What an understatement.
Life has brought them a series of tragic consequences. How they keep a positive, hopeful attitude regarding the challenges Monte is facing is mind-boggling.
A serious side effect from a diabetic medication called Byetta left Monte with no other option but dialysis.
Sue has driven him to Linton three days a week for three years. He arrives at the clinic at 5:30 a.m. and generally leaves at 9 a.m.
With indomitable faith, he is waiting for a kidney. He spoke to me saying, "If I receive a kidney it is God's will. If I don't that is his will also. I don't sit around worrying about it."
Monte was generous with his praise for the folks who work at the dialysis clinic. He said, "They get there at 5 a.m. and a lot of nights they don't leave until 8 p.m."
He thought people might be surprised to learn that there are 40 people who come to the clinic for dialysis weekly.
It is very important that the message contained within this article causes a deeply emotional response. The most positive result would be the gift of life for a very deserving Greene County man. Monte needs a kidney donor.
I first became aware of his situation by reading a posting on Facebook. It was originally posted by his brother-in-law, Mike. I spoke with him on Saturday. He informed me that they have had 5,000 responses. Two people had volunteered to be donors but were rejected by one cause or another. Sue, his wife, also went through a series of tests to become his donor. Everything looked promising until the very last test. They found small cysts on her kidneys.
Thus, she too was rejected as a donor. With a broken voice, she said, "That was one of the lowest moments."
Monte McIntosh was one of my classmates at L&M High School in the 1960s. Like most of his family, he was tall and dark haired, a gentle soul with a twinkle in his eye. He seemed to always be on the verge of laughter over some kind of secret mischief. He played sports, kept up his grades, and made his family proud. Monte was one of those happy people who made you feel good being around him. His friends enjoyed his company and companionship.
I met Sue while she was dating Monte. What a loving, kindhearted friend. After high school, we attended Vincennes University and shared rides home each weekend. She wanted to spend every moment with her family and Monte. She invited me to her home one weekend. Her parents were exactly what I expected, welcoming, and full of warm, giving graciousness. As we sat around the kitchen table that evening, Leo, Sue's dad, discovered that I wanted my ears pierced. A few ice cubes later and a large needle used for pig vaccinations, I was the proud owner of newly pieced ears.
As life moved forward, I lost contact with those who meant so much.
As expected, Monte and Sue married. He worked as an industrial arts teacher, she as a school nurse. Honest and hard working people, they raised three children, and gave to their community and church.
They've been blessed with nine grandchildren and another grandson due in February. Today, both are retired. They live south of Bloomfield on the farm land where Sue was raised. A daughter lives on the same property, one brother just over the hill. At family gatherings, everyone, including the youngest at 3, has something with a motor attached. Great times are spent riding across farmland that has been in Sue's family for a good long time.
The McIntosh's have a lot of living left to do. More fishing trips to Iowa. Sue and he are going on fishing vacations with another couple in Minnesota. Years of family gatherings with their children, grandchildren, and Sue's family as well.
My two friends have grown older together. They still remain steadfast in their love and support of one another. They have retained their sense of humor and kindness that attracted people to them in the first place.
The two share a deep, abiding faith.
Tawni is a former elementary teacher at Linton-Stockton High School. She can be reached by email at email@example.com .