Still, Roger says his physical limitations have opened him up to wonderful new experiences.

Roger says his memories are more vivid than they've ever been. "Even when I'm awake, I remember things that amaze me. I remember my dad and me driving to the A&W Root Beer stand when I was about 5 and his voice saying, 'A 5-cent beer for the boy,'" he says. "For nights and nights after I lost my ability to drink or taste, I would wake up with my thoughts focused on that little glass mug all frosted with ice."

In his mind, Roger says he could taste that root beer. "I took the taste over and over," he says.

After hearing this story, Roger's brother-in-law helped him appreciate the gift he had received. "I told them I had remembered that day with my father for the first time in 60 years. Johnny asked me if I ever thought about it since. 'No,' I said, 'not even once,'" he says. "Johnny told me, 'It might be that when the Lord took away your drinking, he gave you back that memory.'"


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