That day I got a lot more in return than I deserved.

My friend Todd has two relatives living with multiple sclerosis. His father in law and sister in law both suffer from the disease. It’s been a struggle for both of them, and as a family, Todd, his wife and 2 children as well. It doesn’t just affect one person, it affects the whole family. It also impacts friends as well.

Todd sent me an e-mail asking me to help him build a ramp so his father in law, who is wheelchair bound, would be able to make it into the house. I was honored that he thought of me, and I hoped that with what skills I had, I would be able to help him build something both functional and aesthetic. I have done a little bit of handyman stuff, and did some deck building with my father back when I was in high school(mid 80’s), but nothing since.

I had just purchased a portable table saw, so I was eager to give it a whirl, and what a perfect opportunity! So, that Saturday morning, I loaded up the vehicle with all my wood working tools and headed over to his house.

It was a sunny, cool day out. Perfect for outdoor projects. Todd and I put our heads together and came up with some basic plans of how we were going to construct this ramp. He said he wanted it to be made of two pieces, easily moved for when guests arrive, and the same for when they left.

We started the top part first, since it went all the way up to the door of the house, it was to be the most difficult section to build. The accuracy had to be spot on, otherwise doors wouldn’t shut. It was a bit of a challenge getting the right angle of cut and figuring out supports, but we did it and it fit perfectly. That covered the stoop.

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Next came the step down onto the sidewalk. Again, angles needed to be on, but not near as critical. My math skills aren’t the best, so Todd was covering that aspect for me. We figured out the degrees and set the saw and cut away. We put on side bumpers so the wheel chair wouldn’t go off the sides, and Todd laid down some of that asphalt tape for grip later after we were done.

After that day, it occurred to me, how important that ramp is to them. It is an asset to help their families spend time together more easily.

I look at life differently now. I see things from a different perspective and understand what people with MS go through to do what we think are “simple things”, like, walking into a family member’s home for a visit.

It’s amazing how we can take one of our gifts to bless another family with, not wanting anything in return, and then get so much more than we ever deserve.

That day I got a lot more in return than I deserved.

Until next time,

Dave

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