Grace & Favor – A Life Worth Living

Saturday, February 26, 2011

A Little Push

My best friend Sharon and her hubby volunteer at our local Veterans Home several days a week and have shared the stories of many of the veterans who call this place home. From time to time I stop by to join them for awhile and bring sweet homemade treats for the guys, yesterday was one of those days. Over the years I have come to know many of the veterans, unfortunately many of them have passed.


As I was leaving the complex yesterday I saw Bill......Bill was trying to work his way up a small incline in one of the halls coming up from the chapel into the main hall to the entrance of the building in his non-motorized wheelchair.  A long way for a man who has had a major stroke, has limited mobility and very little ability to communicate with words.  I asked if he would like me to push him to his destination and he indicated by blowing me a kiss that he would love some help.  As I was pushing Bill along the gleaming halls I was thinking about Bill's life and what it had been and what it is now. Like all the veterans in this home and all the others scattered around the country there is a story of a life lived, sacrifices made, tragedies endured, triumphs and disappointments.


A home such as this is a great equalizer, your background, military rank, previous social standing and financial past are of no consequence here and Bill is a perfect example.  He is a well educated man growing up in an upper middle-class home in the Detroit area.  He graduated from Dartmouth and received his law degree from Yale. He enlisted in the Air Force and served in WWII and after returning from the war Bill began a career that gave him wealth, recognition and eventually set him on a path of public service through politics.


So what makes Bill’s story different than all the veterans we passed as I was pushing him through the halls?  Have you ever heard of William Merrill?  I thought not, until I met Bill at the veteran’s home his name was not one that I recalled either.  Are you are old enough to remember Watergate and President Nixon's resignation, I remember it vividly but still who is William Merrill?  If you Google this man Bill Merrill you will find that along with many other notable achievements in his life William Merrill was the Michigan Director of the election campaign to elect Robert Kennedy as President, this however pales compared to being a Special Prosecutor during the Watergate Trials.  If you asked G. Gordon Liddy, E Howard Hunt, John Ehrlichman and the list goes on who William Merrill is they would not hesitate in responding.


So what is my point, I don't think I have one?  Was my pushing Bill to his destination anymore important than pushing any of the other hundreds of veterans struggling to get up a small incline?  Because of his past was he more deserving of a helping hand? Of course not, no matter what our story is big or small we all need a little push from time to time, maybe that's my point.....and Bill's story is just a little education in our countries rich history.

9 comments:

southerninspiration said...

Char, I know those men look forward to your visits as a bright spot of their week/day. What an interesting story!!!! Tell Bill hi for me! ;)

Your devotion to volunteer is inspiring......and glad you gave him a little push this week!

Suzanne

Miss Merry said...

Volunteering is a thankless job. And it is a job, even when it is a labor of love. Kudos to you and your husband for donating your time and energy to this venture. And God Bless the veterans. It goes to show that, in the end, God sees us all as equals, doesn't it.

Miss Merry said...

Volunteering is a thankless job. And it is a job, even when it is a labor of love. Kudos to you and your husband for donating your time and energy to this venture. And God Bless the veterans. It goes to show that, in the end, God sees us all as equals, doesn't it.

Cathy said...

What a blessing you are to the veterans. ((Char♥))

SavannahGranny said...

Sweet Char, Thanks for visiting today. I am ashamed to say, I can't read the new text. Too small for me and i just had my eyes checked. LOL.
I noticed from the comments others don't seem to have a problem so I guess it is just me.
Oh, did you ever get to Home Goods? I wouldn't go til spring thaw. You guys have had some nasty weather.
love the white dinnerware. Just beautiful. Hugs, Ginger

ShannonPinNOLA said...

You hit the nail on the head...great equalizer. I'm sure Bill, and the countless others, truly appreciate your visits.

Designs on 47th Street said...

Char, I loved reading this post. First of all it is so admirable that you are such a faithful volunteer. I do know all these veterans look forward to your visits AND your cookies! It really makes me feel like this is something I should do more of. I volunteer but in a different capacity. I can see this area being such a good one.

I really enjoyed reading your story about Bill. Thanks for sharing this with us.

Donna

Jen T said...

WOW! I'm forwarding this post on..I pray for our veterans. I'm your newest follower too!

MessyMissy said...

What a wonderful history to share. What an interesting job!!!