• Memoriam wall
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    • If you know someone that battled ALS, please add them here
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gimpydad'slady

Active member
Joined
Jul 5, 2008
Messages
63
Country
US
State
Georgia
City
Lula
I have been around the forum for a few years, as of the last couple, just reading and following those I have known that have gone on and found peace...its with a heavy heart that I post this, Brian, my husband of 24 years, my soul friend, found peace from this horrible disease on December 26 at 8:43am...he had slipped into a coma on Christmas Eve, and was non responsive to touch...on the morning of the 26th, at 3am, I whispered in his ear that it wasn't Christmas anymore, and he could go on if he wanted...I gave him his meds, and I pulled his wheelchair next to the couch so that I could lay down to rest...around 6:35AM, his feet felt cold, and I thought he had passed, but he had not...so I moved him to his usual place in the living room, and I sat with him, and talked to him. His breathing had became this perfect rhythm that seemed to make his wheelchair rock as a mother would her child. Around 8:15, I had my friend get our son up, I knew he didn't have long, we all said our good byes again...and just sat and talked with him...he gripped my hand, opened his eyes as if to see if I was still there, smiled at me, and took his last breathe...it was so peaceful...closed his eyes and he's spirit left us....I kissed him, and told him I loved him. We had an amazing life, he was an amazing man...and my sunshine is now in the heavens watching over me...I miss him terribly, but I am thankful, that he no longer is suffering....He did it his way all the way to the end. Please remember my family, as we adjust to life without Brian's physical presence.

Standing here before you to memorialize my husband is not something I had ever planned on, well at least not this young. We all know how precious life is, but we still take it for granted. Looking around this room I can see so much love here for Brian, and I thank you for coming today. It means so much that you all would be here, to celebrate his life and to honor his memory. Words can’t even begin to express just how much I miss Brian today, sometimes it feels like my very life began when I said “I do” on our wedding day. I will always remember Brian’s sense of adventure and his endless curiosity.

Many of you are here because you know me or another family member, but many of you knew Brian. You surely knew what a big Drag Racing fan he was, how proud he was of his service to his country as a Marine, but did you know he would cry when he heard babies giggle or cry, the why being because it reminded him that he would not see his grand children born, or see them grow into adults? It reminded him that he wouldn't see our son Matt, get married and become a father?

We have lived in this area for only a few years, so it might surprise you to realize that Brian was a world traveler as a Marine, and we had traveled the US together. I have many memories of traveling with Brian, some of these full of more adventure than I preferred. But in many ways every day with Brian was an adventure all on its own. I have never met a man who asked the question “Why?” endlessly and who was never satisfied with the answer. At times, this would be exasperating in a funny way – but many times Brian was the one who found the best treasures that we enjoyed in life.

Brian was a very generous, and tender-hearted man who loved his family . He loved to fish in the rivers of North Georgia with my dad and my brother, and hunt with his dad. He was the type of man that would give you the shirt off his back if you needed it. He loved to play golf with our brother in laws when he had the chance. He loved gardening. He was an amazing woodworker and carpenter. He made beautiful furniture, scroll work and learned to turn beautiful pieces on the lathe. He loved playing his guitar, and playing video games with Matt. Brian loved baseball, especially going to the stadium in Detroit to watch the Tigers play. He loved horror flicks, military history flicks, but was a sap for a good love story.

Brian was a meat-and-potatoes kind of guy, but he also loved cooking in the kitchen with me, he was the grill master, and truth being told he was a much better cook than I am, except for meatloaf….He loved his mom’s chicken and dumplings, and mastered the recipe. He loved having people over to share a meal, and he loved sharing stories of how we met, and some of the funny things we had done over the years. He loved to laugh! He was quick witted, and sometimes would be such a smarty pants. His blue eyes where always amplifying that amazing smile and his love of life and those close to him.

I know Brian loved me, our son Matt, and our extended families dearly because he was never afraid to say it or show it. He loved his friends, though he may have never told you, most of you he had, but those he hadn't, I am telling you now. He loved you and cherished your friendships. Especially those who stuck it out all the way to the end.

He always said the hardest thing he went thru was the day he told our son Matt, that he was diagnosed with Lou Gehrigs, it was terminal with the life expectancy of about 2 years. He didn't want Matt sitting around feeling sorry for him. He wanted him to be his own person, to get in trouble, break hearts, get his heart broken, to live his own life not centered around him dying, but living and taking one day at a time to grow into a young man that he was so very proud of. The realization that he would most likely not share many milestones with our son, broke his heart but he didn't let it stop him from making the best of what time he had left. ALS robbed him of so much, but know he didn't give it up without a fight. Each day was a gift, beginning with that adventuresome spirit. And that “Why?” I came to know and love.

In many ways Brian and I were polar opposites. They say that opposites attract and this was no clearer than with Brian and I. He was a night person and I am a morning person. He was a dog person and I was a cat person. I could give many more examples, but for those of you who know us well you are smiling and nodding now. Somehow this worked for us. Just like the saying “There’s a lid for every pot,” he was my lid and I was his pot. We were imperfect alone but perfect together. He was my ying, and I was his yang.


I wrote this poem after he had told me that he didn't feel he had much time left, on the day of is 5th anniversary of diagnosis . Our life together was far from normal, we had our ups and downs like everyone else….his illness had reminded us of the importance of giving, love, spirituality, gratitude and family. He was my best friend and I will miss him…the sparkle of his blue eyes and his amazing smile. My life has forever been changed from this day forward.

