Vern is my “go to” guy when I need scrap metal picked up.
Vern is one of the people in my life I may only talk to once or twice a year but I always enjoy bantering with him.
He’s been a farmer his whole life. His hands are gnarled stumps. Don’t know how else to describe them.
He told me before he was married,he and his older brother would head to the big city on the weekend to look for some excitement.
Excitement = booze and girls.
One particular weekend, the two of them got into a fight with several of the local boys who didn’t appreciate them dancing with the local girls.
Eight on two.
Things were not looking too good, until some guy named Jimmy, home on leave. (whom they didn’t know ) jumped in to help. Suddenly it was eight on three, and the tide turned. Vern still tells that story with a gleam in his eye.
But arthritis, age and cancer have taken a toll on his body. His boys run the farm now and while he keeps busy, he is no longer needed in the same ways.
Five weeks ago, Vern was in a bad truck accident.
You know it’s serious when they call in the helicopter to get you to the hospital.
I’ve been keeping tabs on Vern via my brother who is friends of the family.
Three weeks ago, Vern took a turn for the worst.
He quit eating. He was sleeping all the time, had no feeling in his feet, had a broken pelvis, and a cracked vertebrae in his neck.
Then last weekend, I heard he was starting to improve so I texted his son to see if he was able to have visitors.
“He’d like that!”
So this past Monday after lunch wife and I headed to the big city to track Vern down.
6th floor, Room 603.
We found his room without too much problem, except that there was nobody in it.
A young nurse was coming down the hall and noticed me sticking my head in his room.
“I just met him heading down to the exercise room, would you like me to take you there?”
Nurse and I compared notes on Vern as we walked.
She got a kick out of him. Quite the Vern.
Sounded like he was starting to get his feisty attitude back 🙂
Came the exercise room and there he was, sitting in a wheel chair in a tee-shirt and shorts. A physical therapist was just about ready to do some exercises with him and another patient named Ralph.
We asked if it would be OK just to hang out for a few minutes.
Not a problem.
About five minutes into the routine the therapist got out a squishy rubber ball. Next thing you know, the five of us were playing catch 🙂
It was the perfect way to spend 15 minutes with Vern, just to let him know I was thinking about him.
Vern thanked me a couple of times for stopping.
Told me to stop by his room before I left and help myself to the home-made cookies. (I did)
I left a copy of a Countryside and Small Farm Journal with him from 2010. Told him there was a short article in it that I had written. Therapist was impressed she was taking with a published author.
Yea right. 🙂
I tried to tell her, this particular magazine will print just about anyone who submits an article if it ties into the theme they are working on.
Tell me about one of the favorite people in your life, you may only see once in a while. What makes them special? DM