"You eventually have to make changes in the way you live with multiple sclerosis (MS) but you don't stop living," Montine Moyer of Manila said.
Moyer, 70, was diagnosed with MS in 1995. She had symptoms of pain in her legs for a couple years and at first blamed it on arthritis.
She was working in a sewing factory in Caraway as a seamstress and she began to notice the ache in her legs more and more.
Moyer has always been a busy person creating one project after another. She has always had a natural talent for sewing. She created everything from doll dresses, crafts, to formal wear. She is well known for her sewing abilities. She also enjoyed working in her flower gardens and gardening and never stayed still long enough to get bored.
Mrs. Moyer was instrumental in getting a volunteer fire department established in Milligan Ridge in the 1980s.
"Our home burned and there was no other place we wanted to live. We wanted to build back on the same lot," Moyer said. "There are a lot of people in our community and we needed a fire department closer. I never have been one to give up easy and I went to work to try to get a volunteer fire department established."
The Milligan Ridge Fire Department was established and is still active today.
She and her husband, the late Billy Moyer, made their country home in the Milligan Ridge area, where they lived together for over 54 years on the same lot they built their first home on. Mr. Moyer died Jan. 14, 2007.
"We depended on each other," Mrs. Moyer said. "It was very hard on our family when he passed away."
Again, Moyer's strong will to continue and not give up has helped her through a lot of difficult times.
She moved to town almost two years ago and still manages to take care of her apartment, do a little baking, enjoys writing poetry and gospel songs. A friend picks her up on Sunday and they go to church together at Second Baptist Church in Leachville.
"I have good neighbors here and I like my apartment," Moyer said. "My legs will not allow me to get around like I once did. I was a little disappointed recently when I was told I was not a good candidate for a new medicine for MS. I have a good doctor and I know he makes the best decisions for me."
Moyer is thankful she is still able to do as much as she can do.
Moyer said her advice, especially to younger people who suspect something is wrong, is to keep going until they get a correct diagnosis.
"There is no cure for MS but there is medication to keep it under control and slow it down," she said. "Don't ever give up and just sit down."
Moyer gets up every morning, fixes her bed, does her hair and puts on her make-up just as if she was still going to work.
"I believe in meeting the world with a smile," she said.
She admits there are times when she gets down.
"Even if I am down, I try to keep it to myself, she said. "I deal with it at night when I go to bed asking the Lord for strength. I do my best to get up in the morning ready to start a new day."
Moyer has two daughters, Paula and Dana, three granddaughters Tara, Jordan and Taye, and a great-granddaughter, Nadia.
Moyer enjoys writing poetry and gospel songs. She is sharing one of her poems, "A Prayer Answered," and one of her songs, "Climbing up to Heaven."
A Prayer Answered
By Montine Moyer
Father, I want to thank you for answering my prayer.
I now have a job to do.
Let me forget about what you can do for me,
And let me think about what I can do for you.
I owe you my life since you saved my soul.
And with your guidance, I'll be a witness everywhere I go.
I spent my young life thinking that I was poor as could be.
But no one every told me that my Father was a king.
Just to think you were crucified and nailed to a cross,
And you did it all to save us from loss.
No one even offered to take your place,
Take the thorns from your head, or wipe the blood from your face.
They pierced your side, your hands and your feet,
And left you to die like a tramp in the streets.
Oh, but they were so wrong; Jesus didn't die.
He's gone to prepare a place just for you and I.
What have we done to deserve such a friend?
He's been with us in the beginning,
And he will be with us until the end.
Climbing Up to Heaven
By Montine Moyer
(Dec. 18, 2008)
I'm gonna' climb up to heaven,
It's so sad to go alone.
I'm gonna' call on my Savior
He's gonna' lead me home.
He will reach down and touch me
And with my golden wings
I'll fly away up to glory
And see sights I have never seen.
There will be no more tear drops in heaven
No heartaches will ever be known
With loved ones we'll be united
And dwell in our heavenly home.
I'll meet with my friends and my loved ones.
They're standing at the gate
With arms outstretched to greet me.
Oh, I can hardly wait!
It's been a long time coming
But the day is finally here.
We will have a glad reunion
And wipe away all our tears.