So fresh and so clean


Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a great and safe New Year. I took a week off from updates to just spend it with family and celebrating Christmas.  With 4 extended families, I feel like we ran a marathon with trying to see everyone before Christmas. We have family locally, then in Milan, and then in Toledo. It is always good to see family that we should see more often than we do and I hope to change that this year.

With a new year, I always feel like it is a fresh clean slate. You have the chance to start the new year off like a new year at school. Everything is new, we all have these plans for the upcoming year. I know many will be doing the get healthier, lose weight, or whatever but I want to ask all of you to try something different this year. Take something you are passionate with or something you want to learn. I am pretty active in charities surrounding families in need or shelters and last year was my first year as a board member for Project Beautiful Inside and Out. But this year, I want to try to do something every month with Hunter.  I am lucky enough that Project Beautiful Inside and Out allows and encourages youth to participate in their volunteering activities so that is one of my goals this year, get Hunter more involved.

So here is your challenge. Think of something you can do every month and find time to do it. If you don’t have the financial ability to donate, then look to other things like:

  • Visiting an older acquaintance and spend time with them or help at their home.
  • Help at local shelters (either animal or people).
  • Help at schools or Churches that are in your neighborhoods.

Your time is as valuable if not more as any cash donation.  Make a list and try to check it off at the beginning of the month. It is easier to do that scrambling at the end of the month and not making it happen. Make kindness and compassion a goal, whatever you may choose.

Prayer request: Besides having Phyllis in your prayers, can you also add my John’s 93 year old Grandmother AKA ‘Great Grandma’ as Hunter calls her. She fell 2 weeks back and then last night was admitted to ICU. Grandma Sarah is a strong, stubborn Italian lady and the matriarch of the Vossen, Lukasik, Howell, LaMontagne and Darrah families – who we love dearly 🙂

Phyllis’s status for the Week of December 26th: We had the follow up appointment with the Holistic doctor on Wednesday. She said that she is seeing some improvement from the last visit and modified her medication a bit. However, the new modifications seemed to upset her stomach so we are going back to what was working and I have called the Holistic doctor to keep her updated.  She has her good days and not so good as she is feeling weaker. I want to ask friends and family, if you know someone not on Facebook, feel free to send them this blog and tell them they can follow it. Phyllis had a good friend of hers just find out this past week that she has ALS and was a little sad that she didn’t know. We finally got the home care setup and schedule in place and now my dad is getting some help. But if you are able to help please let me know. It is hard for him to get out for errands and finding someone to hang out with Phyllis since she cannot be left by herself. Just visiting with her is helpful to my dad.  If you can, contact me, my dad or even Phyllis. Send me or Phyllis a message on Facebook. Speaking of Facebook, Phyllis is on it constantly and will chat on messenger.  Since she can not speak anymore, please send her messages of encouragement, or just to say hello to either Facebook or text her phone. Also a thank you to those who have been sending me info on ALS trials, home care help or just helping in general.  You know who you are. Lots of Love to you all.

Bittersweet New Year

As I said above, each New Year is like a clean slate. But it was hard for many of us in the family, and I think I can speak for all of them when I say, with 2017, we are so unsure of what it brings. We know what we are facing with Phyllis’s diagnosis. We know the outcome.  Will it happen in 2017? We hope not. So the ‘clean slate’ we are hoping for already has things written on it, but one of the things I will be adding is Hope. Hope for improvement, hope for a cure and hope for Phyllis and Dad .

Make your clean slate count, cherish what you have because you never know what will blindside your everyday life on a random Wednesday.  Life is to damn short.


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