THIS has been a year to remember. Truly another year for which to be thankful. I speak and write often of perspective. Linda and I chuckle at the social media rants we all post, complaining about a "tragedy", the #%**<>! who cut us off at the intersection or a "horrible day". We all do it. Social media has been the Great Enabler of the Whining Class. And I won't even mention the build up to and post election rants from both sides. Really. I won't mention it.
When we're honest with ourselves - and that's tough stuff, being honest with ourselves, if we can apply some perspective to the day, the week and even the year, few things are as bad as we say. In this season of reflection and thanks perspective is an important tool to have in our spiritual tool belt. So, with my perspective hammer in hand, here are the highlights of another year for which to be thankful.
Obviously, it starts with family and friends both near and far. Without them, this all makes no sense.
For us, this year has been overflowing with material blessings. Chief among them being the "Hopemobile II" given to us by Donna Dourney and her team at HARK (hark-als.org). We were the first recipients of HARK's "Hopemobiles .For pALS" initiatives. Stunning generosity.
Then, there was the repair of our crumbling garage floor. An initiative started by President Jim Dlugos of St. Joseph's College, where our youngest, Matt, is a Junior. After a visit to our home, President Dlugos called Matt Cook, President of AlliedCook Construction which has a more than year long project going on campus. Matt visited us and without blinking said "We've had a good year. We'd be happy to fix this for you." Stunning generosity again.
Of course, we've had smaller blessings, some monetary and many random acts of kindness throughout the year. Too many to list for fear of leaving someone out but we're thankful for each and every one. From gift cards to mysterious flower deliveries, from food and desserts to freshly picked fruit left on our steps, we're thankful for it all. Oh! (See...I told you I'd overlook someone). We had people like .Greg and Jennifer Cushman show up and
mow our lawn. That was, until our neighbor, Steve .Swan, asked if we would mind if he started mowing our lawn when he did his. Ummm...yes please!
As far as The Hope-JG Foundation is concerned, we've been blessed to have an incredible team and Board members helping make our second annual golf scramble better than the first year. We're thankful for the companies and individuals who sponsored or donated to the scramble. And we're always thankful to donors throughout the year. We still need to grow our team so, if you have a heart to volunteer, call or email.
So much to be thankful for when it comes to the foundation. Innovators like Rupal Patel (VocaliD
.co) and Robin Gentry McGee (http://functionalformularies.com/
) who bless us with their collaborative spirit and support regularly. We're thankful for state legislators like .Drew Gattine and Richard Malaby for their gracious support of our persistent testimony before the Joint Legislative DHHS Committee.
We're thankful for future .Innovators like Dexter Ang of MIT who visited us multiple times and blessed with alternative ways of communicating. Dexter and his team at Pison Technologies have developed an exciting skin sensor device which enable paralyzed individuals to control external devices by moving a single, small muscle.
And finally, with November being Caregivers Month, I'm eternally thankful for the love of my life. Linda has been doing more the double duty since before my diagnosis in 2007. With me traveling so much for work, she had boot camp type training for what we would face with ALS. She's become a Mrs. Fix It, soccer and basketball Mom, Nurse, yard maintenance worker and so much more. No one can truly understand the pressures she has borne but, as the adage goes, diamonds are lumps of coal that have endured tremendous pressure. Thank you for being my diamond, Linda. I'll love you forever and a day.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone. I wish joy, peace and perspective this holiday season.