Saturday, August 24, 2013

A Stroke Not A Ministroke

Yesterday, I was walking a relatively short distance, from my apartment (1213 Whatcom Street, Apartment 118) to the Subway sandwich shop on Lakeway. Yet, I was still struggling as I walked with my cane. Admittedly, I had my laptop computer with me, and it can get pretty heavy in its bag. Still, I could have easily done that at one time.

As I walked past a somewhat elderly woman living near that store, she asked me if I needed help. I replied that I didn't need more help than I normally did. (My new "normal" is something which I would not have regarded as normal at all at one time.) I told the woman that I walked with a cane on account of having had several mini-strokes. At least, that was what they told me at PeaceHealth St. Joseph's hospital.

I've always found myself wondering whether or not the term "mini-stroke" really applied to what I'd experienced. I couldn't help but think, "If this is 'mini', I'd hate to see 'maxi'."

That perception was affirmed by the woman with whom I spoke yesterday. She told me that she took care of stroke patients (as a nurse, as I recall), and it looked to her like I'd had a full-blown stroke, just based on the way that I walked.

Later that day, when the Subway sandwich shop closed for the evening and I walked back to my apartment, I found myself struggling even more than usual. I called my roommate Everett Barton and told him about my conversation with that woman. I said that there were times when I wanted to scream, "I WANT MY BODY BACK!"

There's a guy named Dale McMurtrey, who serves my church as a leader. Ostensibly, after a recent heart attack, he technically "died". But frankly, when I watch him walk around at church, he looks a lot healthier than me. At church, I've never seen him walking with a cane.

When I recently sent Dale an email message, to make him aware of the singles group I was trying to start (which I've decided to call Get Hitched), he sent me a reply saying that he didn't want any more emails from me about that particular subject. The email to him had not really been addressed to him; it was just a copy of an email addressed to a woman from Mosaic Church named Donna Vander Griend. In the email to Donna, I'd asked her to make people aware that I planned to hold the first meeting of the group at Round Table Pizza (Sunset Square in Bellingham) on August 31, 2013, at 12:15 p.m.

Dale has no reason to want to attend a singles group himself. He's been blessed with a wife (Lori) and a beautiful daughter (Amy). Why would he want to join Get Hitched? But I naively thought that he had been gifted with empathy, and that he cared about bearing the burdens of his fellow Christian believers. Being single is a real burden for me, compounded by the burden of my recent stroke-related physical problems. I've begged for help in relation to my single status when speaking with folks at Mosaic. So far, however, I've seen very little to suggest that those who have given lip service to the idea of passing on my contact information to single women looking for mates was likely to ever be any more than lip service. That's why I decided to start Get Hitched (organized via a page at, and also via another blog I recently created for the group). I know that I can't be the only person who is sick and tired of being a virgin, with no partner (e.g., "helpmate") of the opposite gender!

In the movie Fiddler On The Roof, there was a song, sung by a young woman: "Matchmaker, matchmaker, make me a match." In communities of old that role was played by people who recognized that some people needed help in the love department. (Todd Rundgren sang a song entitled, "We've Got To Get You A Woman.") But Dale apparently doesn't think that he has any reason to have an interest in helping me to find a mate. He hasn't literally said, "I've been blessed with a wife. Who gives a shit whether or not you are similarly blessed." But frankly, that's how it feels to me.

When my mother came to Bellingham to visit with me, she made a phone call to a friend in my hometown of Springfield, Missouri. She learned that Don Freeman had died. Don was a man who had been involved with my brother in connection with Alcoholics Anonymous (which my brother Matt unfortunately needs, since he is an alcoholic). Don was 60 years old when he died, just 3 years older than I am now. At least he'd been married (and unfortunately divorced), so he was not a virgin when he died. If I die when I am 60 years old, unless something changes for me very quickly, I will not ever have known what it's like to have sex with a woman. I do not want to still be a virgin when I die. There have been other major disappointments in my life, related to such things as my desire to make a living doing work which I actually enjoyed doing (e.g., making music and art). But never having experienced sexual intercourse would have to be at the top of the list of those disappointments. Sex is on my bucket list. I've always wanted to have sex in the context of a loving marriage, but I am at the point where I find myself investigating alternatives which would not be endorsed by most Christians.

Brothels are legal in the state of Nevada, and provided that one can find the money, one can find some very attractive women (like Airforce Amy, the "Michael Jordan of sex" who works at The Bunny Ranch, where she was featured in an HBO series called "Cathouse") who are quite willing to play a role in one's "devirginization" (to use Amy's term).

My roommate Everett Barton lost his virginity when he was 17 years old. That's pretty common, according to a Wikipedia article on "Adolescent Sexuality in the United States". So essentially, I am 40 years older than the age when males usually lose their virginity, and I am still a virgin.

It is inordinately hypocritical of men like Dale McMurtrey to harshly judge and criticize brothers who resort to visits to brothels, sex surrogates and the like, if they are totally unwilling to help those brothers to make love connections with women who could help them to meet their needs sexually without ever needing to commit fornication.

Would God forgive me if I visited Airforce Amy and had sex with her? I think so. For crying out loud, God forgave Mary Magdelene, who was a prostitute, and God forgave King David, when he murdered Bathsheba's husband on the battlefield. I would never contemplate murder as a means of getting a woman! Even adultery is something I would not consider, because I do believe in the value of a promise, and I cannot fathom how a man could want to betray a woman who had actually committed her life to him by getting married to him. My father betrayed my mother in that manner, and I thought that it was disgraceful for him to do that. But if I were to see a prostitute at a brothel, I would not be betraying anyone, other than God, who has demonstrated time and time again throughout history that such offenses are forgivable.

Even so, I have not yet fornicated once, despite having grown up in the era of "free love". I would rather not have to resort to doing so. If people like Dale McMurtrey would help to bear my burden of singleness by helping me to find a mate, then that temptation would be obviated.

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