by Steve McLean
One of the special times I've been blessed to enjoy in my life.
|Growing up, I had always looked forward to becoming a teenager, going to high school, meeting many beautiful girls in school, and learning to dance with them at school dances. These normal growing activities were among my dreams for my life. Well, I became a teenager okay, and went to Junior High, then started the first year of high school in the 9th grade, and even met a pretty young blonde gal that I was attracted to and wanted to get to know better. Her name was Nicole, and she was, to me, a KNOCKOUT!!! But getting to know her better and enjoying dancing with her at high school dances was prevented by something unexpected and painful happening to my body half way through my first year of school: my body developed what was called "young people's arthritis" and I had to deal with getting treatment for that and not being able to continue attending high school, and instead, finishing the 9th and 10th grades at home with a tutor, before having to drop out of high school altogether. While I was receiving treatment for that painful young arthritis at the Cleveland Clinic, my parents moved out of the house we were living in at the time in Shelby, Ohio, which wasn't suitable for me in my condition, into another house in another city in Ohio, so I never got a chance to get to know Nicole better and dance with her at school dances, or anywhere else. This was in 1963.
Years later, however, after my young arthritis had been put under the control of one of the pain medicines that was found to work for me in particular, and I had a series of operations on my hips and knees which made it possible for me to be up walking again after 6 years in a wheelchair, I was offered the opportunity to see if I might be able to do some form of dancing with a gal after all. I was able to stand up and walk around for a period of time without the crutches, so it wasn't a completely futile possibility back then, in 1980.
I had studied for and earned a GED diploma, so that I could go to college and study to get a diploma in Communications, and I was living in Mansfield, Ohio. One day, in my mail, came a promo offer from our local Fred Astaire Dance Studio, informing me that I had received a series of free dance lessons from the studio. Of course, I would have to pay for further lessons after these free ones, but I wondered if I might be able to stand up and do some dancing with a gal for the period of time that I could stand up without holding onto my crutches before I needed to either get them or sit down and rest. I decided to take the dance studio up on the free lessons, at least, to see if I could dance, doing something slow, like a waltz.
I contacted the Fred Astaire Dance Studio, explained my situation, and what I wanted to try and do, and they were willing and happy to let me try and see what I could do with those free series of lessons.
The dance instructress that I was given was named Linda. We were both blessed to discover that, yes, indeed, I could stand and learn how to do the steps of a waltz without difficulty! I just needed to not overdo my standing and dancing time, sitting down for a rest as soon as needed. So, my heart was overjoyed to find out this was possible. As it turned out, though, after all these waltz lessons, I only ended up dancing with one other gal after Linda, which was with one of the gals I knew from the church group I was going to back then, dancing with her for one dance at a street fair in Bucyrus, Ohio, that our singles group had attended. Still, that was SOMETHING SPECIAL to remember and rejoice in all these years later. I was in my 30s then, now I'm 71, and my knees and legs can't stand up without crutches anymore, like they used to be able to do. But, I know, through my faith and relationship with God, that one day I won't ever need crutches anymore, ever have arthritis again, but instead, receive, as all saved children of God will receive, a perfect, sin-free, challenged-free, glorified body like the one my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, received when His resurrected body was transformed as He ascended back to His heavenly home when that happened, after He appeared on earth for awhile in His resurrected body as testimony that He had truly been resurrected from the dead after He paid the price that needed to be paid for all mankind's inherited sin nature on the Cross! Can't wait for that!!!