God's Richest Blessing
In a short time my body weight changed dramatically from 175 lbs. to 150 lbs. I looked O.K., but felt puny because the loss had been fast. At the end of my furlough, I reported to Ft. MacArthur and saw a doctor. He put me in a ward with new inductees. Each morning he asked how I was and after a week I was taken in an ambulance to Pasadena. The Army took over a resort hotel and renamed it McCormick Army Hospital. I looked for any treatment to last a week at most. The Army saw it differently and kept me for nine months.
(In those days there were no definitions available to me. At least none that I understood. The result would be for me to stop in the middle of a transaction, or conversation, and take time to rethink an appropriate response. There were other emotional problems also, however, I was able to avoid detection by others so my life would be tolerable. At the later date this would be identified as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. My first line of defense was to make jokes.)
All my friends were getting discharges and returning to civilian jobs. I was allowed a lot of liberty and could visit home, even stay overnight, but no way a discharge. At a weight of 140, I leveled out and tried to make the best of it. Having met Nora, we were able to date and I even could meet her after school and walk her home on occasion. Going to different entertainment and dining out were not important compared to meeting and seeing, touching, and being with Nora. At the beach one day we sat on the sand. I got up and, put on her skirt as a joke. Surprise, it fit! My waist was 28 inches! Fortunately, I was on the way to recovery.
Meeting Nora happened as Mom and Dad encouraged me to attend church. Nora's Dad was pastor, and there was a Sunday meeting. I first met David, Nora's brother. He was very personable and had been attending Bible college during the war. Conversation was going very well as he asked if I wanted to meet his sister. My answer was, "I would like to meet anyone's sister".
From the background Nora appeared and we shook hands. Again, I engaged David in small talk not realizing the most wonderful person I'll ever meet, came into my life. A blessing above all others has lasted over 50 years so far. What a helpmate she has been!
At 20 and restricted to an Army hospital, I had no thought of marriage, but I did think about engagement to eliminate any competition. Once Nora took her place in my life, although I tried other dates, she stood firm in the center of my heart. We became engaged in March and I received a discharge (convenience of the government) in May, a year after V.E. Day.
Nora and I would plan our wedding, then a family. God's blessings followed us as we were married October 4, 1946.
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