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a2z: The letter is 'O' for Oscar

When I started this challenge I promised myself I wouldn't use people or pets for my letter of the week.

I'm breaking that promise. 

This is Oscar, my father-in-law. He's no longer with us, his address is Somewhere In, Heaven, but the legacy he left behind is strong.

Oscar, much like his son, my husband, couldn't sit still.  Retirement and doing nothing with your time wasn't a concept he practiced. He had small job at the local furniture store delivering sofas and chairs, he fixed lawn mowers, picked strawberries --for an old woman he knew (his words) he even worked at my husband’s store on occasion.

One afternoon I received a horrible phone call. Oscar was working at the furniture store, and the service elevator he was in fell 3 stories to the basement.  
What followed were a lot of surgeries, a few amputations, and “He probably won't make it, don't get your hopes up,” comments. After many months he came home. 

They said, "He'll never walk."

Oscar wouldn't accept that diagnosis deciding instead to prove 'them' all wrong. He did physical therapy, practiced using a walker, and wore a prosthesis on his foot.

One day he called to tell me he'd walked 30 feet with the walker. After that he refused to use the wheel chair if he could walk. I would take him Christmas shopping for Elsie, my mother-in-law and he wouldn't take the handicap hang tag with us. I would drop him off at the door and park. 

Why? Because other people needed those parking places more than he did. His words, not mine.

He taught me, my husband and my children the value of perseverance. The need to keep at a task no matter how hard, painful or seemingly impossible and how doing so will produce results. It will build our character, and it will bring hope as we conquer each difficult task.

Many times since Oscar has died I have thought I couldn’t do something—write a book about our blended family, write an 80 thousand word book in less than 9 months, work through the pain that attacked my muscles, and then I would think of him. 

Always in pain and almost always smiling and ready to tell a story. No complaints were heard from him—at least not to us, perhaps when we weren’t around he let his guard down with Elsie, my mother-in-law and also his caretaker and worthy of her own blog post.

What or who do you turn to when you think you can’t take one more rejection, argument or no?

Romans 5:2-4
New International Version (NIV)
2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we[boast in the hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope.

for more a2z memes check out Patty Wysong's blog

posted by Diana Lesire Brandmeyer


  1. He reminds me of my husband's grandfather. He was a fabulous amateur bowler. After a stroke paralyzed one side of his body, he learned to walk again so he could bowl. He'd shuffle up to the line and get a strike almost every time. He had a knee replaced so he could keep bowling. How much these wonderful men taught us about perseverance.

  2. Thanks for sharing Oscar's story and his strength! Inspiration does't get any better!

  3. What a beautiful tribute to Oscar. Both of my parents and my mother-in-law (all of whom I was caregiver for, at different times) were shining examples of perseverance, too, each in different ways. With the Lord's help, I hope one day my kids will be able to say I was a good example, too.

  4. I'd like to have half of his perseverance. Half!

    Beautiful tribute to a wonderful man.

  5. My great-grandfather lost a leg in a train accident (he was a brakeman) in the early 1900s. He learned to walk again with a prosthesis and went on to become the treasurer for El Paso County, Colo.
    When I feel like quitting, I think of him...
    God bless Oscar, I hope I get to meet him in heaven!

  6. He left behind a beautiful testimony! Thanks for breaking your own rule and letting us learn about a family member.

  7. Oscar sounded like a neat man. Thanks for sharing.
    "Steller" Jay

  8. Thanks for sharing. Oscar sounded like a neat guy.
    - "Steller" Jay

  9. Thank you all for your kind words. I wish you all could have met him.

  10. Wow! I can't even imagine. He sounds like an awesome man, Diana. I'm so glad you broke your promise and shared him with us.

  11. Not post about people or pets? *gulp* I blew that one on letter A. ROFL

    Diana, this choked me up. What an incredible man! Wow. Such a blessing in your life. Thank you for sharing a bit of him with us!

  12. Patty, I was just trying to make myself work harder with the letters. It would have been easy to do A,B,J,E,G,l,P,O,S and W.

  13. He sounds like a very special man! Bet he's greatly missed.