The past three weeks have been an unusual journey for Joyce and me. We have received so much help from people in this congregation, outside the congregation, and from family. Many (often on short notice) pulled our “ox out of the ditch” as we renovated house flooring, rediscovered possessions at the church building, hauled, and reorganized our house to absorb my office.

To say the past month has been an adventure is an understatement! Some asked if 56 years of preaching is short. “Yes!” It is amazing how much of it will fit in garbage bags! My oldest son (Jon) is the family historian. He spent 4 days helping us reorganize. He said, “Dad, you have no idea how hard it is on me to throw this stuff away!”

I thought I would conclude my regular bulletin articles by answering some of the common questions asked us.

“When will you officially retire?” On June 3, I will be 70 years old. Retirement begins June 4. We will take some vacation time immediately.

“Do you plan on staying in Fort Smith?” Yes! We plan to be an active part of West-Ark for the foreseeable future. Only family sickness in Crossville would alter our plans.

“What is happening to you health-wise?” The simple way to explain what is happening is this: The part of my brain that controls muscle coordination is shrinking. It expresses itself in balance, reaction to air temperature, and (in my case) speech issues.

“Are you getting better?” The actual condition is so rare there is no known treatment. True improvement of the condition does not exist. I rarely have any pain; I just have frustration. The objective (by doing “correct” things and taking no chances) is to make deterioration occur as slowly as possible. That is working! The irony is this: the better I feel, the less I should do. Go figure that one out! Truly, “Looks are deceiving!”

“Do you think you will enjoy being retired?” I have no idea—even if I succeed in not driving Joyce crazy! She is the one who deserves major sympathy! We both appreciate the many, many kindnesses and encouragements!

David Chadwell

West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Bulletin Article, 3 June, 2010


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