A Caregiver's Blind Date
By ROY W. HARRIS
When my first wife died almost five years ago, life changed drastically. Although I was very blessed with two fine children, four special grandchildren and a wonderful job pastoring some of the finest people on God’s green earth, I’d just lost my beautiful wife and best friend to breast cancer. I was thrust back into the single world which I left behind in my teen years. After a time of mourning, my brother’s wife was convinced I had been alone long enough. She arranged a blind double date of which I wanted no part. Can you imagine a fifty year old on a blind date? Oh well, I fought it, but what can you do with a persistent sister-in-law? I went on the date and thankfully the invited lady came also. My sister-in-law was right when she prophesied; “if I can get them in the same room together, I believe they’ll end up getting married”. She did and after a year and half of dating, we did.
Amy lived in South Carolina and I was a Tennessee boy. We had a decision to make. Amy ended up following her Tennessee Man back to the state he loved. We moved into a home in Smyrna which my first wife and I had built together.
Amy Harris is the program director for Wilson County CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) which advocates in court on behalf of neglected and abused children who are in foster care (www.wilsoncountycasa.org). These wonderful caring volunteers are appointed by the judge to help look after the best interests of those precious children.
Now, I’m not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but it became obvious soon after my wife’s move from South Carolina that the twice a day twenty-five minute drive to Lebanon and back along with living in another woman’s house, was not putting the best foot forward on our newlywed road to marital bliss. So we entertained the possibility of finding a home in Wilson County. Knowing that layout and design of the home is much closer to the female heart than to her husband’s, we agreed on a price range we could afford and I turned the hunting house quest over to Amy. Our home in Smyrna was almost 2,700 square feet and we definitely needed to downsize. The internet is a wonderful tool. Amy surfed it like a pro and found a number of potential new Harris residences. Working our way through the culling process, we eventually settled on a home located on Castle Heights Avenue in Lebanon.
I passed through Lebanon and Wilson County many times on trips to and from my parents’ home in Cookeville, but never imagined living there. But WOW what a find. We found a new home in a well established nostalgic neighborhood with the floor plan and design that Amy wanted and within our price range. Our home is only a few minutes from Amy’s downtown East Main Street office. There was something for me as well. I was able to get two things every man dreams of in a home; a 24 X 44 foot shop out back and an acre of ground. To a man, a house doesn’t get much better than that.
We truly have found a wonderful life in Wilson County. My wife is pursuing the professional career she loves and I am able to continue ministering and hopefully impacting lives. I am a writer, published author, national conference and retreat speaker (www.royharris.info) speaking to national audiences and many individual churches. I’ve been honored to speak in thirty-eight states and also Europe. The short twenty minute drive from Lebanon to Nashville International Airport makes my national travel easy.
With the peaceful Castle Heights setting and glancing out our back door towards the back forty as we like to call our back lot, I was able to complete a book on care giving titled Caring for the Caregiver . The book was written at the request of many to help those who care for seriously ill family members and also to help pastors, family and friends of caregivers better understand how to help and encourage them. The book is a Caregiver’s Bible that begins with initial diagnosis of cancer and finishes about a year after my first wife’s death. Most chapters end with Caregiver Principles designed to help and encourage caregivers at each phase in the cycle of life and death. The book was published by Tate Publishing and was released nationally in December 2009. It’s available at most of the major online bookstores such as Barnes & Noble, Amazon.com, Books-A-Million and also in about a dozen foreign countries. Copies are available through my personal website at www.royharris.info as well.
Amy and I found what we were looking for; each other and a wonderful life in Wilson County!
Contact writer Roy Harris at firstname.lastname@example.org