Mobile University Videos
Two young men play softball & find romance.
These infections had landed Jim in the hospital more than once, but that time, ten years ago, it was much more serious. The infection had spread to his testicles forcing their removal by the impending operation.
Cathleen, his assigned nurse, watched as he struggled with the mental and emotional aspects of such an operation. She immediately recognized the incredible courage with which he faced the situation.
Here was a man who was born faced with a life-time of struggles, disappointments, hardships, and pain, yet he refused to let anything stop him. Where others would have quit, he just worked harder. To Jim Baker, where there was a will, there was a way, and damn, he sure had the will.
Being confined to a wheel chair and in constant pain from birth never stopped Jim. He worked through the pain and became self-sufficient. He dressed and bathed himself, cooked for himself, and lived an independent life. Jim even found ways to support himself financially and asked to be removed from government assistance at the age of twenty.
Yes, Cathleen did not see him as someone to be pitied but admired and respected...as much as any man she had ever known.
"You're going to be fine," said Cathleen with a smile, bending over Jim as they wheeled him into the recovery room.
Jim was still dazed from the effects of the anesthetic. He looked into the bright eyes of the familiar face and nodded his head.
"I know," he said with a small grin.
Having a violent reaction to morphine made Jim's recovery especially painful. At times, even for Jim, the pain was excruciating and he would yell out in agony. Only one thing seemed to help, the gentle touch of his nurse as she held his hand. All his life Jim saw only pity in the eyes of others, but for the first time, he found someone different, this woman, this nurse, this angel of mercy. When she looked at him there was no pity. There was respect.
For Cathleen it was more, much more. She had watched him suffer the mental anguish of losing, what most men would consider to be their manhood, but not Jim. He knew being a man entailed much more than a pair of testicles.
She watched as he forced himself to deal with an incredible amount of pain and still push forward, working harder, doing more and more for himself each and every day.
Cathleen looked into his eyes and saw a gentle strength, a passion for life, no matter how difficult, and in spite of the hand he was dealt, she saw no bitterness, no hate, only kindness and compassion.
There was no doubt, Cathleen was falling in love.
Jim and Cathleen continued seeing each other after his release and the deep admiration and respect they felt for one another grew into love, a profound, intense love shared by each.
Eight years ago they married. Two years ago Cathleen's military reserve status was upgraded to active which, up till now, only meant a little longer drive to work at the Army hospital for her regular shift. This would be the first time since they were married that they would not spend the night together.
The cab driver watched with a note of sadness as he saw the couple say their last good-byes. He opened the back door for the lady as she climbed in and looked out the back window to the brave man she held in her heart. Nothing he had ever faced could equal the pain he now felt watching that cruel instrument of departure disappear over the horizon and taking with it, his Cathleen.
No longer needing to be strong, Jim buried his face in his hands and sobbed like never before in his entire life.
The wind blew harder and the temperature was dropping. The dead leaves blew with a rustling noise across the empty wooden porch. It only served to remind him that she was not sitting next to him like she normally would be. The porch was as empty and bare as his life would be for the next nine months.
Physically, Cathleen would not be there, but he would keep her in his heart every minute of every day.