Editor's Note: This column originally appeared in the Hope Star-Journal newspaper.

He is there nearly every day as I round the corner on the last leg of my jog.

On crisp, fall mornings when the misty vapor wiggles over the lake in the distance behind him, he seems almost like a dream sequence from some movie - his wheelchair locked in place on the steep slope of his driveway, a tiny, white dog frozen next to his right leg.

The first time the man appeared, I might have run past without even noticing him, if the dog hadn't let loose a keep-your-distance bark. These days the fuzzy pup doesn't even bother to rise to its feet as I pass.

The man, on the other hand, raises his arm and waves as soon as I emerge from the early morning fog.

"Good morning," I pant as I pass his driveway. "How are you today?"

"Just fine," he replies. "Beautiful day."

Once, months ago, I stopped for a few minutes and introduced myself to him. Today, my 65-year-old brain does not retain his name, and, although he is at least 10 years younger than I am, he obviously does not remember mine.

From what he told me during our one brief chat, I wonder whether he remembers ever speaking to me at all - or, for that matter, recalls seeing me yesterday. Some mornings he smiles in a way that says, "I have been wondering when you would round that corner." Other days his expression speaks more of surprise that someone has appeared on his street.

On the day we talked, he wanted to know where I was going and where I lived. I replied that I was only exercising and that my house was just up the road, over the next hill and across the dam.

"Well, I don't know where that is," he said. "I had a stroke and I can't remember a lot of things. I don't really know where this road goes. I know it goes to Columbus somehow, but I have trouble picturing how it does that."

I told him this part of the road just circles the lake, but if you turn right on another road on the other side of the lake, you can go to Columbus.

He nodded, then slowly shook his head back and forth as if he were trying to create a picture of what I had just told him, but couldn't quite bring it into focus.

"Have a nice day," he said as I resumed my jog.

"You too," I replied.

Today as I run up that small hill that stretches beyond my friend's house and beyond his memory, the road has become a metaphor as misty as the lake off to my left.

None of us really knows for sure where the road is going, what is on the other side of the hill or where the turn is that takes us to our destination.

We all sit in a wheelchair of some sort, trapped by our situations, limitations and inadequate imaginations - waiting for something we recognize to come running out of the fog down at the corner.

Yet my friend knows he is in a wheel chair and the rest of us mostly don't.

Like him, we can control many things and change them for the better. But there are other things we must just accept and realize we can never figure out or alter.

Change what we can. As for the rest, we must learn just to smile, raise our arms and wave.

A tough, sobering lesson for those of us fortunate enough today to just be jogging by.