Most weekday mornings you can find me walking and talking with 2-7 friends (depending on schedules) at the local college track. Needless to say, with our conversations covering everything from husbands and children to politics and religion – nothing is sacred on our walks – we can get pretty loud! One morning early this past Spring, however, we all found ourselves rendered speechless. Many of us were struggling with our walk that particular morning. We felt like our legs were made of lead (perhaps because the last night’s dinner was a little too salty?) – and we were vocal about our struggle. As we continued around the track, I noticed the conversation quieting as one by one, we had all stopped talking. The reason was clear – the man walking ahead of us was walking on 2 prosthetic legs. He turned as we neared to pass him, wearing a great big smile with which he offered an upbeat, “Good morning, ladies!” I thought to myself, had we really just been complaining about salty food making it difficult for us to walk?
Over the course of the last couple of months, I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know this man. His name is Ron Moyer. If I had to describe him in just two words, I would choose faithful and grateful. Ron’s faith in God has seen him through the loss of both legs. After contracting a virus Christmas Day 2009, he was in a coma for 7 weeks– given a 1% chance of survival. When he came out of the coma, not only did Ron discover he had lost both his legs, but he also had no use of his arms or hands. He looks at everything he has gotten back as gifts – faithfully and gratefully!
Ron’s faith once again helped him cope with tragedy just 10-months later – his son, Ethan, was killed in a car accident on the way home from the movies last November. Ethan was an organ donor and, though it was difficult to let the doctors take his son’s organs, Ron realized Ethan would want to continue to be as giving a person as he had always been in life. Ron learned a little about 2 of the 7 lives Ethan saved through the gift of his organs and, somehow, they each reflected an aspect of Ethan’s own life. Ethan loved music, especially the drums – one of the organ recipients was a drummer. As a student, he needed tutoring in math – one of the organ recipients was a math teacher. Ron looks at the gifts his son was able to give to others – faithfully and gratefully.
I came to realize through our many conversations, that I knew Ron’s children – I had taught his daughter, Rachel, in high school, and Ethan in elementary. Sweet, spirited children – so much like their father.
Ron walks the track for at least 2 hours a day, but he rarely walks (or sits to rest) alone – his positive attitude and energy draws people! He told me he has met some of the nicest people walking that track…really, Ron, I would have to say I couldn’t agree more! I am so grateful for your faithful inspiration!