Corey’s Christmas Present

On Christmas morning Corey gave each one of us this picture in a frame.

Mom on the Mountain

The next day Corey wrote this beautiful story on his blog about the picture and I wanted to share it with all of you.

My siblings and I decided not to get gifts for each other this year so we could focus on making Christmas morning extra special for Cole, Peyton and Harrison, but when I was home for Thanksgiving last month I found a picture in my parents’ iPhoto Library that made me smile and I decided to have copies made and framed for my folks and my siblings anyway. Yesterday everybody opened my gift at the same time and when my dad got his unwrapped he looked at it for a moment and, because he was the one who had taken it, shared a bit of its backstory.

“I took this picture a little more than two years ago on a hike up to the top of Madonna Mountain in San Luis Obispo, California,” he said. “It was October and your mom and I were on a road trip to San Francisco to visit Corey and we decided to stop at several spots along to the way to hike and take pictures. We had just retired from our jobs a few months before that trip. We were on top of the world.”

There was a long silence in the living room after he spoke that last sentence and then my mom shattered it with a big, loud sob and the rest of us quickly joined her. For a moment I felt guilty for being the one to cause so many tears on a morning that was already hard enough given the circumstances, but then my mom steadied herself, took a deep breath and said in the broken, difficult-to-understand voice that ALS has made hers, “I feel like I have it all.”

Nobody said anything for a little while after that, but I hope she knew that our silence was just us agreeing with her and that we were crying because she was crying and also because when you’ve had it all you’re scared as hell to let it go.

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13 thoughts on “Corey’s Christmas Present

  1. I cannot describe how I’m feeling after reading this. It’s so much to grasp. All your strength, all your love, all your faith and the enormity of how many folks you have touched. It’s overwhelming.

  2. I haven’t met you Rosemary, but the photo captures the person Corey told me about…. Reaching for the stars, touching everything and everyone around you, connected with the universe, hands open to receive and to offer comfort, and vibrantly alive in ways many of us may never learn to experience. Great pic, great story. Thank you for all that you share!

  3. Thank you for being such an amazing person who can help us all see the glass as half full rather than half empty!

    Your spirit and your courage indeed let us know that you do have it all!!!

    Thanks for teaching us all what really matters in life!’

  4. I’m just going to go ahead and save this picture myself! If I had to put a caption on it,
    it would say “JOY” or “Triumph” or “Letting Go”….all of which apply!
    love, denise

  5. Wonderful post today, you are such an awesome person with a tremendous family…you are definitely an inspiration to many to live in the moment!!

  6. Sweet Rosemary ~ you and your family have set the bar on living life to the fullest no matter what. This quote from Mark Twain reminds me of you and your family. “Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain.”

  7. Wow……I know things are difficult for all of you BUT….the way you care about each other and the way you see life…You are “living the dream” many will never find.

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