Ron from Utah
I was the primary care-giver for two of my best friends. First was Joe back in the mid 1990s. He had suffered a devastating bout with pneumonia in 1991. His immune system was destroyed. He eventually developed a brain tumor and I cared for him until he died in 1995. The photo shows us in happier times (he's the tall one). His situation required full-time, live-in care. I was totally unprepared for the variety of problems faced with such a task. But I learned a lot. However, it didn't end there. Another good friend, Lanny, suffered from a number of problems, such as COPD, 5 bypass heart surgery, diabetes, thyroid failure, mini strokes and eventually dementia. The picture shows him with his little Schnauzer puppy inside my stained glass business. Five years later Lanny was dead. As his condition worsened, I became a full-time caregiver again. Totally different set of circumstances, but stressful just the same. And all the while I was trying to maintain and operate my own small business. The years I cared for these guys were extremely difficult, but I wouldn't trade the experience for anything. And I know they were both very grateful.