I usually don’t discuss personal situations between Joe and I but to tell you how important this election was to Joe and I , you won’t believe the events prior to April 23rd. But for a 71 and 72 year old respectively, there was not an instance where we were not going to vote.. I never even saw this type of determination from us when Joe ran for council.
The week before Easter, I could tell Joe was coming down with something and thought it was just a Cold…not that a cold doesn’t take a person down when you are our age. I too was catching something but didn’t think too much about it. Then I could tell by Saturday when Jim Smith stopped by that Joe seemed to be walking around in confusion. After Jim left, I asked Joe whether he wished to go to emergency because his palsy had worsened to a great deal, he was so weak he could hardly stand or walk any distance and he said “No, I need to vote in the Election for Tom and Anita”
Well neither of us will drink White Springs Water and Joe’s favorite drink and his only drink is Lipton Peach Tea. Well, he somehow got himself up around 5:00 AM Easter Sunday to go to the restroom, but had difficulty getting back to bed and definitely could not even make it in the bed, but he fell to the floor. I wanted to call an ambulance, but Joe was determined he could do it on his own. I got dressed and brought a wheelchair into the bedroom. By this time, we had gotten Joe across the bed. I felt this will be easy, and all I have to do is shove the wheelchair under him and we could make it to the car and drive to the VA emergency room. That didn’t happen, his legs were like rubber and he got stuck in the wheelchair twice, but an hour later, we were finally off to the VA.
Fortunately two guys at the VA helped him into a wheelchair. Seeing his condition, the doctor immediately started him on a bag of IV’s because he had a UT from hell. All he kept saying is that he had to go home because of the upcoming election. Joe told everyone he needed to be released and the last time I saw him that bad off, he was in the hospital for three days. But he persisted that he had to be home so he could vote on Tuesday. Four hours, after he received treatment, the Doctor decided he could go home with ten days of antibiotics for the UT but that he should come back if he became any worse. Joe was determined hell and high water would not stop him from voting. At this point he could at least walk and get into a wheelchair, his mind still cloudy, but desiring that he needed to take me out to a restaurant for Easter Sunday.
Well this was another perplexing problem because I in my hurry to have Joe attended for his medical symptoms, forgot to bring or have him wear, shoes. We ended up with yellow socks which were a sight with grey and Black plad Pajama bottoms, a green sweatshirt and his yellow hospital socks, a band around his wrist and band aids where he previously was given medication intravenously. We tried to think of a place which would accept two old people who were not dressed appropriately and looked a bit conspicuous with a man with no shoes. We settled at Bob Evans where older people don’t care how some of us are dressed.
The food was great and we even brought an apple pie with us. I elected to take the freeway back to White Springs and just at the exit I heard a pop and a hose exploded. In my anxiety to get Joe home and safe I did not notice that the old van was overheating. So I elected to allow the car to roll down the exit, but unfortunately braked when I was in the middle of the road because of an oncoming car. Two vehicles coming the opposite direction from White Springs, then parked on the side of the road after seeing how Joe was dressed (like he just came out of a hospital with bands and yellow socks) and pushed the vehicle to the Gate parking lot. We thanked the gentlemen and they were on their way. Then another gentleman approached and said that he had to push the vehicle in further because he feared a semi-tractor trailer unit would smash into us, so we were pushed to the end of the lot.
We had all kinds of people giving advice and hovering over us, but I realized we not only forgot shoes for Joe but our cell phone, so I went into the Gate, where two lovely women allowed me to use a phone, more than once. What most people don’t realize about me is that when I am surrounded by a number of problems I become anxious and the anxiety that overcame me couldn’t even dial the correct roadside service. Thank God Joe puts up with me when I am in this state. I kept getting AARP when I needed BP’s roadside service, which I have had for probably over 40 years. By this time the Girls at Gate really felt badly for me and one even took my card and dialed the number while I read of the information to BP’s roadside assistance. By this time, I couldn’t remember what the make and model of the van was. Yes, I lost it because I was so worried about Joe’s condition. BP had the Mercedes information since they had just towed it to Gainesville to the Mercedes dealer, but for the life of me, it took a couple of minutes which seemed like hours for me to finally figure out it was a voyager.
Duncan from Live Oak was called and we in the meantime spent over an hour at the McDonalds. I felt so sorry for Joe, but there wasn’t much we could do. Then Duncan arrived and set the car up for towing. Then since we also needed to get into the Tow truck, there was concern about Joe getting in because of his physical challenge, steps are not good for him, but he did well with a push and was finally in the truck.
The vehicle finally was finally towed and brought back to our home, but then Monday came and Joe was extremely determined to move our “Vote for Tom Moore and Write-in Anita Rivers sign” which was at Mr. Tennis’s property. I had jerry rigged the sign with bamboo and rebar and it was time to cut it apart so we could hang it across from the Library. Okay, when I’m stressed, I ‘m not too bright myself, so here you have two older people with rope trying to figure out what to do. My suggestion was futile and Joe had a better suggestion, but I wasn’t sure…of course that’s the way I am sometimes. So enters Karen Shaw and her son Augie, a tall, good looking young lad with great manners, who moved things in our car and got everything in place. Karen and Augie followed us to the Camp site.
It turned out Karen Shaw had the same great idea that Joe had and finally we had a plan. Augie is tall so he was able to tie the ropes high into the tree. But my sweetie Joe wished to help and the next time we saw him, he fell flat on his face in the grass. I wanted to help him but Karen was right to suggest that he see if he could get up by himself, and with a little help, he was able to stand…and then with determination about the sign placement was back in the wooded area from which he fell. Yes he suffered a cracked rib but decided to suffer through because the election is so important. Just after his fall a truck stopped and a young gentleman asked if we needed a phone or help. We finally made it home so grateful for Augie and Karen’s help. It was like God brought them to us when we needed their help.
And speaking of help, we are so grateful for Tom Brazil and his friends help for moving our one sign around as well as their Firefighter signs. With my blown up van which would have been the only vehicle that would have carried our sign, we did not have to worry because Tom took care of us. I know Tom Brazil has great parents, but if we would have ever had a son, we would have wanted him to be just like Tom Brazil. He is one of the kindest, sweetest young men in White Springs with one of the most beautiful families ever; not to miss mentioning the wonderful friendships of many people who equally spend time with the Brazils.
Needless to say there were many of us, including the Brazils, who offered to assist Tom Moore in some way but Tom and Maddie decided they did not wish to owe anyone anything but would do everything on their own. That is a great man who will not accept anything from others so that he would not owe anyone favors. We know that Tom will never be bribed nor will he bribe others and today we can only hope that all our efforts pay off.
Laura Hutto will be at the polling place prior to the votes being counted to assure there is no Mickey mouse things happening, like usual. This will be the greatest Day when Tom Moore and Anita Rivers are voted on the Council. No more Corruption, No more dissention, no more corruption, just honest hard working councilors wishing to serve You and me. And even if Joe needs to be hospitalized, he was able to vote.
Karin for the blog