Our family has been slapped with some devastating genetics that are rearing their ugly heads to those of us nearing retirement age.
My husbands oldest brother Tim was diagnosed with ALS about 5 years ago and before we could fully grasp the understanding or ability to help ,he was gone. In a matter of months he went from running and playing basketball to a wheelchair and then suddenly he was gone.
He left behind his wife,Arlene and two amazing sons...and they have marched thru this loss bravely!
Still today they just keep moving forward with such strength and grace that it makes all of us stronger.
|Arlene and Sara|
Just a year after Tim was diagnosed Susan,the baby of the family was diagnosed with a form of dementia. She suffered a loss of memory that landed her near death in the hospital and finally in a care facility.Her daughter and son in law had to take the decision making role to care for her ...and they did.
|Bub and Susan|
Shortly after Susan's episode( about 2 years ago),Ric ,the youngest brother was diagnosed with ALS-we were shaken to the core to realize now what he would face.
He determined from the moment he was diagnosed that he would fight..every day and never...ever raise a white flag of surrender...and he has done that every day since- without fail!
His wife,Jan works full time and manages his care (and keeping him out of trouble ) with help from all 3 kids.
|Bob, Bub and Ric|
Just A few days ago another diagnosis- this time for Bob,(the middle brother),shook us to the core again-Frontal Lobe Dementia. In the past few months it was clear something was wrong and now we know what it was.
His personality and behavior is not the same Bob we have all known and loved since our growing up years.He has good moments-not good days and it is a frustratingly difficult illness to manage both socially and medically. Once again his wife,Lenore has not gone limp and pitiful under the strain -but stronger and more resilient.
There are lots of questions about how he will be cared for when she returns to teaching next year but there's one thing I know- she and their 3 boys wont buckle under the strain- they will figure it out and walk through caring for and loving Bob.
|Lenore,Me and Jan|
I want to be clear-I am celebrating the people that are walking thru hard things and choosing to hold their heads up and fight to stay positive.
I'm celebrating the people who choose to rely on a God that knows their struggle and knows He can carry them when they cant take another step.
I'm celebrating the people who still go shopping and go to movies and have friends over on the porch rather than hiding away in the darkness of self pity.
I'm celebrating the ones that have lost their very dearest and face holidays,reunions and those awful death anniversaries mostly alone because no one else really remembers those days
like they do-and they don't feel the need to make it an annual show of grief- they feel,cry and remember but they get back up and LIVE!
Every one of you amaze me with your faith,strength and resilience!!!
I'm glad we are in this together!!!!