A Warming Message from an Old Friend

I just received a phone call my first true friend, who lives in Port Hope, and whom I met on my first day as a new-boy at boarding school at age 10.
In my graduating year, about 17 yrs old, I had begun training quite intensely for track and field, and he wanted to join me.
In the spring, one of our many workouts, was to run 15 x the length of the 110yd football field as fast as we could manage. From time to time, over the years, we have both recalled fondly the many occasions on which, bending over and panting so hard trying to recover with just one more length to do, we would look at each other and without words, agree that we could do one more, though our legs were screaming with lactic acid by that time. There was a lifelong bond created in those moments.
In his call today, he told me that on this Feb 6th, in bitter cold, he had gone out on his forested property to walk his dog, leaving his sweet wife, who has been disabled with Multiple Sclerosis for fifteen years now, inside.
Probably about the time he was turning around, and unknown to him, his poor wife took a bad fall down the last of the stairs to the kitchen, and in great pain, with some broken ribs, and bleeding head, but still conscious, she managed to get to the phone to call 911.
At about that same moment, now facing the bitter wind and whipping snow, My friend turned … slipped on some ice, and fell very hard, breaking his leg very badly, just below the hip joint.
But, he’s a gritty guy, and in shock and pain, and with no idea how he would manage, he began crawling toward the house, which he saw in the distance, about … 110 yards away!
He said that with dog-leash in hand still, and on his elbows and his other knee, he dragged himself and his broken leg back to the house. But when he finally crawled thru the door and lay flat on his back and exhausted in the kitchen, he saw his dear wife all bloodied at the bottom of the stairs …
Just then, the ambulance showed up to quite a scene, and carted both of them off to the hospital!
I asked Roger how in hell he managed to drag himself back home with (as it turned out) such a bad compound fracture of the hip and leg.
“Willy,” he said, “You remember those interval runs we used to do at school, just hammering so hard, until the last one? Well, that is all I thought about: You can make it! I kept telling myself, over and over.”
Some things don’t change. After all these years, what I heard on the phone was the same cheerful voice as I heard 60 years ago on that green field!
Quite a fellow!
Husband and wife are both recovering well.

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