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Spires: Trials and tribulations

Spires: Trials and tribulations

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Have you ever met someone who just seems to always have some kind of a crisis going on all the time? I have and I’m going to tell you about one of those people.

Names are not important in this story, primarily because you probably wouldn’t know them anyway. This individual had some of the worst luck. There was always some sort of a crisis going on in his life.

I do believe that you reap what you sow, but in this fellow’s case, I don’t think it applied.

I met him 40 years ago playing softball. I used to play a lot of softball, believe it or not; as a matter of fact, I was very mediocre. In other words, I was just good enough to get on base occasionally and I could catch a ball if it was hit pretty close by, especially if it was coming straight at me.

He didn’t play softball long, it turned out he was worse than me, so he gave it up pretty quickly. In the process, we became friends. I liked the guy a lot, he was a personable kind of fellow.

Ironically, he had a house full of children, seven I believe. Right after I got to know him, he lost his job.

It wasn’t bad enough that his wife left him, things just continued to get worse. He did manage to find another job, but child support was literally taking just about everything he was making.

I helped him on occasion and so did some other people he knew. I admired him for one thing, however: he didn’t beg for money. People just thought enough of him to lend a helping hand.

He started having health issues pretty soon after his wife left him. They got worse over a period of time, sending him to the hospital more than once.

Someone broadsided his car one day, on the way home from work, totaling it. Of course, they had no insurance and he had only liability on the vehicle, which meant he was out of a way to go to work.

Another friend and I helped him get a car. It lasted about two months before the engine went bad.

He was able to get another old car and thankfully he kept his job.

Just when you thought things couldn’t get any worse for him, he had a heart attack and spent a week in the hospital missing a total of two weeks’ work.

Sadly, unlike Job from the Bible, he didn’t get it all back. He made it to about 41 years old and passed away suddenly, probably from another heart attack.

So, when I get down in the dumps about how things are going, I think about my friend from a long time ago, his many trials and tribulations and realize I don’t have it nearly as bad as I thought.

Byron Spires is a retired newspaper editor. He has written dozens of short stories and serials in the Havana Herald. He recently published “The Curious Life of Marci Bell” in a series of three books. You can email him at


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