Stories by tgerdy (5 matches)

One Last Visit To The Beach, On Her Doorstep

I need to share a powerful and strangely wonderful event in my life that involves death and cancer.  I am certain you are struggling with the fact that  I am using the words wonderful, cancer and death in the same sentence.  I think that after you hear this story you will agree that in this case it is an appropriate combination of words. A dear friend of mine was dying of cancer.  Shortly before she died she shared with me that she was very sad that she would never get to go to the beach again.  She grew up near the ocean and it was a special place for her.  The cancer had made her too weak to travel the 4-5 hours from her home to the ocean.  I shared this with several of her friends and we decided we had to do something about it. On a Saturday afternoon in June, while her family kept her distracted ... Read Full Story >>

6643 Reads

Driveway Turns Into A Beach

A dear friend was only weeks away from death from cancer. She said she was sorry she wouldn't be able to see the ocean again and get her toes in the sand. We live in Central Virginia and she was unable to travel so the trip to the coast wasn't going to happen. Some of us decided the solution was pretty simple. We would surprise her and bring the beach to her. The beach included three tons of beautiful white sand dumped in her driveway, two cabanas, beach balls, pails, shovels, beach chairs, a variety of decorations and a fire pit for the bonfire on the beach at night. Of course we had s'mores on the beach. We also rented a sno-cone machine since it had gotten to the point where flavored ice was about all she was able to eat. We ... Read Full Story >>

6489 Reads

Cheap Funeral and a Good Party

The derecho was unkind to our town of Lynchburg, Va., on the night of June 30, 2012. The 80-mile-an-hour straight-line winds tore trees out of the ground and dropped them on top of houses in almost every neighborhood. Most of the city was without power. However, I was about to discover that damaged homes and lack of electricity were just the beginning of my challenges that week. I am a building contractor, and I was inspecting a neighbor's tree-damaged home the next day when I got the call from my sister in New Jersey. She told me they were taking my 87-year-old mother to the hospital because "she just doesn't look good." Late that afternoon, I got the call we all dread. The doctor said my mother's lungs were about done, and we had better get there. My wife and I quickly packed and got on the road for the 430-mile trip ... Read Full Story >>

6302 Reads

A Special Blessing That Lasted A Lifetime

Most of us have a few experiences each day that make us laugh or grin for a short period of time. If we are lucky, we may cross paths with something that makes us grin for a day or two. If we are truly blessed, somewhere on our path we are able to be part of something that will make us grin for the rest of our lives. I need to share such an event with you, with the hope that you would consider a similar project in your community. I am a building contractor from Lynchburg, Virginia. I have been volunteering with Greater Lynchburg Habitat For Humanity since our affiliate started in the late 1980’s. In the past 20 years, I have tried to give more to Habitat than I have received, but it is something I have not been able to accomplish. I have always said that if you look around, ... Read Full Story >>

5265 Reads

The Real Jersey Shore

Initially, the Jersey Shore characters and their ridiculous behavior amused me. Then it got even worse. I was disappointed by the picture the show painted of the Shore and, in particular, Italian men and women.  But there is another side to the Jersey Shore.    I am a building contractor in Virginia and spend some of my spare time volunteering with Habitat For Humanity up and down the East Coast. I recently spent a weekend not far from Seaside Heights, New Jersey, volunteering on a "blitz build." The weekend was spent helping a good family build the home they were going to buy. We started framing on Saturday morning and 163 volunteers showed up to help! On Sunday we had about 135 people show up to help put the siding and roof on the home. Come Sunday evening the very emotional widowed father of two children who was buying the home stood on his ... Read Full Story >>

1914 Reads

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