Photo by Eric Stampfli

I could not find an elevator on the lower floor of this church. With the memorial service about to begin on the upper level, I had two choices: transfer back in my car and drive to the second floor entrance in the upper parking lot, or wheel up a steep access road. I thought I’d get there faster if I wheeled, but halfway up the road, pushing hard against gravity, my chest started burning and my arms felt fatigued. I was running short of breath, but there was no turning back. The hill was too steep. Safer to go up than down.

At the top of the hill, breathing hard, I met my wife, who had driven there from work. I felt clammy, my arms ached and the burning pressure now ran all the way across my upper chest. I tried not to think about what may