Last week, I shared an ALS story about my father-in-law, Frank’s, struggle with ALS, a disease with no cure, that ultimately led to his passing last month. The outpouring of views, shares, comments, calls, texts, cards, and donations that followed has been a bright spot during this sad time.
The ALS Association retweeted my story about Frank on Twitter, where it circulated within the ALS community. In memory of Frank, my husband and I set up a Community of Hope Fund. In the coming years, we will continue to support and grow this fund, designated for ALS research. Sincere thanks to those who donated – you will always be the ones that got our fund off the ground.
As August, the month designated for the ALS ice bucket challenge #EveryYearUntilACure, came to a close my husband and I watched a clip about round 2 and the importance of ALS awareness to Major League Baseball (MLB). All 30 MLB teams participated in the ice bucket challenge this year. You can watch the story and Pat Quinn, co-found of the challenge, discuss why they did it here.
I am eager to see what round 3 of the challenge brings next year. The road ahead for my family will be bumpy without Frank, but as the saying goes, Life is for the living. And let me tell you, Frank is absolutely one of those people who would want that for me and my family because he was the ultimate at living life to the fullest.
One of my favorite things about Frank was his ability to express himself through music. He played multiple instruments and sang, giving his full self to every performance with his oompah band. Moving forward, I intend to focus on my ability to write and to express my own self to the fullest the way he did.
The common thread between music and writing is that you have to possess a certain amount of talent and bravery to do either. When I think of Frank’s musical talent and bravery, it inspires me to lasso my talent and let go of some of my insecurities.
Writing is my form of self-expression – it sustains me and it is the craft I continually strive to develop here on Britta’s Banter. As my kids start pre-school next week, I will have a few free mornings per week. I’d like to devote some of that time to writing. To focus, to push myself, to take a few risks, and to give it my all this fall.
Ha. I rhymed.
Give it my all this fall.
And a new mantra is born, literally, in this moment as I am typing.
This weekend, the ever-popular List of Seven on Sunday will return on my blog. My excitement to resume writing this weekly post about seven happenings in my life from the week is mounting. List of Seven on Sunday posts are centered around thoughts, events, updates, and share-worthy bits of humor, all tied together by a weekly theme.
Thank you, thank you for your readership as my audience continues to grow. Although Frank is not here to read my stories, I am certain he is cheering me on.
A few pictures from the day after his funeral as we, the family, moved forward together and enjoyed a sunny day riding bicycles around some of the various lakes in the Lusatian Lake District of Germany, making new memories.
Jörg, Peggy, Nina, Isolde, and Jan
Without a doubt, Frank would have liked this. Especially the part when one of the pedals on my bike decided to fall off, causing a funny disruption. After much discussion, we rallied around a plan. My husband and knight-in-shining-armor drove his bike back to the house for a tool while everyone else walked their bikes with me until mine was up and running again. Thankfully, we hadn’t made it very far when the pedal decided to give out.
Later, my poor niece took a bad fall, but once again, we rallied around each other until she recovered. We finished our tour with a doctored pedal and knee, but with smiles and a sense of relief that, yes, life goes on.
An enjoyable day despite a bloody knee and a cranky pedal.
The lake views were beautiful, the lunch-stop was yummy, the beer was good, and the people are irreplaceable.
Here’s to giving my all this fall for Frank.
You may also enjoy ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Deferral.