Seeing the cranes at sunset is a popular activity in Nebraska. They spend the days in the fields eating leftover grain but as evening approaches they start to return to the river to roost for the night. We went to a bridge which offers a good vantage point for this. This is where I met Harold. He was sitting in a camp chair (why didn’t we think of that?) with some friends. He was friendly and started chatting with me. He asked me what I did and I explained that I was a special education administrator. Harold told me that he used to be a business manager for a school district. Turns out Harold had a hemorrhagic stroke a year ago. He was most certainly expected to die; not many people survive the severity of this kind of stroke. He did survive but it took him almost a year to recover. He tried to go back to work but could only manage two days a week at first. Unfortunately his boss fired him because she wanted a full time person in his job and he wasn’t getting up to speed fast enough. Ouch. He is only 59 years old so now that he is recovered he needs to find a new job. He also mentioned that when he had the stroke he lay on the floor of his living room for over an hour until someone from work came to check on him. He explained that he lives alone because his wife died 6 years ago.
In spite of all of this, one of the things Harold said to me is that you need to enjoy and appreciate every day because you never know what tomorrow will bring.
He should know.