KELLER: Wheelchair doesn’t prevent life’s learning

Published 11:45 pm Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Last Friday, my daughter, Ann, called and asked if I remembered Ross Trahan. “Sure,” I said. “He was one of my favorite people in the church.” Ross has been in a wheelchair all of his life. I would always call him “Ross the Boss.”

Ann told me Ross was in the Intensive Care Unit at the North Shore Hospital in Hammond. She and her husband went to see him and he asked about me twice. When they left the room, he told Ann, “Be sure to tell your dad “hello.”

I just knew after that call, I had to see Ross. I hadn’t seen him in over 20 years, since he and his family moved to Ponchatoula. 

Early Saturday morning, I left to visit my friend of years ago. That was the beginning of a most unforgettable day.  

As I entered the hospital, I was greeted at the reception desk by two ladies with a smile and a pleasant “hello.” They told me how to get to Room 3015.  

As I got out of the elevator on the third floor, three ladies were just talking. I asked if they had someone in the hospital. One lady said, “Yes, my daughter is here very sick.” “What’s her name?” I asked.  “Jeanne,” she replied. “That’s my wife’s name,” I said. “Let’s pray.”

So the three ladies and myself held hands and prayed for God to heal Jeanne and if not, to have mercy on her. With tears in her eyes the mother thanked me.

As I entered Ross’s room, he and his mother, Bonnie, were surprised to see me. I had to come and see “Ross the Boss.”

He just smiled.  

Bonnie told me they left Reserve 24 years ago. “It’s hard to believe that it’s been 24 years since I’ve seen you, Ross.” He corrected me and said, “In 1994, you spoke at Ponchatoula High School and I was there.” “You know, Ross, I had forgotten that, but now I remember that you were in your wheelchair next to me on my left,” I said. “That’s right!” he said, and smiling he continued, “You picked on me a little bit.” He proceeded to tell me, proudly, that he graduated that year.

We shared some good times together and before I left, I asked Bonnie if Ross ever complained about anything.

She said, “No, never.” She then asked if I would pray for them. Before I prayed, I asked Ross where he would spend eternity. “I’ll be in Heaven!” he answered with another smile.

I prayed that God would have mercy on Ross and he would get well and be able to see the Saints play again this year. (Ross loves the Saints.) I, also, prayed for his dad, Glynn, who is my friend. He has always tried to portray a tough image, but, believe me, he is a big marshmallow.

As I left, I told Ross when he goes to Heaven, there won’t be any wheelchairs and no more pain. He grinned as if to say, I know that.  

God must really love me a lot to have put Ross in my life.

On the way out, I stopped to talk to the two ladies at the reception desk and said, “Both of you, because of your spirit, have made my day.” I asked permission to pray for them and they agreed.

We held hands and asked God to bless and protect them and to provide for all their needs.

Driving home, I realized that Ross knew more about life from a wheelchair than most people ever learn and appreciate in a lifetime. 

It was a great morning! 


If you have any questions, or comments, please write to Get High on Life, P.O. Drawer U, Reserve, LA 70084, call 985-652-8477 or email