by Linda L. Rigsbee

A personal testimonial of survival and acceptance.
     In most ways, Eddie was probably like any other son, brother, husband, father or grandfather.  He loved fishing and hunting and he loved people.  Like most, he was dependable, courageous and loving.  To the grandchildren, he was "Papa"; to his children, "Dad"; and to all those who had the opportunity to learn, he was a friend.
    I didn't understand how much a friend he was to me until I almost lost him.  I knew he was strong and courageous, but I didn't realize to what extent he was a man until he was flat on his back, unable to do anything for himself.
    The fact is, none of us really know how we will measure up until we are put to the test.  It isn't so much what we face, but how we face it.  It isn't simply survival, but learning to gracefully accept defeat.  And it isn't so much learning not to blame as learning to move on.
    On June 30, 2010, Eddie woke from a heart catheterization paralyzed from the chest down.  He spent the next year learning to walk again, but what he taught me was how to live.

    In the words of Vivian Green: "Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass ... It's about learning how to dance in the rain." 
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