Monthly Archives: December 2013

Love Letters

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Last September our kids sent the following letter to one hundred or so of our friends and family members.

Dearest family and friends,

On November 24th of this year our parents will be celebrating their 35th wedding anniversary and as a gift to them we’ve decided to compile a book of letters about their lives together as told by the people they love most. Because of the role you have played in their lives, we consider your contribution to this book essential.

For your part in this gift, we’re asking that you use the enclosed piece of paper to write a letter to our parents containing a memory you have about them as a couple. The memory can be happy or heartfelt or silly, it’s up to you. We would like to print a photo to go alongside your letter, so if you have one that you’re especially fond of, please include it in your return envelope. Otherwise, we’ll do our best to dig one out of the Rosemary Photo Archive.

We ask the letter be written by hand, if possible, and returned to Kelly no later than September 30th. If you have questions, please reach out to Kelly (kelly.ufnal@gmail.com). Also, we ask that you keep this a secret from our parents. We’d like this to be a surprise.

Thank you for being such a special part of our parents’ lives.

Love,

Chad, Kelly, Corey and Bryan

From the letters they received from our grandkids, sisters, brothers, nieces, nephews and friends, the kids compiled a 110-page book which they gave to Mark and I on our 35th wedding anniversary. Each letter in the book is a priceless piece of artwork and I’d like to share a few of them now.

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Our beautiful niece Allison Selter’s letter made me smile. Actually, it made me beam. Allison, with her beautiful penmanship, wrote:

I thought Uncle Mark and Aunt Rosemary had saints for children. I always thought (and  saw) they never raised their voices to their children. Then one day we were at one of their kids’ graduations and the graduation speaker mentioned that Rosemary put soap in her kids’ mouths. I thought they did get into trouble and they have been disciplining them. So now I look at all of their kids and think they did a wonderful job raising them and they turned out just fine with a little discipline.

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Another letter came from our dear friend Eric Sesselmann.

Mark, I pray for you as much or more than I do for Rosemary as I can see it is just as hard on partners when their loved one is ill. I can see the tenderness with which you assist and care for Rosemary and I am in absolute awe. Your relationship is the greatest love story I have ever seen. Your devotion to each other is beyond compare. I love you both.

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Our nephew Matt Grimm also wrote a wonderful letter.

My relationship with Uncle Mark and Aunt Rosemary started to build when they were making the decision to send Chad, Kelly, Corey and Bryan to MCC. That period of time really made me feel like they respected and wanted my opinion even though I was only in the 6th grade.

There are even more beautiful letters that I hope to share in a later post.

Chad, Kelly, Corey and Bryan,

Our book of love letters is the best gift ever.

We love you all so much.

Mom and Dad

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Tender Moments

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One afternoon last week I decided I needed to take a nap, so Mark walked me into our bedroom and sat me down on the edge of our bed, picked up my legs and gently laid me down on my pillow. Kelly and Corey followed us to help Mark tuck me in and then stayed for awhile and quietly talked and laughed as I rested all warm and cozy under the covers. I felt so loved and so satisfied in that moment that all I could do was smile.

I hope Heaven feels just like that.

The Best of Today

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In October while we were on our trip out west Mark said to me, “We have to make the best of today because someday we would give anything to have this day back.”

Mark’s simple sentence is so powerful. I would give anything to have the body back that I had on January 31, 2013 when I first found out I had ALS.

But I know I can’t go back to January so I have to try to make this day the best.

A Christmas Journey of Love

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I love Christmas. I love it because people act differently. They act differently for many reasons but for the most part they try harder to smile and try to love more deeply.

This Christmas feels a little different. Actually, it feels a lot different. This may be my last Christmas or at least the last Christmas that I am able to fully participate, so it is up to me to help set the atmosphere in our home. Today I feel emotionally strong and ready to face my last Christmas with as much happiness and appreciation as I can. Thanks to all of you, my family and I are on an unbelievable journey of love.

These past 11 months have challenged me and my family more than I thought possible. But oddly, I’ve been able to find meaning through my suffering just like my friend Nancy Nolan Moody did after losing her husband Kevin in July of 2009 to pancreatic cancer. After my diagnosis, Nancy, my very wise and beautiful friend, wrote me a letter.

“I feel you and your family are on a journey of love that will have previously been unknown to all of you. There is magic and mystery and joy in nearly everything we experience. Just as you have already begun to feel it, this journey will have that positive side too.”

Today I hope we can all face our Christmas journey with love, magic, mystery and joy.

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Merry Christmas, everyone.

Live simple, love like crazy.

The Lambert Family