Holidays with the ones you love
Here is a story about a woman and her husband, a fellow so sick that this could be their last holiday together. Let’s hope not. It is always a possibility for us, though some have illness that makes our life expectancy shorter.
I know. I defeated cancer a few years back. I had cardiology problems that doctors have managed to put into check. Now, I can’t hear naturally, but I have an implant and can still listen and speak to whom I want. If it gets too noisy, I unplug.
Yet, I want to hear all of the noise of life that I can. One of my friends, Dr. Kragness, a friend and MD said, “Jim, you are indestructible.”
My reply, “Keep the spare parts coming, Dr. Kragness.”
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and enjoy the precious moments one at a time.
“When time is the greatest gift, every day can be Christmas
The greatest gift: Alan and Cathy Herman celebrate Christmas
If the disease that has crept through Alan's body has taught the couple anything, it's that if you focus too much on what you have lost or on the future, you forget to enjoy what you have in the present.
By William Wan
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, December 23, 2010; 11:09 PM
This is what the perfect Christmas gift looks like. It is a thick but comfortable coat. Size XXL. Made of a fabric that's warm but also a little slippery. The last bit is the most important part, Cathy Herman explained, as she roamed through the Bass Pro Shop at Arundel Mills mall.
When it comes to Christmas, she and her husband, Alan, have always favored sensible gifts, things they needed anyway. And this year, she hoped to surprise her husband with a coat they could slip easily over his head - the only part of his body he can still move - and thread his arms through without catching on the wheelchair that shuttles him around.
It was around the time leading up to Christmas three years ago that her husband first started having trouble walking. Then came the doctors' diagnosis: amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, better known as Lou Gehrig's disease. And with it, the devastating prognosis: two to five years to live.
Since then, Alan, 58, has lost control of his body little by little, and Cathy, 52, and their three children have learned what it means to dig deep in life, to find joy in the season, to laugh and pray and hope together. At their home in Laurel, they've learned to celebrate each Christmas as though it could be their last.
But it's also something they don't often talk about, that they try not to dwell on.
If the disease has taught them anything as it's crept through Alan's body, it's that if you focus too much on what you have lost or on the future, you forget to enjoy what you have in the present.”