Sunday, July 31, 2011

We Are Blessed

If Dad had never been diagnosed with ALS, he still would have been a good father. He would have taught me and Julie the difference between right and wrong. He would have supported our passions, taught us how to earn and show respect, and he would have loved us to the end of time. But ALS did inhabit our lives...

Over the past 11 years, many people have told me that I was blessed. Part of me always understood this notion... but most of me wanted to flick the person in the nose...

HARD.

The reality is that this journey, as tragic and exhausting as it may have been, has revealed to us a dimension of love, and an understanding of life, we never knew existed. Through it, we discovered the impact and value of a loyal and supportive community. We were able to bear witness to the might of will and intent. We can attest to the true power of choice. And we learned how to love with every part of our being.

So ALS entered our lives and took someone we loved.... but not without a struggle and transformation of epic proportions. And it was by virtue of that struggle that everyone reading this can say, "I am a better person because of Joe Wions." And it is by virtue of that struggle that I can say, "I did not simply have a good father....I had an extraordinary father whose will to live, and whose adaptability in the face of adversity inspired me, and everyone around him."

And for that loyal and supportive community...

An excerpt from his Health Update #9:

"Yesterday, I had the unfortunate need to attend a memorial service. It was for a man named Harvey Tesser. Harvey was the man most responsible for the founding and nurturing into existence of the synagogue in which I have proudly held membership for the past 19 years. He was a forceful and determined man, who occasionally rubbed people the wrong way. He was also both a visionary and a doer, who had the persistence to drive his visions to reality. You just had to respect the man, and I did - deeply. We had worked closely together as board members years ago, and I thought that I knew him reasonably well. As I listened to his children, grandchildren, wife, business associates, and friends lovingly eulogize him in front of the standing room only crowd that had turned out to honor him, it occurred to me that there was much more to this man than I had been privileged to know. I felt awed and a little cheated that there were so many wonderful things about Harvey to which I had not been exposed. I couldn’t help but wonder and hope that he knew in life how these people felt about him.

As Diane and I drove home, it was impossible not to reflect on how this scene might play out for me when the time comes. Diane was quick to point out that regardless of what happens when I’m gone, the people who care about me display it continuously. They (you) do it through the endless stream of support I receive in the form of phone calls, e-mails, meals, home maintenance help, office help, driving me to doctor appointments, running errands, monetary contributions, and more. Now, this doesn’t mean that I don’t still expect you to show up in droves, and say wonderful things about me (even if you have to make stuff up!) when that day comes. But, I want to thank you again for letting me know how you feel, and for helping to keep my quality of life rich and rewarding.

Best Regards,
Joe"

Thank you for coming out in droves. We are truly blessed to have had a father and husband like Joe in a community like you.

Love,

Dan, Diane, and Julie


Donations may be made in Joe's honor to the following :

1. Joe Wions Memorial Scholarship Fund:

please make checks out to "JPS COPA"
855 Grove Ave
Edison, N.J. 08820
In the Memo- please write: Joe Wions memorial scholarship fund

2. The Philadelphia or New York Chapters of the ALS Association

2 comments:

  1. Hey Joe,

    I found your blog today. My name is Judy Glenn and I saw you were trying to get your manuscript published. Just curious where you were with that. My mom passed from ALS in 2004, and I wrote a manuscript I have been trying to publish as well. I've been to a lot of writers conferences that I love but still haven't found the right open door. So, I decided until it gets published, I was going to put it on my blog. Happy writing:)

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  2. I just want to share my story so i can reach out to others. My mom was diagnosed with ALS (Lou gehrig's disease) in the summer of 2013. She is my best friend and all i have got in this world. And I was scared because when the doctor told me about how deadly this disease is i could not help but cry. She suffered all through the time, she could no longer walk as all her bones were weak, speak or even eat, this were years of torment as i have never seen anything like it or ever been so scared in my life and i wept as the days go by. We tried several drugs like Riluzole, and various therapy that was prescribed by the doctor but it came out even worse as she became very thin. She is 65 years old. I actually thought i was going to loose her after all i have spent. I was in church one day when a fellow in the christian faith told me about a doctor who has a cure and that this doctor had cured a colleague she knew suffered from ALS, i was in shock and recalled the doctor once told me there was no cure, she gave me the doctor's contact and i contacted him and told him all we have been through and he told me about his very effective herbal medicine that treats it permanently, though at that time i did not believe but i wanted my mom to be okay again so i decided to give a try and he sent me the medicine which i gave her as instructed by the doctor. In a month time i was amazed at the improvement and by the second month she was completely okay, during all these times she did not experience any side effects. To confirm all these we went back to the doctor to confirm, he ran all the tests and found no trace of ALS in her again. Today my mom can run, jog, eat and speak fine without any assistance currently she is baby sitting my daughter and till now she is still very strong. If you are suffering from ALS (Lou gehrig's disease) do not die in silence because there is still hope for you. Contact the doctor on (josephalberteo@gmail.com) i am very sure he can help you too.

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