Love requires sacrifice and unselfishness

Joan Clayton

“Glad to see ya!” Uncle Steve said as I hugged and kissed him. With our help he had lived 10 good years in his home alone, enjoying life despite his handicaps. Aunt Opal had died previously and they had no children.
“Take this and buy you something pretty.” Uncle Steve has always had a heart as big as all outdoors. Emmitt drove him to town to take care of his business and he liked for me to go along.
Back home I kissed him on the cheek. “See ya tomorrow!” Uncle Steve leaned over for a kiss, saying “Thank you!”
We took Uncle Steve to a restaurant for his 91st birthday party. The hugs and “Happy Birthday” song from the waitresses made his day. Soon after that Uncle Steve’s knees just gave way, even on the walker. He began to fall. One early morning he fell and it took him an hour and a half to crawl into his kitchen to get to the phone to call us. We could no longer leave him alone. I had dreaded this time of his life. He had reached the point of needing around-the-clock care. I knew how he felt about rest homes and I didn’t dare approach the subject.
Neither Emmitt nor I slept much. Being torn asunder on what to do tormented us.
We were totally exhausted. “Lord, we need your wisdom and guidance,” I prayed.
Immediately a name came to mind. This lady had helped me before when I needed help with Uncle Steve’s wife, Aunt Opal, who had Alzheimer’s.
The next day Uncle Steve surprised us by saying, “If I could find a rest home with a private room I would go there.” Thank you Lord, I whispered.
I called the lady. “I have opened a facility in the country. It is very peaceful and I just happen to have a private room with a handicapped bathroom for a male patient. Nurses are on duty 24 hours a day.”
Uncle Steve has been there for six months. His health has improved and he is happy. He loves his private room, the food and the nurses’ care.
I’m so thankful. His eyes light up when he sees me and when I kiss him he still says, “Glad to see ya! Thank you!” But I’m the one to say, “Thank you.” I say “thank you” to God for the years we were able to help extend his life with our love. I say “Thank you” for answered prayer on Uncle Steve’s behalf and providing for his needs.
God gave us an opportunity to help a lonely, hurting soul. We learned many lessons from the experience. It hurts to love and it takes sacrifice and unselfishness.
Who knows that better than Jesus? Oh, but the rewards. Each one of us can make a difference in a life and that brings blessings to everyone!
One day Uncle Steve will walk out of that crippled body on two strong knees. He will not need his walker, wheelchair or crutches.
I just know when I meet Uncle Steve in heaven I’ll hear him say:
“Glad to see ya!”
I can see him already, leaning over for a kiss.