How Bill Got My Attention

Daily Inklings, a site providing prompts for bloggers, inspired this. In the post, bloggers are encouraged to write about how someone drew them into a conversation. In my case, the conversation wasn’t face to face.

On a Saturday evening in January of 2005, I was perusing the mail after a long day on the job at the nursing home where I worked. Among bills and junk, I found a braille letter from Bill Taylor, with whom I’d been corresponding for the past couple of years.

We’d communicated by email daily and phone occasionally, and he’d sent me cassettes of songs he’d downloaded from the Internet. He’d supported my writing endeavors by providing feedback on poems and stories I’d emailed him. Now, his words on the page jumped out at me. “Dear Abbie, I’m writing to ask for your hand in marriage.”

Stunned, I wondered how in the world I could marry this man. I’d only met him twice when my father and I drove from our home in Sheridan, Wyoming, to his home in Fowler, Colorado, on our way to visit relatives in New Mexico. I was under the impression he just wanted to be friends.

Because I worked in a nursing home, and his mother lived in one, we’d hit it off when we’d met a couple of years earlier through Newsreel, an audio magazine for people with blindness or low vision. We’d also discovered that we liked some of the same kinds of music and loved to read and that our favorite beverage was Dr. Pepper.

Did that mean I could just marry him? I was already in my mid-forties, and he was in his mid-sixties. We were both set in our ways. Could we make this work?

Long story short, six months later, I married him. He wanted to leave his home in Colorado, so we settled here in Wyoming.

Three months after our wedding, he suffered a stroke that paralyzed his left side. A year later, he suffered a second stroke, not as severe, but enough to hold him back so he never could walk. I cared for him at home until he passed in October of 2012. You can read our full story in My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds.

How about you? Can you think of a time when someone got your attention? Please tell me about it, either in the comment field or on your own blog with a pingback here. I look forward to hearing from you.

 

My Books

 

My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems

How to Build a better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

We Shall Overcome

My Other Links

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Author: abbiejohnsontaylor

I'm the author of two novels,, two poetry collections, and a memoir. My work has appeared in various journals and anthologies. I'm visually impaired and live in Sheridan, Wyoming, where for six years, I cared for my totally blind late husband who was paralyzed by two strokes. Please visit my website at http://www.abbiejohnsontaylor.com.

3 thoughts on “How Bill Got My Attention”

  1. My Significant Other, Richard . . .

    He was not much to look at with his torn jeans, old t-shirts with holes in them and shoes so run-down and looking like they hurt his feet.. He was our maintenance man for the senior mobile home park where I lived. He came and painted my mobile home on the outside and he reworked my porch, creating a wonderful large porch using lots of good recycled parts, something I always admired. I paid him as much as I could and always made sure he had a good lunch.

    It was nearing Christmas time, and I had gone to Lowe’s Hardware to get some little plants for a gift for my neighbor. When I got to the store, I noted that there were two very sad and lonely Christmas trees lying in the parking lot. Why could they be there? Puzzled, I asked the man at the cash register. “All the other trees sold,” he noted. I asked him what would happen to these. “Trash man will pick them up in a couple of days.”

    “How much are they?” I asked. “You can just have them,” he noted. So I immediately headed back there, opened up the back of my 21-year-old Honda Civic Hatchback, and managed to get the first one inside. But the second one was so heavy I could not lift it. I went back to the counter and asked if he could help me, and he came right out and helped me to get the second one in the car. I drove home happily, for I had saved the lives of two trees that had given their lives to be Christmas trees, and now they would be for sure.

    Once home, I managed to get that first tree out and drug it across the carport to my little side yard, where I placed it in a bucket of water near the house. But the second tree was just way too heavy for me. So I immediately headed over to Richard’s mobile home, where he had lived with a senior girlfriend for a number of years until she had passed away of multiple disabilities. He opened the door and gave a big smile. I asked him if he could come and help me get a big tree out of the car, but didn’t exactly tell him it was a Christmas tree. He came right along, and without any smart alec comments, he got it out and dragged it over to the other bucket I had waiting for it, and helped me get it in the bucket and into the water. I gave him a few dollars and took him out to lunch. It was that day I think I began to fall in love with him. Any man who would help me with such a chore without making fun of me or the situation had to have a good heart, and it turned out he did.

    I will have to publish the rest of our romance plus the Christmas tree story on my blog, but for me, it could not have been more sweet or romantic. To this day we are still together, and I, like you, have taken care of him thru a major surgery that was pretty critical, and he has taken care of me too through cancer. Yes, I guess he is pretty special!

    Like

    1. Richard does indeed sound like a special guy. I look forward to reading the rest of your story on your blog. Please be sure to leave a pingback here when you post it so my other followers can also enjoy it. Thank you.

      Like

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