Hello, I am privileged and honored to coordinate a local Stroke Survivors’ Support Group. We meet monthly at the library and the participants offer support, encouragement, friendship and education to one another, as well as always willing to share their sense of humor. They are encouraged to pursue creative outlets or to help others. The following is a true story written in December 2008 by Georgia French, who requested that I submit this to our local newspaper and share her story with others in our community. The words are hers with a few minor edits. — Lia Barte, Gallipolis
A Christmas story of love and hope
One evening about 9:30 p.m., I took my puppy out for her last potty time before going to bed. Her name is Maggie. She is a mixed breed (mother was a pug and her dad a “traveling salesman”) and she only weighs about 10 pounds. She jerked the leash out of my hand and away she went, up the back hill and into the woods. I kept calling her, but she didn’t come to me. I just knew she got hung up on that leash. I got my husband, John, and he took the 4-wheeler to go look for her. He didn’t find her and said he would go again in the morning.
We went to bed and as I’m lying there, I hear Maggie whining, crying and howling. I was so afraid a coyote would get her, I decided to get up and go get her! I slipped on my jeans, tennis shoes and a light-weight coat. I grabbed my walking stick and with flashlight in hand, up the hill I go. Not a good plan, as you will soon see.
I get to the edge of the woods and decide to crawl on my hands and knees because I know I can’t walk in the woods, in the dark. I keep calling for her and follow the sound of her barks. I finally get to her about a half acre back into the woods. I can’t get her untangled, so I unhook her leash.
Now, she is running loose, jumped up two deer and then a raccoon came over to see what was happening! Now, I’m afraid she’s going to get hurt chasing these animals around the woods. As I’m chasing her around, I get disoriented and can’t find my way out of the woods. Of course, the flashlight batteries go dead and it’s dark. I can’t see anything! I decide to sit against a tree, hold Maggie in my lap and wait until daybreak.
It’s probably about 2:30 or 3:30 in the morning by now. It starts to get light, and I can hear John start up the 4-wheeler. He heads to the woods to look for me. I hear him calling out my name, I answer him, and he finds us. I’m so cold, I can’t walk. We get on the 4-wheeler and John takes us home, to the warm house. He fixes me a hot cup of coffee and puts Maggie in her kennel, in the kitchen, by the register. John told me that I was very lucky that we didn’t freeze to death, it had gotten down to 22 degrees that night!
Now, I know the Lord was watching over me and my pup, keeping us safe. I have survived a stoke and breast cancer; Maggie has survived being hit by a car. The Lord must want me here, He’s not ready for me yet. I could have frozen to death! The Lord won’t give me any more than I can handle. I just wish he didn’t trust me so much!