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Jan 2, 2007
Loved one DX
Happiest Place on Earth
Big City
Hi all-
It's been some time since I've posted. My mother passed away two weeks ago today after her courageous battle with ALS. The progression of her disease was aggressive - she passed 20 mos. after diagnosis. I don't think I've even begun what will undoubtedly be a long journey through the grief process but I'll take each day as it comes.

I chose to take a leave of absence from work a year ago - under the California PFLA (Paid Family Leave Act) - and ultimately resigned from my fancy corporate job in October so I could spend time with my mom. In that time, we planned my wedding (in under 10 weeks!), tore up the dance floor together, visited the Grand Canyon over the holidays, had our first moose sighting in Yellowstone and most importantly sat together and laughed, cried, told stories and watched a ton of Law & Order reruns.

A few weeks before she passed, I asked her if she still had joy in her life - man she hated the suction device, the cough assist, the feeding tube and the Bipap - and without hesitation she said absolutely, yes. She told me that she would not trade places with anyone. ALS never took away the love and devotion of a husband of 35 years, two daughters that thought the sun rose and set because of her and a joyous career as a high school English teacher for 37 years. She may not have lived to be the old grandma I always thought she would be but she did live 60 meaningful years that brought joy to the lives of so many people.

I certainly hate this disease - there have been plenty of days where I wanted to stay in bed and cry about it - but I remind myself that no diagnosis can take away the wonderful life I live and the amazing mother I was so honored to have.

I keep re-reading a note my mom sent me a few months back. It closed with:

"Today I am a pansy. They push through the dirt and cold snow and bloom in spite of the obstacles."

I'm trying to follow her example.
Meredith, what a lovely tribute to your wonderful Mom, may she rest in peace. You sound like a super daughter. God bless you and family. Prayers and condolences your way.

Meredith, your mother has a wonderful daughter and I know she is so proud of you. You were there, when she needed someone the most. How wonderful to have shared such times together. I just hope that as I close out my life here on this earth, that my children and grandchildren will be there for me as you were for your mom. You have set a wonderful example for others. God Bless you and be at peace.

Thank you for posting such a wonderful story! I know your mother is so proud of you!

I hope you will be able to move beyond your grief and enjoy your life with your new husband!

"Today I am a pansy. They push through the dirt and cold snow and bloom in spite of the obstacles." --- I know you will be just as courageous and full of spirit as she!
Thank you for sharing this great story of your Mom, Meridith. She is inspiring even in her death. Cindy
There's no doubt in my mind that you will be able to follow your mother's example. She obviously taught you many things and taught you what is important in life. Thanks for sharing your mother's beautiful story and the closing to her note. She's still continuing to teach!
Peace to you, Meredith.
Joy in life

What a lovely story in the face of such a devastating disease. My beloved husband passed two days after we retruned froma trip to Mexico That was his gift to me. He took joy in many little things including his daily martini.

Thanks for sharing and blessings going your way.
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