Never Getting Back to Normal



It’s normal that we miss you,
It’s normal that we cry,
It’s normal that our love for you
Makes it hard to say good bye.
We would love to hear your voice again
And see your smiling face
But we can be thankful your pain is gone,
And you’re comforted by God’s embrace.
Time may erase our heartache
And good memories may ease our sorrow
But life will never be normal again
Without you in our tomorrow.
You are your sisters’ only brother,
And your mother’s only son.
Our home with only Matt and me
To finish things left undone.
If time goes as quickly without you here
As it will seem to do year after year
We will be reunited by and by
And share our mansion in the sky.
So today is not goodbye, as we shall reunite again…
So for now it's see ya later, my soul mate, my best friend.

I love you, Brian.
 

Nikki J

Moderator
Joined
Mar 22, 2012
Messages
9,613
Reason
PALS
Diagnosis
04/2014
Country
US
State
MA
City
Boston
I am so very sorry.
Wishing you comfort and strength
Nikki
 

vickim

Very helpful member
Joined
Sep 20, 2012
Messages
2,255
Reason
Friend was DX
Diagnosis
03/2012
Country
US
State
MO
City
aaaa
I am so sorry for your loss. Your words of love and celebration are beautiful. I wish you peace.
 

ottawa girl

Moderator emeritus
Joined
Jun 14, 2012
Messages
1,506
Reason
PALS
Diagnosis
04/2012
Country
CA
State
Ontario
City
Ottawa
I am deeply sorry for your loss of your Brian, but so happy reading about your most awesome and happy life together. The pictures in your album reflect the most deepest of blue eyes; the kindest of faces. Your eulogy is a testament to a life well lived and well loved.

I wish you strength as you slowly build a different life for yourself and your son; I sense that peering into Matt's Dad's blue eyes will greatly help you navigate the rough road ahead. I believe Brian will be watching and loving you all the way. Love does not die.
 

marypat

Distinguished member
Joined
Jan 3, 2012
Messages
272
Reason
PALS
Diagnosis
11/2010
Country
US
State
OHIO
City
london
what a beautiful tribute to brian and your life together. i wish for you peace and healing.
 

momap53

Very helpful member
Joined
Jul 2, 2011
Messages
1,640
Reason
PALS
Diagnosis
05/2011
Country
US
State
GA
City
EGA
Lovely tribute to a wonderful man.
I wish peace for you and your family as you navigate this new chapter of your lives.
 

Georgia Peach

Distinguished member
Joined
Mar 26, 2011
Messages
292
Diagnosis
02/2011
Country
US
State
GA
City
Gwinnett
Thank you for sharing what made Brian so special to you and your family. You were both blessed to have each other in this life.

You have now entered a new phase of ALS and I never thought it would be hard too. What could be hard after ALS? It's just a different life than you ever expected and certainly not the future that you and your husband had hoped for too. We ALL agree that we hate the word widow.
 

joni51

Senior member
Joined
Sep 8, 2010
Messages
985
Reason
Lost a loved one
Diagnosis
10/2010
Country
US
State
Al
City
Valley
I am so very sorry about Brian, there is no new norm, just time and a lot of change..
 

HelenL

Very helpful member
Joined
Dec 17, 2010
Messages
1,583
Reason
PALS
Country
US
State
MA
City
Southborough
I'm so sorry for your loss, it's evident how much you loved each other in your beautiful words...
 

olly

Extremely helpful member
Joined
Jan 10, 2008
Messages
2,732
Reason
PALS
Diagnosis
11/2007
Country
uk
State
uk
City
uk
Such a wonderful post,made me teary.
So very sorry for your loss,can not begin to know your pain but hope it will ease in time and your wonderful memories will keep you going.
 

cubcake

Distinguished member
Joined
Jul 18, 2011
Messages
270
Reason
Lost a loved one
Diagnosis
10/2011
Country
US
State
Ca
City
San Ramon
I'm so sorry and will pray that your family find comfort and peace. Brian sounds like a wonderful man.
 

alador

Active member
Joined
May 27, 2011
Messages
76
Reason
Lost a loved one
Diagnosis
12/2011
Country
US
State
NC
City
Anytown
Praying for comfort for you and Matt. Cherish your memories and our hope of eternal life.
 

laurel

Very helpful member
Joined
Jul 19, 2007
Messages
1,431
Reason
DX UMND/PLS
Diagnosis
07/2007
Country
CA
State
BC
City
Vancouver
I am so sorry. You wrote a touching and beautiful tribute. Hugs to you and your family,
Laurel
 

cervus

Senior member
Joined
Mar 18, 2011
Messages
923
Reason
Lost a loved one
Diagnosis
11/2010
Country
CA
State
AB
City
Leduc County
I am so sorry for your loss. What you had together was so very special. Brian's love will live on in your heart and in your memories of him, and through your son. Sending you warm thoughts. Yasmin.
 

lgelb

Moderator
Forum Supporter
Joined
Nov 5, 2009
Messages
9,153
Reason
Lost a loved one
Diagnosis
00/0000
Country
US
State
WA
City
Seattle
Thank you for sharing a bit of Brian with us. 24 years is a lot to celebrate. But, having been married 30 years now, I know that there can never be enough.
 
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