Friday, October 31, 2014

Wednesday, October 29, 2014


Don't worry, I haven't fallen over. It did occur to me, however, that I really haven't posted anything of any real substance for a while, so maybe it's time for some autumnal reflections.

October began with my 36th birthday. I was joined by my parents for a birthday lunch. That Sunday I enjoyed a dinner with local family and friends. In all, it was a nice, low key celebration, and that's what I was looking for.

By far the most exciting news of the month was the arrival of twin nieces. My sister in law, Julie, and my brother, Martin, welcomed Ella and Norah to the world. Everyone is healthy, although I understand sleep is at a premium for Martin and Julie.

I've been trying to stay involved with the men's soccer team at VMI, but fatigue has limited my participation to home games and an occasional practice. The difference between what I wanted to do and what I've been capable of doing has been disappointing and frustrating.

Cora and Louise are getting pumped up for Halloween.

I am doing well. Relatively. I still have the strength to push with my legs when trying to stand up, but my back feels weak. I have more difficulty standing up straight and holding my head up. I recently found myself waking up in the night, so my medication has been adjusted to help. My speech is awful.

The trees around the house are bare, but the trees on the hillside behind the house is a wonderful array of reds, golden yellows, and sunset orange. My memories of autumn in the UK are much less colorful. It feels like everything just turned brown and that was it. Could some informed person tell me if my recollection is accurate?

Friday, October 17, 2014


I know the song is pretty much owned by Nina Simone. And, yes, this is Michael Buble - a bit too much shmarm for me, usually...but...

Congratulations my brother, Martin, and his wife, Julie, on the arrival of their twin girls, Norah and Ella, yesterday!

Monday, October 13, 2014

This Past Friday

I cant tell you why, but the past week has felt a little low, emotionally speaking.

I've spent a longer amount of time asleep, with a huge increase in the length of my naps. Between naps and some rainy weather, I also haven't gone out as much this week.

Now that we're most of the way through the weekend, I might have figured out one reason why I've been in a funk.

Friday was the 3rd anniversary of my second opinion at Johns Hopkins. Statistically, I'm fortunate to be alive.

That's a  strange fact to wrap your head around.

I'm also struggling a lot more  with my speech.

My naps feel like they're unavoidable, like I need to crash and sleep. The problem is, with the length of my naps, I feel like the days are passing me by.

Then, Saturday, we took the training wheels off Cora's bike. She picked it up right away, and I cried. Milestones.

Monday, October 6, 2014

The Ridge

Nothing like a Danny Macaskill video to make you daydream about being active


Thursday, October 2, 2014

Handle with Care

I wish I had a happy topic to talk to you about, but circumstances and life can get in the way. As you well know, life isn't a walk in the park, so I suspect I'll have a few more serious messages for you...

There's a terrible situation unraveling in Charlottesville right now. A young female student at the University of Virginia has gone missing. 

I think she disappeared almost three weeks ago. Almost immediately, security camera footage emerged. Then more and more glimpses of the young lady showed up in various other security cameras. Then nothing.

There have been no sightings of Hannah Graham, although the police do have a man in custody charged with her abduction.

It seems a little silly for this to be on my mind when you're both so young. But it's the thing that nightmares are made of.

I should be clear: no woman is to blame or bare any responsibility in a situation like this. But there are callous people with seriously bad intent in the world, so I can't help but think of ways this situation could have possibly been avoided.

Even the facts surrounding Hannah's disappearance are still murky; the investigation is ongoing. 

What the police have released is a timeline of Hannah's movements, corroborated by security camera footage, and an abridged account of their investigation.

It seems that Hannah became separated from her friends and was walking through Charlottesville alone. Cameras caught Hannah walking with the man later arrested for her abduction.

The whole thing makes my mind kick into overdrive. What if she'd remained with her friends? What if she'd been delayed, and never crossed paths with her assailant? Had she consumed too much alcohol, and become somewhat defenseless? The "what ifs" could go on and on, but they'll do nothing to help Hannah.

Be careful as you grow up. Never take your personal safety for granted. I know, sadly, that Hannah's story will be repeated in the future, and there's nothing I can do to prevent that. Maybe it's my ALS prognosis and the fact I wont be there to protect you that makes Hannah's disappearance resonate so acutely...I don't know.

I love you both more than any other thing on the planet. I care about you more than anything else  on the planet.