Baseball, hot dogs, apple pie, and wheelchairs....

Our recent visit to a VA hospital was an eye-opening experience. Multiple parking spaces close to the front door were reserved for patients with spinal cord injuries and dozens of empty wheelchairs were lined up in rows outside the entrance ready for use. Just inside the front door, security guards checked everyone’s photo ID.

After passing through security, we entered a large crowded atrium. Many of the men and women were older veterans whose war wounds, if they had them, had long ago healed; but there were also many younger patients steering motorized wheelchairs down the hospital halls – amputees missing an arm or a leg – visible reminders of ongoing global conflicts and those serving our country still in harm’s way.

All of them – the old and the young – confirmed the words engraved on the black marble slab that greeted us at the entrance to the hospital grounds...

I'm guest blogging at (in)courage today...won't you finish reading my story over there?

I'm still amazed that those beautiful, talented and creative young women let a twice-their-age mimi like me in the door.

Pour yourself a cup of coffee (I've got a pot of hazelnut brewing in the kitchen) or a tall glass of iced tea and make yourself comfortable over there. Some of the sweetest and most encouraging girls share their hearts and homes with love and grace at (in)courage, so please look around after you finish reading my story.