Last week we left Piper with Bill, a rising 8th grader at Whitman Academy in Sandy Clay, SC, and Bill’s paralyzed father, Sanford, whose health appears to be failing.

Every day since her husband’s return home from the hospital after the accident that paralyzed him from the waist down, Lynn Shellet faced problems most people never even consider when they think about a person being paralyzed. “As you know,” she said, speaking to her brother-in-law, Huntington, up from Johns Island for yet another weekend to assist her, “Sanford’s not being able to walk is the least of our problems.” With a glance at her watch she rose from her chair. “It’s time for a turn.”

Bill automatically put down his cell phone and followed her to his dad’s room. Together, as they regularly did throughout each day, they carefully turned Sanford in his bed to prevent him from developing pressure sores. Pressure sores were their worst enemy. Any sore or break in the skin could easily get out of hand and cause an infection that would quickly led to more serious problems.

Lynn tried to make the care it took to maintain a relatively high quality of life for Sanford look easy but, in reality, it took a lot of consistently hard work. His wife was perpetually exhausted with little time for herself, much less time for the growing needs of a soon-to-be teenage boy; and Sanford knew it! He had privately confided in Huntington his growing concern for Lynn and Bill’s welfare and today was as good a time as any for them to share their ideas for Bill’s future.

“Bill, Lynn” Huntington began, “Pam and I will be leaving Johns Island soon. I have orders to report for duty at the headquarters of the Commander of the Pacific Fleet in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii not later than the end of July. Sanford and I have talked a great deal about my leaving and the impact it will have on all of you.”

“Lynn,” Sanford said, “You need help, real help caring for me and someone to give you some respite. Bill has been a tremendous support to us both but, we know all too well, at what a high cost to him and his future.” Lynn and Bill began to protest but were quickly silenced by Sanford’s now labored breathing as he pleaded, “Please, hear me out. Hunt has gained permission for him to take Bill with him to Hawaii and wants you both to pray seriously and consider that possibility.”

A Note from the Author

At this point in each week’s adventure I usually end with “To be continued…” but this is to be the last of the Piper Tales published in the Edgefield Advertiser. To find out what happens next you will have to wait and read Piper Tales the Book which, God willing, will be published soon!

As Piper and I transition to the project of completing Piper Tales the Book I want to thank the Edgefield Advertiser Staff and all our faithful readers for your continued support and encouragement. It has been a wonderful experience bringing Piper Tales to you each week and I pray it has been, as Alfred Hitchcock once said, “A great story – life with the boring parts taken out.”

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