Monday, June 20, 2016

Father's Day

     Happy Father's Day dads. In my 29 years I have met and been molded by many terrific fathers. Grace guy dads, coaches, teachers, the good years I was able to spend with my own dad and good, old, Poppa Jamerson. My father in law Donnie, who I now call Pops has been a remarkable role model in my life during some formidable years. Firstly, he trusted me with his daughters hand when I asked his permission to marry Michelle. He has picked me up and brushed me off when I've made a complete drunken ass of myself. He has rallied in my corner and fought ALS tooth and nail with me. He loves harder and more passionately than any other man I know, and for that I'm proud to be your son in law.
     Lon Grahnke was my dad, and this September will be 10 years since he passed. I remember my dad differently then my sister Eliza and my brother Kurt. Due to Eliza's disability, she only remembers the happy go lucky dad. Kurt, due to his age really only experienced the tough times with Dad. As the oldest child, I have a more rounded recollection of Dad. I knew him as a sociable protector, the big guy who would engage with anyone and wasn't scared of anyone. The guy who worked his ass off to help me be the scrappiest baseball player out there. Analyzing 9 year old pitchers so I would know when to take pitches and when to go yard. I also experienced the years he struggled with alcohol and would come home hammered or we'd pick him up at the police station. I also vividly remember when my mom explained to me as a young teen that my dad had early onset Alzheimers. I watched the total bad ass I knew as Dad wither away. I argued with him about why he shouldn't eat vegetables out of the can, I had to tell him that grandma was related to him, and shove him when he questioned who Kurt was and would get aggressive with a 10 year old.
     I share a lot of attributes with my old man. We both have very round heads, we will never give up on the White Sox, we're both stubborn to a fault, and unfortunately, we both have had to fight ferocious neurological diseases. Dementia took Dad out. He fought it like hell, he found God along the way, he did his best to embrace the things he held near and dear to his heart before his mind quit on him. I fight ALS day in and day out the same way. Having a parent with Altzheimers has given me an odd perspective. As terrible as ALS is I can still take solace in knowing that my mind won't ever give up on me. As I read back through this post I realize it isn't exactly one of my happier posts. But then again, everything in life isn't happy. However, you can always find Grace in life. Sometimes it slaps you in the face, other times you have to reflect before it comes to you.
     The Grace I clearly find in my experience with Dad's is that sometimes you have to experience the extremely tough times to appreciate how great life is now. The tough times show you how important it is to thank God for the ordinary. The ordinary is extraordinary as far as I'm concerned. Do I wish things could have been different with my dad? To an extent, but without the hardships my family endured we wouldn't be the awesome people we are today, and I sure do love being awesome.      

1 comment:

  1. 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 ( i am very sure he can help you too.