Home Bound

by Arnold Nelson

This is a story I've been wanting to tell for a long time, but God kept telling me to wait. I think it's finally time to tell the story. I was originally going to change the names of all the major characters, but I decided not to. The reason being is most of the major characters in my story are gone now. They are up in heaven and someday when my work done here is done. I will be reunited with them again. I used to do all kinds of things for the church, in the name of God. I always enjoyed helping the church. I volunteered when I could. I never had a lot of money so I figured if I volunteered little more it will work itself out in the end. Now that I'm getting older I don't want to volunteer as much. About all I do now is tell stories to the kids once in a while. Gone are the days of being a Christian clown, helping with communion, being Santa Claus, ushering, and all the other assorted things I used to enjoy. I used to joke around I did just about everything but preach. One of my pastors even offered me a chance to preach. I turned it down I will leave the preaching to the pastors.

One Sunday I was sitting in church and they said they needed people to help take communion to our members who are home bound. I thought it over and I decided to sound like fun. So I got a 30 min. training course and then I was out of my own.

One of the first couples I remember was Bud and Eunice. They were nice couple. He was a schoolteacher until he got MS. After he got sick Eunice spend the rest of his life taking care of him. A lot of times on Sunday they would have the three granddaughters there. The girl's parents were very busy so Bud and Eunice watched them a lot on the weekends. Sometimes when I came over there would be all kinds of chalk pictures on the driveway and the sidewalks. Most of them were good I enjoyed looking at them. At first we had communion in the front room. Bud was able to get around the house a little bit. Then we started having communion in the kitchen. Then when Bud got so bad he could hardly move. Eunice got him a lift, she got them out of bed and put him on the chair in the bedroom and we would have communion there. Sometimes the oldest granddaughter would help Eunice with Bud. That made Eunice happy. One day when we were having communion in the kitchen I asked Eunice if I could tell a story to the granddaughters. She called the girls in to the kitchen. Usually they would stay in another room and out of our way well we had communion. I told him the story of how the teddy bears got their name they seem to enjoy it. One time I was out of town and someone else took communion to them. What I got back into town I find out that Bud had died. I felt bad because I was not there to give him his last communion. Bud had one wish and that was to see his 50th anniversary. He lived long enough to have the 50th anniversary with Eunice. He died the day after the anniversary. A month later they had a service for him in a local cemetery. They waited until another good friend got back from vacation. When I went to the service I was surprise, the room was packed. My best friend and I gave up our seats and we stood in the back of the room during the service. They had a graveside service after that but I was not able to go because I had to get to work.

There were some good friends of Bud and Eunice, Gene and Lorraine. They live down the street about a block. I took communion to them a few times when he got sick. Gene used to be a homicide detective for the Los Angeles police department. He was another character. I really enjoyed him and Lorraine. I did not know Bud and Eunice when I started taking Communion to them, I did know Gene and Lorraine. After Gene died Lorraine called me up one day. She said she had a box of stuff for me. She asked me to come over and pick it up. So a few hours later I was at her house picking up the box. It turned out to be a box of books. Most of them were Westerns. I never knew Gene liked Westerns but Westerns are one of my favorite reading material. I read every one of them and I was introduced to a couple of authors I had not read before and I enjoyed them.

Then there was Bob and Zerene. When Zerene got sick I used to take communion to the them. Sometimes they had her in in rehab so I have to go over there and give them communion. After Zerene died Bob got bad, he had Alzheimer's. I took communion to his house for him a few times. This house was such a mess it was hard to find someplace to set up. Finally he had a lady come in and stay with him and take care of him. She seemed to keep him from all his friends so most of the time we did not know what was going on with Bob. He quit asking for communion so we quit going over there.

There was another couple Tom and Audie. They were really good people I took communion to them about two or three times when Tom got sick before he died. Audie remained a good friend until I left Arizona.

Fred and Anona, great people. I met Fred at our church rummage sales. He used to tell me he was a chief of security for the rummage sales. One time we were talking and he told me I could be his assistant. So I became assistant chief of security for rummage sales. Anona was always busy doing stuff for the church. When Fred got sick I used to take communion to him. I would go early because of my work schedule. So Anona was still at church at the late service. Fred and I have some nice talks. He was a retired dentist. He used to see people on his boat. I believe his boat was in Seattle Washington. Anona was the only assistant that Fred ever had. Apparently he was a good dentist because he had all the patients he could handle. He had model planes all over his house and he would tell me about all the fun he used to have with them. He was quite a storyteller. The last time I brought communion to him was a day or two before he died, Anona was there. I gave Fred the bread, he could not get it to his mouth. Anona told me to help him, so I did. He had the same problem with the cup so again I helped him get the cup to his mouth. That was quite an experience. I did not know how much it meant to Anona until quite a while later. Once a year at church the women would give pins to people who went over and above in helping the church. One year they gave me a pin. Audie was the head of the Methodist women. She talked first and talked about some of the stuff I was doing and talk about me taking Communion to the home bound. Then Anona got up and talked. Anona told me later she was not happy with Audie. She wanted to talk about me taken communion to the home bound and given Fred his last communion. She never forgot it, she told me it meant a lot to her that I was willing to do that for him.

Clive and Betty another one of the great couples. I did not know them before I started taking Communion to them. They became great friends of mine before he died. He used to sing in the choir until one day he trip going up to the choir loft. After that Betty would not let him sing in the choir anymore. They had a granddaughter stay with them and her son who was about two or three years old. One day Betty and I were talking. She said I don't know what to do, all Clive wants to do is eat cookies with his great-grandson. I said he is over 90 now, he's not going to live much longer let him eat whatever he wants, whatever makes him happy. One day I was over there and Betty was tell me that Clive and Bob talked on the phone. She said they talked for about half an hour. They were both so bad she had no idea if either one of them knew what the other was saying. They seem to enjoy their talk though and I guess that is the main thing. I forget who told me that Fred and Clive had a bet going about who was going to die first. I had never heard what the bet was. I have no idea how one will collect. It was one of the fun things that Fred and Clive had going.

There was another man his name was Sparky. That was his nickname, that is what everybody called him. When I first took communion to his house, his house was so hot I could hardly stand it. But we got through it okay. He enjoyed it and I guess that's all that really matters. I took communion to him in the hospital a couple times before he died.

I don't know how much impact I made on any of their life's but they all made a big impact on my life I will never forget any of them. Maybe when God calls me home we can be reunited again.

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