Monthly Archives: March 2014

I’m Limited

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As it gets more difficult for me to type I have decided to write fewer of my stories and instead share more of yours (with your permission, of course). I think you’re going to love reading what others have written to me because their words are absolutely beautiful.

Thank you for making this past year amazing for me and my family with your words of love and encouragement. You’ve made this feel not like my journey but like our journey.

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Sad Saturday

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Last Saturday morning started out with our fun friend Teresa LaVigne entertaining Mark and I with her funny stories while enjoying  coffee and donuts. But after Teresa left I fell apart. All of a sudden I felt extremely sad for our kids because they have to endure this sadness so young. I was comparing my life to theirs because I was blessed to have my parents and Mark’s parents well into their eighties and I will be lucky to live to sixty.

My sadness continued into the early evening until I made myself go to Chris and  Kelly’s house for dinner and there I felt a little better.

A few days later I was telling Kelly why I was crying on Saturday. I told her that she and her brothers were getting gypped because of this horrible disease and the most beautiful words came out of her mouth. She said, “I don’t think we are getting gypped right now. Maybe later I will think differently but now we’ve been given the gift of time. We have been able to spend so much precious time together and most people never get that. And Mom, you taught us that.”

That ended my pity party.

Dear Nieces and Nephews

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Dear nieces and nephews,

I’m not going to pretend that I’m okay about missing out on watching all of you raise your families and excel in your everyday lives because it upsets me more than I can say. Uncle Mark and I were hoping to be your two biggest fans as you journey through life. We’ve always loved to hear the great things you’re accomplishing and we’ve been truly amazed at how well you’re handling major events in your lives, like:

  • Marrying into our family and learning all of the names of your new aunts, uncles and cousins
  • Having the courage to make major career changes or taking a chance and opening your own business
  • Handling a sick newborn with love and courage as you watch him endure two major heart surgeries
  • Surviving tough teenage years and then growing up to excel at parenting
  • Moving your family to China for three years and teaching your children to accept and adapt to a different way of life

We’ve all shared some amazing adventures together. Some of my favorites on the Lambert side have been our Florida vacations visiting Grandma and Grandpa Lambert. I can still hear all of the laughter during our flip-cup tournament with Grandma Lambert, Aunt Terry and Aunt Lila. I remember that night being beautiful and warm in Aunt Vicki and Uncle Bruce’s backyard. Everyone had so much fun. And we can’t forget about skiing in Colorado and renting that big, beautiful house on the Gulf.

One of my favorite Beckman memories was at Sara and Travis’ wedding at Crystal Mountain. Being the photographers, Uncle Mark and I had the thrill of riding to the top of the mountain on a chairlift all dressed up along with the fun bridal party. Then we danced the night away with all of you and your parents at the reception. To top the night off, everybody rode down Buck Mountain in the middle of the night on cardboard boxes, plastic shovels and garbage can lids. That night nobody was in a hurry to go back to their condos. We all bonded so well and didn’t want the night to end.

And I absolutely loved spending the weekend right before Christmas at Crystal Mountain with both the Lambert and Beckman families. It was so much fun watching our families get to know each other better.

I love how unique you all are because you each bring your own beautiful colors to our family. You have brought so much love and joy to me and it makes me sad that I’ll never be able to fully articulate how much being your aunt has meant to me.

Before I end this blog post I have three requests for all of you, my sweet nieces and nephews. First, please keep our family parties fun even if you have to pull out the Silly String or make up a silly scavenger hunt. It will be worth it. Second, please share your resources with each other, whatever they may be. Even if it’s just a little bit of your time, it can make a big difference. And third, please keep dreaming even if you are struggling. I never thought I would be able to dream again after my diagnosis but so many of my dreams have come true this past year even when I couldn’t find hope. Please keep dreaming.

You’ve made me so proud and I love you all so much.

Aunt Rosemary

Emily’s Letter

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As my hands and arms continue to weaken I decided to save some energy and start sharing some of the beautiful and inspirational letters I’ve received from friends and family. I received the following letter from a family friend, Emily Sterritt Johnson, who happens to be one of Kelly’s best friends.

Dearest Rosemary,

I hope this email finds you doing well and most importantly smiling because of Harrison, the newest miracle in your life. I am emailing because I recently had an encounter I had to share with you.

This past evening, a friend invited me to join a mom’s group called Wine and The Word. It’s sort of a book club where we drink wine, of course, and read a chapter of A Book of Saints for Catholic Moms. This week’s focus was on Saint Josephine Bakhita, a woman whose childhood was tragically marked by kidnapping, enslavement, human trafficking but later on worked through her immense physical pain to solely support the Church’s mission.

The question to ponder throughout the evening was: “What enslaves you and separates you from complete union with God?” I could have screamed my answer: suffering. My thoughts went immediately to you. As my turn came, I shared your life, your story, your blog, your words and actions. I also shared my quickness to anger at God and tendency to separate from Him, when He is not able to answer my question: “Why give us such amazing people to love, people who make the world better, for such a short period of time that leads to an immense amount of suffering, only to take them away?” Almost instantaneously, a new friend quoted the gospel of John, chapter 9.

Even with my Catholic education, and having been a Catholic schoolteacher for the past nine years, I’m not sure I’ve ever gone to the Bible for any sort of guidance or answers. I guess you could say it’s just not my style, but this spoke volumes:

John Chapter 9 The Man Born Blind 1) As he passed by he saw a man blind from birth. 2) His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” 3) Jesus answered, “Neither he nor his parents sinned; it is so that the works of God might be made visible through him. 4) We have to do the works of the one who sent me while it is day. 5) While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”

Rosemary, we are all in awe of the incredible grace from God that shines on us through you. Your words and actions make God visible to me, and no doubt, to countless others.

You are one of the chosen ones and how blessed are we.

PS – As I typed this email, I went in search of a Bible in our house so that I could adequately share the verses, and found one from junior high at MCC. I found this in the back cover, see attached picture. I’m not even sure you are supposed to write in the Bible, let alone treat it as a yearbook, but your daughter and I sure did, and it made my smile!

I bet it was 29 days till Florida

So Much Love,

Emily

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You Inspire Me

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I’ve always gotten most of my inspiration from people and this past year I’ve been inspired by so many of you. Some days when I’m sad and ALS sucks I wake up to a beautiful email from someone encouraging me to keep fighting. Or I receive a card full of lovely words inspiring me to keep writing because this blog has made a difference in their life.

It amazes me how simple it can be to turn a sad day into a happy one with just a little bit of love and kindness.

Thank you for inspiring me.