• Memoriam wall
    • We've created a memoriam wall to remember our friends
    • If you know someone that battled ALS, please add them here
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Mar 24, 2008
Loved one DX
San Dimas
My brother in law passed away March 26, 2008, from ALS with Dementia. He was only
57. We will miss him terribly. He was practically a part of my whole life. When he first met my oldest sister, I was 11 and I will soon turn 50. So for 39 years this man saw me grow up, graduate, and later get married. He was there when we adopted our son, and he was there for me throughout my life as a supportive loving, compassionate, and giving human being. He loved life, and he had a sense of humor that always put a smile on everyone's face. But most of all he loved my niece Marie with all of his heart, and loved her unconditionally. He and my sister divorced after 27 years of marriage, not what he wanted, but he learned to go on with his life. When the disease first made it's appearance he thought he had carpal tunnel in one of his hands and wrists. He was misdiagnosed and had surgery to correct it. Little did we all know. Then his behavior was starting to change as a result of the dementia and we just chalked it up to a "midlife crisis." How naive we all were. When he started having more problems with his hands and arms somehow it all did not seem like something that would go away. He was officially diagnosed in March of 2006 with ALS. Later he was diagnosed with ALS with dementia. We think he probably was having the symptoms of the disease for about 5 years prior to 2006. In 2006 he quit his beloved banking job, and his other job which was teaching real estate at Cal Poly Pomona, and went to stay up in northern Calfiornia with his brother and sister. He then came to live after a few months with my niece and her husband in Boerne, Texas. Last year my niece and her husband flew out with my brother in law to California, and we had a big family get together down at the beach. Jerry looked pretty good then. He hadn't lost complete use of his hands and arms, but he was limited. He could still walk and he was eating. He had maintained his weight with the love of his daughter with good meals and supplements of Ensure. That was a time we all will cherish as that was the last time a lot of us saw him. I went down additional days to spend time with him, and my niece. I am so glad I did. Later in the year he began to go down hill. By January he had lost a lot of his use of his hands. His challenges at the things we take for granted became a chore. By February he went into a nursing home, and was using his bi-pap machine full time. He also had a feeding tube as his swallowing mechanism was slowly leaving. By March he developed pneumonia and was moved to Hospice. By the 26th of March he took his last breath with a tear in his eye and left this world.

I am inspired by the man he was, for he was the kindest most gentlest soul I have ever known. He loved his daughter with his whole soul, and all of his good qualities are in her and she is his mirror image.

I hope with time we all can come to terms with all of this. Losing him at this time just brought up so many memories for all of us. We lost my Dad to lung cancer 5 years ago on April 14th, and my husband lost his brother who was only 48 at the time to a heart attack 4 years ago April 4th. Why God takes our loved ones when he does is a mystery. But I hope they are all together and having a party to celebrate that Jerry is no longer a prisioner in his own body.

We love you Jerry and forever you will be in our hearts!
My deepest sympathies to you and your family at this difficult time.
CandD, thanks a bunch for sharing with us! Your post saddened me, but you did a great job with words. My condolences to you, and your family for your losses. May your dear BIL rest in peace. God bless you.

In memory of Jerry

What a beautiful post. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Fondly, Beebe
I hope you find peace in knowing what a loving SIL you were to him. Wishing you and your family the best...
Thank you all so much for the kind and supportive words. This Forum is so cathartic for people who have lost their loved ones, and obviously very supportive for those that are going through ALS either as the patient or as a relative of a patient. I believe in my heart one day there will be a cure for this terrible disease. Too late for Jerry, but too late for those that are struck down later on.
Bless all of you for taking the time to care!
I too knew Gerry..

Reading this wonderful tribute to Gerry was heart moving. I first met Gerry when he began to date my best friend, whom he would soon take to be his bride. Gerry's smile is still fixed into my memory and as I close my eyes I can see it clearly. As I think back of his relationship with my best friend I did have some resentments. Suddenly this person, this guy, was taking up time with my best friend. You see we had been friends since the first grade. Yes. We went to grammar school, high school, and junior college together. We were active on the school sports teams and well we were like sisters together. No we were closer than sisters we were best friends. In junior college we even joined clubs together. I cannot count the overnights I had at my girl friend's house. Her parents were the best. They treated me like their fourth daughter. However, once I got to know Gerry I could see how he captured her heart.

Gerry and my best friend married following our junior college graduation. I continued on with schooling and my best friend had a new best friend a life partner and together they began to build a family unit. I can remember when Marie was born. What excitement and joy that was for the entire family. How beautiful Marie was and each year she continued to radiate from the inside out. She had a wonderful set of parents that loved her very much.

Life does have a way of throwing curve balls at you when it's your turn to stand up at the plate. Sometimes we are lucky and connect with the ball. Other times we swing and swing and just keep getting a piece of the action never quite making contact but at least we feel like we are hanging in there. Then there are the times that we strike out. Those are the tough times. We can feel like we not only let our team down but ourself as well.

Gerry you have a wonder daughter and all the wonderful qualities that made you the person I knew you to be are living on in Marie. I had the wonderful opportunity to meet Marie and her kind husband. It was great for me to read that you had the chance to spend some quality time together. Those moments will never be forgotten and always treasured.

So now I close and my prayers are for all the families that must walk a journey that they know will be one of struggle. Embrace the time together today and trust in God's grace for the tomorrows. Thank you Christine for this memory to Gerry. God Bless you and your family. May it give strenght to others. Jamie
Sorry for your loss. After recently losing my mother to this monster, I know first hand of the sorrow of losing a loved one and the relief off knowing they are no longer suffering. May you and your family find comfort in the wonderful memories.
That was wonderful Jamie. What a true friend you are.
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