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Joanne Ardolf Decker

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Christmas Letter, 2007

May this holy season bring you joy, love, laughter, peace
and God's blessings that last all year 'round!

This New Year will mark 65 months since I was told I would likely live 18 to 24 months. That in itself gives us a great deal to be thankful for. Although everything is getting a little more difficult and complicated here, due to my deteriorating strength, we are grateful to still be together and still be able to enjoy a lot of life together.

Our latest adjustment is getting used to using the Hoyer lift to get me in and out of bed and to and from everywhere. That means much more work for Jim and for my care providers, but they are learning the necessary skills very well.  Thanks to all of them, I'm still able to be here at home, and that is just everything to me!

Although my outings are limited, I am grateful that people come here to visit. I have a faith-sharing group that meets in our sun room, and a book club that meets here as well. I appreciate that I don't have to go out for those meetings. There are also many wonderful friends, and of course family members, who loyally visit and keep me connected.   My brother, Fr. Ed, comes often and graciously cares for our spiritual needs. It is marvelous to have so many good people in our lives!

Jim maintains his mental health by getting away every morning when my care providers are here.  During that time he chats with his buddies at McDonald's, reads, shops, and does errands.  He also cuts and splits wood (by hand!). Our beautiful wooded valley is his haven!  Gratefully, he stays sane and takes good care of me in all his kind ways.

Overall, I have to say that life with ALS is not the life I would have chosen, but gratefully we still have a good life!  I feel God is deeply present in our lives and showers abundant blessings on us daily. I can still talk, eat, and breathe quite well, so that means I am still able to participate in life around me. Yes, God is very good!

Many thanks to all of you for the many ways you show your love.  
Have a blessed Christmas and the best New Year ever.

Love, Joanne (and Jim, too) 

Jim and Joanne

Earlier months' news:
October 22, 2007
July 25, 2007
June 12, 2007
April 27, 2007
March 17, 2007
January 22, 2007
November 26, 2006
August 30, 2006
July 2006
June 25, 2006
April 30, 2006
March 2006
January 10, 2006
December 5, 2005
October 27, 2005
September 14, 2005
August 2005
July 8, 2005
June 6, 2005
May 15, 2005
April 7 , 2005
March 14, 2005
February 8, 2005
January 8, 2005
2004 Christmas letter


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