“We raised our family on the farm. I put up posts and strung wire up overhead all over the property so that I could find my way around. We had cows, horses, pigs, chickens, and white turkeys, but mostly sheep. Some years there would be as many as 30 lambs playing out in the pasture. Helen liked to garden, and after things got tall enough for me to tell the difference between the plants and the weeds, I’d help with the weeding. We had apple trees and made cider every year with our old cider press. Our children and grandchildren enjoyed playing in the two-story treehouse, swinging on the sack swing, swimming in the creek, and going down the zip line. Some of those structures Helen and I built, others we built as a family. In the workshop, I made furniture for the house and toys for the children. Groups were always coming out to enjoy the farm: handicapped children, underprivileged children, people from church and from the community, and the elderly (many in wheelchairs). We had Easter egg hunts every spring. It was a wonderful place, and we made many sweet memories.
“Helen passed away in 2014. I stayed on at the farm for another year and a half, then sold it and moved to Memphis to live with my son’s family. I knew I would have to come sometime. It was emotional, but I’m only one of millions of older people who have to do the same thing. I’ve never lived in town before, but I’m getting used to it. I load and unload the dishwasher, take out the trash, and do whatever I can to help around the house. The more I can do, the happier I am.
“If I could have surgery today and regain my sight, I wouldn’t do it. There are so many blessings that have come my way because of my blindness. The Lord’s hand, seen and unseen, has been with me all through my life. I wouldn’t change a thing - except maybe part my hair on the other side [*laughs].”