be back at it as soon as he can get around. A true hero, and as humble as they come.
     
  8. Breeze3at

    Breeze3at Well-Known Member

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    Nice share, Thanks.
     
  9. ultrat

    ultrat Senior Member Contributor

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    WOW great read ..TX
     
  10. sharpscuba

    sharpscuba Banned

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    Thank you Dave for such a heart warming story. It is men like yourself that make this Country what it is and I look forward to one day meeting you and to salute you for all that you have done to help our fellow brothers and sisters from past and present wars.