Tuesday, August 19, 2014

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

I accepted the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and I am proud to support those who suffer from ALS.   As you can probably guess from my personality, I had to do the challenge in style.  And I am multitasking here; this dress is hand wash cold.  On a serious note, below is why I think the Ice Bucket Challenge is far more than just a stream of videos on your Facebook feed. 

Growing up, one of my favorite books was always "Tuesdays with Morrie."  It sheds light on ALS in an emotional and touching way.   In it, a former student reconnects with his favorite professor who is dying of ALS.  Their bond and the time they share is moving.  (Below the picture is an excerpt from the book.) While pouring a bucket of ice on your head does seem rather silly, these videos are in all seriousness, no joke.  They are helping those who suffer from a devastating disease - a disease that very few of us can even comprehend living with every day.  I am sure many who are diagnosed wonder and fear whether anyone will even know what ALS is or take time time to understand it.  These videos show that countless strangers are behind them. 
That is truly touching.  

                                                Mary's ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Excerpt from "Tuesdays with Morrie" by Mitch Albom:

"The last class of my old professor's life took place once a week in his house, by a window in the study where he could watch a small hibiscus plant shed its pink leaves. The class met on Tuesdays. It began after breakfast. The subject was The Meaning of Life. It was taught from experience.

No grades were given, but there were oral exams each week. You were expected to respond to questions, and you were expected to pose questions of your own. You were also required to perform physical tasks now and then, such as lifting the professor's head to a comfortable spot on the pillow or placing his glasses on the bridge of his nose. Kissing him good-bye earned you extra credit.

No books were required, yet many topics were covered, including love, work, community, family, aging, forgiveness, and, finally, death. The last lecture was brief, only a few words.

A funeral was held in lieu of graduation.

Although no final exam was given, you were expected to produce one long paper on what was learned. That paper is presented here.

The last class of my old professor's life had only one student.
I was the student."

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