Get High on Life

Published 12:00 am Monday, March 29, 1999

By Harold Keller / L’Observateur / March 29, 1999

My wife often accuses me of thinking I have to talk to everyone I meet. Iplead guilty to the charge. Meeting new people is one of the most excitingthings in life.

While standing in line to be served at a restaurant in Alabama, a pleasant, pretty lady was ahead of me. She smiled and said, “Good morning,” and westarted a conversation. She was from Covington, Ken. and she and herhusband had just arrived for a week’s vacation. She told me that she hadtwo sons who were career military men, both officers, and both awaiting word on a possible promotion to colonel.

She volunteered that she was 70 and her husband was 80. I found out thather husband had been a high school football coach but had quit coaching to run her father’s family business. She eventually got served and then wentto join her husband and another couple in a separate section of the restaurant. She had such a joyful spirit! I was reminded that the joy of theLord is our strength.

I noticed when they were preparing to leave the restaurant and went over to them and met her husband. His name was Bob Von Holle. I invited themto our table to meet Jeanne and we chatted for a few minutes.

“Bob had a stroke recently but is recovering very well,” said Mrs. VonHolle. Mr. Von Holle showed no ill effects from the stroke. “God hascertainly been good to both of you,” I said. They agreed.Mr. Von Holle then shared that he had been a colonel in the U.S. Army. “It’sa miracle that I’m still around!” he said. “In the fighting on the island ofOkinawa during World War II, I was left on the battlefield for eight hours, presumably dead, until someone noticed movement in my body. I was sentto the hospital, where I remained in recovery for 21 months.” As he spoke,I could tell the pride he still had for his country and the U.S. Army.Mrs. Von Holle proudly interrupted and said that her husband is a memberof the U.S. Army’s Hall of Fame, Infantry School, in Fort Benning, Ga. “Healso was the officer in charge of raising the flag on Okinawa.” “Oh, youdon’t have to say all of that!” he said. “The most famous flag-raising wasIwo Jima.” That’s a fact, but I’m sure that to Mrs. Von Holle, Okinawa wasthe more memorable.

Before the Von Holles left, I asked if they would mind if I prayed for them.

The four of us held hands and I prayed that God would continue to bless them and their children. I thanked God for allowing Mr. Von Holle to behealed from his stroke and asked that when this earthly journey is over, He allows us to enjoy eternal happiness with Him in heaven.

I kissed Mrs. Von Holle, hugged her husband, and asked for their address sothat I could send them a copy of this article.

As they were leaving, Mrs. Von Holle said, “Don’t forget to pray for my 13grandchildren!” She said that with as much pride as any grandmother.

Yes, I am guilty of wanting to meet people. I thank God that He allowedJeanne and I to cross paths with the Von Holles. What a blessing!

Harold Keller is a regular columnist for L’Observateur

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