Monday, September 12, 2011

September 2011

Ten years ago our nation was attacked by terrorist destroying the World Trade Center along with over  three thousand lives. I still recall that day like it happened yesterday. I remember  I was walking past the fitness center at work and saw a group of people gathered around the TV watching  the first tower on fire, smoke billowing up into the crystal clear blue sky over New York City. as I watched the second plane fly into the second tower, I knew our nation was never going to be the same again. I went home at lunch and I took my dog for a walk like I did everyday. But on this particular afternoon walking along, I recall everything  seemed so surreal. The surroundings seemed extra quiet as I was contemplating what I had just witnessed like time was at a stand still. I had a sick feeling in my stomach. That was five years before I was given the diagnosis of ALS.

Five years later, I was diagnosed with a disease I barely even knew anything about. Much like that day on 9/11, I was left with a sick feeling of hopelessness and despair. I knew my life would never be the same again unsure of how many years I had left to live. Most people are given three to five years after diagnosis. I have exceeded that by a year and a half.

My life has changed dramatically since then. First, I lost my ability to walk leaving me confined to a wheelchair. Then I noticed my fingers not responding, my speech began to sound slurred. now I can't speak at all, eat, have difficulty swallowing, droll, get my nutrition through a tube in my stomach, my arms and hands are weak making it nearly impossible to hold onto anything without dropping something. I require help with every aspect of my personal care. This certainly isn't the life I wanted to live but with God's help, I have come to terms with my situation.

Since my diagnosis, I came to realize we are not guaranteed tomorrow. Just like those that lost their lives on 9/11, they didn't go to work that morning anticipating to die on that particular day.

I have made the decision to live out the remaining days of my life knowing God has a plan and a purpose for my life whatever that may be. I still have much to be thankful for. I have great people surrounding me that love me and a wonderful family, wife, kids, wonderful daughter in laws.I have been blessed with the best caregivers anyone could ask for. They have almost become like family to me and am extremely grateful for the care they provide for me.

Psalms 73:26
My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever.


Anonymous said...

Hey Gordie

I had the pleasure of meeting your daughter-in-law and son this weekend. We had a chance to talk and share our experiences with ALS with each other. My brother-in-law was diagnosed a long time ago and is still battling. You can read about at his website.

My wife and I are praying for you!

God Bless
Jarrett Seng

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Gordie for reminding us that even though everything else can be taken from us "God is mine forever". Merrill and I love you and Emy and are praying for you. Vern

Debbie said...

Gordie, I've been waiting for a new post from you. Your words always stir so many emotions in me, from sadness to calmness, knowing that you are at peace with your situation. You have no idea how inspiring you are to me and to everyone that reads your story. We can't help but be moved by your words. I truely believe you are still here so we can read your awesome words, and be reminded that every day is precious and our lives are in God's hands.
Debbie Bird

Fan said...

I found a wonderful little book called “Streams in the Desert” ---at a garage sale of all places—and I have learned so much from its pages. It is written with charming old-fashioned prose, but it seems to catch my attention and connect better with my heart than if it was written in contemporary language.

Here is an excerpt:
“How great is the temptation at this point! How the soul sinks, the heart grows sick, and the faith staggers under the keen trials and testings which come into our lives in times of special bereavement and suffering.

“I can not bear up any longer, I am fainting under this providence. What shall I do? God tells me not to faint. But what can one do when he is fainting?”

What do you do when you are about to faint physically? You can not DO anything. You cease from your own doings. In your faintness, you fall upon the shoulder of some strong loved one. You lean hard. You rest. You lie still and trust.

It is so when we are tempted to faint under affliction. God’s message now to us is not, “Be strong and of good courage,” for He knows our strength and courage have fled away. But it is that sweet word, “Be still and know that I am God.”

And that is all that God asks of you, His dear child, when you grow faint in the fierce fires of affliction. Do not try to be strong. Just be still and know that He is God, and will sustain you, and bring you through.”