This year has been a tough one on our family, particularly my parents. They have lost a daughter, a mother/mother-in-law and a brother/brother-in-law.
A couple weeks ago, my mom wrote a tribute to my grandmother, Dorothy Midgley, and the Thursday it was printed her youngest brother V.J. Sampson passed away in Ardmore from complications from polio that he had when he was 6 years old.
I asked her if she would write one for him, too, and here it is:
What can I say about my little brother, V.J. Sampson? He was the last of nine kids and was never content to just sit back and watch.
By the world’s standards, he was a cripple, but he conceded himself to be handicapped which to him meant he could do the same stuff anyone else could do, but he had to do it in a different way.
He never wanted to be treated different or anyone to feel sorry for him. He jokingly complained that all handicap parking signs showed pictures of wheelchairs, because he could walk just fine but could not use his left arm at all and only the hand on his right arm.
As a child, he did all the same work as the other farm kids such as hoeing, hauling hay, feeding the animals and mowing. He also was very mechanically inclined, and could fix cars and almost anything else that had a motor.
He married his childhood sweetheart, and for 40 years she was his arms and hands. She probably knows more about cars than most men. Together, they owned several businesses, traveled to almost all 50 states and raised three children.
When he was age 2, he drank carbolic acid and faced death for the first time, then for the next 58 years he fought hard to live through that — and the complications of the polio he got when he was age 6.
Most of all, he was an awesome Christian man who began a personal relationship with Christ later in life. He read and studied constantly, and was always witnessing to people, praying for people and encouraging people.
He was always respected in his home, and by everyone who knew him. He was always ready to help anyone in need, and many people depended on him. His death will leave a huge hole in his family and his community.
Have a great week!
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