Life Can Always Get Better

a guest post by Fred Prout

I am writing this for one person. I don’t know who, but hopefully at least one of you who will have a better day after reading this. Let’s begin with the year 2020 a disaster for many of us.For me personally it was the worst ever.

After leaving a place that I loved (many of you know that my wife Rita and I were part of Timber Valley for many years), I spent five and a half months helping my wonderful wife fight cancer. I spent the next six and a half months grieving and trying to deal with the terrible isolation caused by covid.

As RVers and travelers we have been to many places, talked to many people, and had many different experiences. I have found that remembering some of these things can be a very good way to try to avoid serious depression. If I may, I would like to share one of my experiences with you.

Back in our w#$@king days (they said no dirty words) we took a trip from our home in Florida and went to Arkansas. On the way back we drove through Jackson Mississippi. As it was a beautiful day we drove with the windows open. Suddenly a bug flew into Rita’s eye. Now as many of you know, Rita suffered from albinism and was legally blind. The limited sight she had was doubly precious.

We found the nearest hospital and rushed straight to the emergency room. Didn’t have high hopes as this was a rural area of a rural state. We were pleasantly surprised when we went in and everyone rushed over to help. The doctor provided some salve and told us to contact an ophthalmologist when we got home.

Of course it was now Saturday and we were prepared to have to wait. Not so. The doctor was in his office and said come right in. Took a look, changed medicine and said all should be good in a couple weeks. He also commented on Rita’s eye problem and told us that his wife was also an eye doctor and was working with low vision patients. He would be glad to call for us if we were interested. Well duh!

Monday first thing she does a very extensive exam and says she thinks she can help with special glasses. It will take a week to get them. What a long week. The following Tuesday we went to get the glasses. She was able to correct Rita’s vision to 20/60 in one eye and 20/70 in the other. The chart goes to 20/200.Rita had been worse than that.

On the drive home Rita was in tears looking at the things she never could see. When she saw a giant American flag at a car dealership she said “I can see the stars on the flag. ” I had to pull over as I was in tears. As I am now. Putting these words down is bringing back the feelings I had at the time.

The reason I’m sharing this is simple. Something as potentially devastating as a bug in the eye and the fear of losing part of your very limited vision can be the one thing that can change the lives of two people for the better. It is amazing how things fell into place for us.Maybe, just maybe, one of you will read this and get it. Life can always get better.

Fred and Rita

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29 Responses to Life Can Always Get Better

  1. Kate Bright says:

    Fred! What a wonderful story! Thank you so much for sharing. Yes, I’ve been kinda low recently, but you have put it all in perspective for me. Sometimes great things come out of low times. I too, miss sweet Rita.

  2. Kris Gordon says:

    Loved your story. You are both missed here, as is Kelly.

    • Fred says:

      Kris,thanks for the kind words. Kelly and I both miss our Timber Valley family. She will be 13 in April and is starting to have problems with kidney function.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Thanks Fred. We (I) needed that. Hope to see you out here once we are all vaccinated!

  4. Jimmy says:

    I wish you could come home and be with your tribe.

  5. Billie & Howard Treese says:

    So enjoyed this Fred. What a beautiful memory!
    Howard & Billie

  6. Jackie Jones Lot 102 says:

    Fred I just read your amazing article. Loved it. If it wasn’t for your awesome friendship we would have never found Timber Valley. You are such a special person to Steve and me, as was Rita. Hugs to Kelly.❤

  7. Gwen says:

    We miss you, Fred! What a beautiful story and message. God knows what you need and when you need it and from who you need it. As the TV cops say, “There are no coincidences.”
    Hugs…..

  8. Steve Jones. Lot 102 says:

    Wonderful story Fred, thanks for the tears in my eyes now.
    Sure do miss ya, and the good times we had.

  9. Steve Jones. Lot says:

    Wonderful story Fred, thanks for the tears in my eyes now.
    Sure do miss ya, and the good times we had.

  10. Arthur W Hampton says:

    That was the most eloquent and moving account of how to apply our past experiences
    with the needs of the day. Thanks.

  11. Anonymous says:

    God bless you Fred. Thanks for sharing. You both are missed.

  12. Kate Bright says:

    Your letter was so inspiring, and what a day-brightener! I still miss sweet Rita, and I smile when I think of our friendship. I hope you have adjusted well to Linus Oaks. I know you’ve made lots of friends, even with the quarantine. You and Rita did that everywhere you went.
    Hugs,
    Kate

  13. ANITA DUCUMMON says:

    Thank You, Fred…..you made me cry, but good tears. As I read your piece, I could hear your voice so perfectly. What a wonderful surprise that was. We surely do miss you.

  14. Fred says:

    Anita the tears were rolling down my chin as I wrote it.We had so many wonderful experiences and I’m glad I could share.

  15. Richard Hickethier says:

    Hi Fred,
    It’s stories like this that tell what we have to look forward to when we are allowed to join the TV tribe. We still have about 3 years to wait which is ok as we are still on Stepdad Watch.
    Best of luck to you,
    Richard & Debrann Hickethier
    SKP 146620
    AWL 111

  16. jackie Deal says:

    Wonderful, Fred, you reached people and that is all a writer can hope to do. My sincerest congratulations. Miss you, Jackie

  17. Dar Hoch says:

    Beautiful memory. Miss you and Rita. You bring joy to this party we call life. Hope you write more and we get to see you soon.

  18. Val Carano says:

    Oh Fred … What a wonderful surprise! I loved your story. During our phone calls, you never mentioned this one with the wonderful ending. I’m so glad Rita got to “see” those stars on the flag! You have your memories just as I do with memories of my years with my beloved Sal. I sincerely hope that you get to reunite with some of your old friends from the places you have lived and traveled to. Here’s to No more masks! No more social distancing! No more hand sanitizer and plenty of toilet paper to go around! As always, I wish you and Kelly the very best. Love Ya! Val

  19. Arthur W Hampton says:

    Hello Fred
    I just read your experience with Rita’s sufferance and it made me realize that
    my own problems are trivial in respect.

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