My Uncle Bill passed away in the mid nineties. I am proud to say that he was a veteran of WW2 and actually fought in the Battle of the Bulge.
Over the years that I was around him, and got to know my Uncle he was so congenial and cracking jokes and just a pleasant person to be around. He was an M.D. and had just finished his internship as a General Surgeon in the 60s.
Around this time after being on a long fishing trip where he was cold and soaked, he came down with what he thought was the flu. Well, it progressed and he began to have tingling sensations throughout his body. Well, long story short he had contracted Polio , and it left him a quadrapledgic for the rest of his Life.
I look back on it now and realize what the horror he went through and how it must have affected my Grandfather and Grandmother. And also my Dad and his younger brother.
My Uncle Bill still was able to practice with at the Veterans hospital as an M.D. And it must have taken him great courage and strength to get up each and everyday and get into his electric wheelchair and into that mobility van he had.
The fact that he could not be the Surgeon he was going to be must have been a bitter pill to swallow. A very bitter pill.
But through all this I not once ever saw him in a nasty mood or talk in a harsh tone or feel sorry for himself. Not in front of me at least.
That really says a lot about an individual to me. Someone who has experienced both an enormous physical and mental distress but can somehow muster up the fortitude to make you feel good in his presence.
As I have gotten older I really look back and appreciate my Uncle Bill more than ever and really look up to him as almost like a hero.
I wish we had more people in this World who conducted themselves like my Uncle Bill and treated each other in the manner he did.