Bob trotted over across the parking lot to ask, he quickly thanked me for the effort because he was diabetic. He looked slim and fit. I asked his story. He told me after warnings from his doctor that he was on the borderline of diabetes. He was told to loose the weight he had recently gained. When he suddenly, without effort, lost too much and became too thin he realized a problem. With the doctors help, after a year he has his life under control. He was glad he made the changes and felt great. He was the first person of the day I spoke to. I had stayed in the rear of the shopping center beside the hardware store that night. The hardware store's manager had found me when I was washing my clothes at the laundry in the same complex. He said his father was struggling with diabetes, "he loves his tortias." He was happy to to allow me to park by the broken down leaf-truck.
It was the most restful night's sleep I have had on this little journey from Louisville, around the far side of 'Indy wandering Indiana toward parts unknown in Michigan.
All day, as I walked to and thru Plymouth, I was thinking of my first three visitors that morning.
A man who walked from his home to check his mail and pick up a few pieces of wind blown trash before he saw me. Hearing my story he shared he was diabetic, was an active farmer 'getting-on in years but checked his levels every morning and if his numbers were high he did something about it.
As we spoke a woman stopped to take a photograph. She had done so the previous day but had not saved it to her phone's memory. She was a nurse and congratulated me on my effort. As a nurse she knew first hand what diabetes and the effects of our sedentary habits has on our culture. "People need to get the message."
The next was a woman who stopped to ask what I was doing. She said her husband was diabetic and disregarded the heart troubles, the circulation problems, the occasional trip to the hospital as a sign to take care to monitor himself. He did what he pleased. We agreed, some people you just can't reach.
While I am on this roller-coaster of examples here is one more.
A young man, seemed in his mid-twenties, had heard I was walking for diabetes. When he saw me on the road and made a special trip to bring me some food and drink. He was diabetic, was on his way back from Dialysis which he had been on for five years and felt he had to show his appreciation.
Two breaded chicken patties on white bread. Each with one slice of lettuce and mayonnaise.
He made another stop to get a 32-ounce Mountain Dew fountain drink.
How could I turn down his kindness?
How could I not question his choice as if he were my stepchild?
After five years on dialysis I guessed he assumed he was getting flushed out regularly that a healthy diet was immaterial .
I ate and sipped while we visited...
This is why I wax loquacious about ghost towns, marbles found by forgotten railroad stations or moonlit walks instead of the daily waves of emotions both good and tragic.