30th November 2002
By Chet Callero
Daily Commercial Correspondent
Delores Jennings says about her husband Mark, "He made me want to live again."
Delores has been confined to a wheelchair for the past two years. She is suffering from multiple sclerosis.
She met Mark on Dec. 23 at a Christmas party at the Mount Dora Eagles Club. They were married April 13 at the lighthouse in Grantham Point Park. What makes the couple unique is that they travel around Mount Dora in a special three-wheeled bicycle that Mark built.
The bicycle has two front wheels. Delores is carried, sitting in her wheel chair on a platform, between the two front wheels.
"At least once a every week, we peddle to Wal-Mart, Renningerís Flea Market and the Eagles Club," Mark said. They talked about about their first date.
"She told me she would like to see the Christmas lights in Donnelly Park,Ē he said. ďI offered to take her there." Delores: "He made me feel that there was more to life. And heís a good looking man."
Mark: "I was attracted to her at first sight. After our first date, I realized there was more there than the eye could see."
They both agree they love to ride the special bicycle he built.
Mark said, "Itís five miles, one way, to Wal-mart, from our house. We return home on Old 441. Itís a steep hill. At times, traffic will back up behind us. The road is narrow ,and the cars cannot pass us."
Delores said, "I donít get scared on most of our rides. It does make me wonder when the road is narrow and there is not enough space for our bicycle and the cars. Most of the time, the motorists are very patient and courteous." She turned toward Mark and said, "Iím just glad I can trust you."
Mark Said, "Every Monday night we go to the Eagles Club for bingo. Before I built the bike, I used to push her there in her wheelchair, up and down Robie Street. I realized we needed a comfortable way to transport her.
She said, "With the bike, he doesnít have to pick me up and load me in and out of his truck. He doesnít have to break down my wheelchair. The bicycle ride is a lot more enjoyable than being in a car."
Mark estimates, "The total weight the bicycle is carrying is around 435 pounds. That includes me, Delores, the wheelchair and the bike.
She reminded him, "Itís even heavier when we buy groceries. I love to go shopping."
Delores said, "There is no cure for my disease. They can only slow it down. First, I lost the use of my legs. Recently I lost the use of my left arm.
"We both have a sense of humor. I think thatís important. Itís the only way to get through life. I thank God that he sent Mark to be with me. He does it all. He works 9 to 5 at his job. He comes home to another 9 to 5 job. Me. Heís home every day to make lunch for me. He dresses me, cooks our meals and even washes our dirty dishes.
"Weíve only known each other for a year. Itís something for somebody with my problems to get into a relationship with someone else. When you realize the responsibilities and the obligations of being with a handicapped person, thatís where Godís blessing comes in. You donít find too many people who would be able to adjust to the life that we lead. I know that, without Mark, I would be like most handicapped people. Iíd probably be in some institution.
"My God! Iím only 41 years old. Iím so blessed. I have a life style that gives me a sense of happiness and satisfaction. I have someone wonderful to share my life with."
Chet Calleroís column appears Sunday in The Daily Commercial. Callero
hosts a radio talk show, at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, on WLBE, 790 AM.
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