Finding Freedom

Living Forgiven and Free


May 2016

A Dad’s Wisdom 

During an interview for the SIU Alumni Magazine I was asked, “At what point did you accept the fact that you had ALS?” Accept it? I didn’t know how to answer. 

Later my Dad (the Doctor of Philosophy) explained to the reporter that one doesn’t really accept something tragic. Rather, one learns to cope either positively or negatively. Lightbulb! 

I think of friends who have lost a child or spouse. Acceptance may never happen. You can choose to continually work through the grief and cope in a way that allows life to continue. Ask my friend Donna who lost her son in a car accident; In spite of unimaginable grief, she honors Justin’s memory while counting to live her life to the fullest. 

I’m actually quite sick of ALS. Living with it. Talking about it. Writing about it. Advocating for it. 

I’m have no choice but to live with it until we find an effective treatment or cure. I could stop talking, writing, and advocating. But that is one of my positive coping strategies. I feel as though I’ve been so blessed in this journey, that I have a responsibility to be a voice for those who have lost theirs. 

What are you facing that is difficult to accept? Change your focus from acceptance to coping in a positive manner. There is alway always always something to be grateful for. 

I’m Forgiven and Free and coping the best I can 

White Flags 

Steve and I are on day two of a month long road trip. We were cruising through the Utah salt flats this morning and a Chris Tomlin song made my eyes leak. White Flag. 
“We raise our flag, we surrender, all to you, all for you. We raise our white flag. The war is over. Love has come. Love has won.”

I wasn’t sad about surrendering to Christ. That happened decades ago. (Although, I do have to remember to surrender my fear at times).  The tears came because White Flag was the last song on my 3-mile running playlist. When this song played on my iPod I knew my morning run was coming to an end. I miss the feeling of endorphins and a strong healthy body. 

This morning my left bicept was shaking under the strain of lifting a coffee cup. The tears roll. It’s happening again as I hold my phone to type this. $@-t. Gah. Pissed. 

There will be no white flags surrendering to ALS. Surrounded by the love and support of my family and friends, we press on in gratitude and hope. 

Love has won. But the war on ALS is not over. May is ALS awareness month and today Scott began his 2,663 mile trek on the Pacific Crest Trail. Follow his journey on He’s hiking for ALS awareness, money for research and what I find most endearing, he’s hiking for those of us who can’t. 

Would you consider sponsoring Scott on his journey? Ten cents a mile is an easy $26 donation to The ALS Therapy Development Institute.

Share our video in your social media circles and sponsor Scott here. Thanks for your support!

I’m Forgiven and Free and as Team Gleason says: 

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