Jesus – the Savior

State Hospital

One day a visitor was trying to recruit people for their program at a place called, New Medico, near Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  I didn’t pay much attention at the time because there were too many other issues stressing me out and to this day I stressed.

Anyway this woman talked to me, one on one, in my room and the more she spoke the more interested I became until she had me asking about cost?  I explained to her that I didn’t have any money and asked how I could afford their program…“My wife is divorcing me and I haven’t worked since the crash; I don’t have any money.”

That’s when she explained, “Your insurance will probably pay for everything.” I explained to her that Nancy was covering me on her policy with the state, but that I didn’t know what would happen now.   That lady left me with a folder full of information and for some reason I hung on to the paperwork.

The very next morning a nurse entered the room with more bad news; most of the news over the next 25 years would be bad.  She explained to me that my wife would no longer be paying the insurance for me to stay at their facility, “So, if you have nowhere to go we’ll have to send you to the state hospital; I’m really sorry but that’s what we have to do.” 

“AAgghhh,” I let out a guttural moan.

Timing, since then, has been the worst possible and that afternoon as I rolled down the hall a guy had just come through the door straight ahead and to my left (the annex to the nursing home) and he had others following him.  When he spotted me, he and his small entourage halted, “Do you know Jesus,” he asked when I finally got there.  There – was my room they were right in front of it.

Well, I was in no mood to talk about my Christianity when,  I yelled, “What Jesus – what God? I don’t want to talk about a damn fairytale!”

“I know you’ve been through a lot, but…”

“You don’t know anything! I used to believe, accepted Him as my personal savior and everything and now look me!  I’m a freak!  Leave me alone!”

Steve Richie

Hi folks, Two lives in one lifetime. The first me, lived to age thirty-four. That Steve was overly confident and oozing with pride. Then, on a record heat-setting day (107º) here in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota and western Wisconsin, a one car near-fatal wreck left me in a two-month long coma. I emerged much as I was before minus certain physical capabilities, but my mind seemed mostly in tact. The crash and its effects did not change me (I emerged a happy individual) but the deeds perpetrated against me in the ensuing months from my wife of sixteen years scared and humbled me as I was dragged down with nothing left by my wife who now had guardianship over all of our accounts. And neither would she allow me to see our kids. She took everything out of, "Our" names and changed them to her name only; then would not allow me to our home and divorced me. I was angry, but no more. I spent half of 1988 and more than half of 1989 in hospitals, nursing homes and a three month stint at a head-injury rehab center where I was being taught how to re-enter society as this different person, that I didn't know. I was not able to return to my previous line of work, a self-employed decorator, you know, painting and paperhanging. It was a physical job which required much dexterity, finesse, and a good grasp of numbers. I returned to the beginning, school, but on a community college level. One of the instructor's liked my writing and I began focusing my attention on that. I attended classes at, "The Loft," A Place for Writers in Minneapolis. While there, a classmate of mine was having her friend from New York, a CBS executive, to her home for the holidays and asked me if she could do a critique on a couple chapters of a book I was writing, "A Day I'll Never Remember" and I obliged. When she returned to class the following Monday she told me that the exec wanted a ten-page synopsis of the book for a possible movie; I was excited. After obliging for that also, I never saw or heard from her or the guy from CBS. Next thing I knew I was watching a movie called, "Regarding Henry" starring Harrison Ford and the scenes of therapy were exactly like what I went through and had written about. Regarding Henry - could've been my story except that, "Henry" got his head injury from a gunshot and his wife stayed with him throughout the ordeal. Coincidence I'm sure, though, the therapy scenes entailed what I described in the book so I always wondered..... My hope, my dream is to bolster our income for my daughter and for myself. I am and have been raising this beautiful, talented little girl who was diagnosed with autism at age two, since 2006 singlehandedly. I divorced her mother the same year following complaints that I spent too much time with our daughter. However, Stephanie began school with no need for special education. She has been reading since age four and understanding what she'd read. Stephanie maintains straight "A's" on her report card, has published two books (through school) and has been selected as an, "Honors" student for seventh grade English. My ex moved to New York to be closer to her sister and has been remarried now for a number of years. Well, that's only a snippet of my sixty-one years and I would like to thank you for reading, thank you.

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