Remembering Mo

I had a sobering and thought provoking experience this week that will stay with me for a long time. My Father-in-Law, my son Alex and I were in Schaefferstown, PA to visit some family for the afternoon. When we drove in the driveway, one of the neighbors urgently waved us over. Mo, a retired Vietnam Veteran, had fallen in his garage and had been lying there for over 30 minutes. His neighbor, Lyle, a retired school teacher, needed help to get him up off the concrete. That’s when we drove up. Together we all helped Mo get into a chair and tried to reassure him that things would be ok. We soon realized that he needed an ambulance so we called 911. While waiting for the ambulance to arrive we learned that Mo was retired from the Navy. He served in Vietnam on a Destroyer vessel, Mo called it a “tin can”, and he told us that they patrolled “alleys” as part of their mission.

As we tried to make Mo comfortable, the ambulance arrived and it took all of us to get him loaded onto the stretcher so he could be taken to the VA Hospital. I thanked him for his service to our country, told him it was nice to meet him and said good-bye. Less than 24 hours later Mo had died. He had suffered a stroke from which he could not recover.

Here are some things I learned from this experience:

  • Be Prepared. – I almost missed seeing Lyle wave us over for help. You never know when God has a job for you to do. Pay attention to your surroundings and expect God to use you.
  • Take the time to be a Good Neighbor. – In the few moments we spent with Mo and his neighbor Lyle, it was clear to me that Lyle was a very good man and a wonderful neighbor. It was easy to see that he loved Mo and did what he could to help take care of him. Lyle was bold in his Faith and his dependence on God’s strength, and this was significant to me.
  • Use your Skills to be a Blessing to Others. – While standing in Mo’s garage, I noticed all of his tools and how neat and organized they were. He kept a very tidy garage and shop, but it was clear that it was regularly being put to use. I found out later that Mo helped to repair his neighbors’ lawnmowers and that he even surprised them with some repairs he made without them knowing it. This is a sign of someone that clearly knows where his skills are and knows how to make good use of them. Mo was useful and handy and he made a difference with those skills.
  • Make sure to Pray with People in their time of Need. – I don’t want to minimize the comfort we gave to Mo while we waited with him in his garage. We spoke of God and His goodness and how it seemed as though He brought us all together at that moment so we could help one another. I do wish that I had taken a moment to pray with and for Mo. In my experience, praying with someone in their time of need is one of the most meaningful things you can do, let alone the spiritual impact. You may never get another chance, so make the most of every opportunity!

It is significant to me how just a few minutes of time can shape your future. I will be a better man having met Mo, even if it was for just a few minutes. Hopefully this will help you too!

About The Author

Duane Rockensock

Duane (Rocky) Rockensock is a husband, a dad, and the National Reconditioning Manager for AmeriGas Propane. Since he was a teenager, Duane has loved hearing the stories of how people have started creative businesses or found ways to use their talents to accomplish amazing things. For that reason he started this blog to encourage teens and adults to find their purpose and to provide the tools and resources to make that happen!

  • Rebecca

    Thanks Duane. I have been really challenged to do something when people are hurting or in need. It may only take a moment to impact someone’s life. It is easy to put off doing a kind deed, but we are called to reach out and be an instrument.

    • admin

      You are right Becky. I learned a lot last Wednesday. Thanks!