Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Donating

"Anonymous" made a comment asking about donating. You can follow the link in the post below to the ALS donation site. My understanding is that you can continue to donate through the end of the year. Thanks!

By the way, the picture below was taken just before the walk. I'm on the right; the other two are my daughter-in-law, Jessie and pseudo-son, David. They were great sports to come out and keep me company on the walk.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

ALS


Last month, on August 30th, I wrote a blog titled It’s Been A Great Day! in which I mentioned that during the previous week a friend had been diagnosed with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. That friend is the mother of the little girl that I helped with four years ago while her older sister was undergoing cancer treatments. The mother’s diagnosis now, when the girls are just turning five and eight years old, has left all who know them devastated. This week I learned of two walks in the Portland area to support ALS research and assistance: there’s a walk today in downtown Vancouver and one tomorrow in downtown Portland. I will be walking in tomorrow’s event in Portland in honor of my friend. I don’t usually use this forum in this manner, but today I’d like to invite you to share this walk with me by supporting my fund raising efforts. Walking or donating a few dollars doesn’t seem like much, but at least it’s a positive action directed at a disease that is devastating, debilitating and fatal.

One last thought that has been brought home to me by my friend’s diagnosis: Live today!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Runaway

Yesterday my oldest daughter, a high school senior, played a song for me, Runaway by Love and Theft. A few of the lines are:

I'm gonna pack my bags and never look back
Run a parallel line with the railroad tracks
And make my getaway
I'll put the pedal to the metal as the sun goes down
Leave everybody sleeping in this sleepy town tonight
And at the break of day I'll be a runaway

I asked her if that was going to be her a year from now when she leaves for college. She smiled at me and shrugged. I know that she’s anxious to get on with her life. Senior year seems like a waste of her time, a delay in her plans. I remember that feeling myself, though I’m not sure she’d believe that I felt the same way. My husband and I listened to Bruce Springsteen’s Born to Run in those days. Actually, we still listen to Bruce, but the words to Born to Run really struck hard with us in 1976:

Baby this town rips the bones from your back
It’s a death trap, it’s a suicide rap
We gotta get out while we’re young
`cause tramps like us, baby we were born to run

So we ran. We ran away from the town we thought would rip the bones from our back and we ran to college, to marriage, to kids, to careers; basically to adulthood, to self-discovery and self-fulfillment.

What I realize now is that it’s not the running away that’s important; it’s the running to. Running away feels negative and implies giving up and leaving behind; running to feels positive and implies goals, desires and dreams to explore. When my daughter “runs away” I hope that she will understand that she’s not just running away, she’s also running to.