Saturday, September 13, 2014

Ice Bucket sketch for ALS and a good person lost to this disease

I took on the less chilling Ice Bucket Challenge, to make a drawing, 
from Melissa Iwai.
Here it is, quite sketchy, but I like it.
My father's good friend, Richard Garretson,
 whom he'd known since attending the University of Richmond, 
was struck with ALS almost 7 years ago.
It's a heartbreaking illness.
Richard, also called Pete by his older college friends, 
had lived in NYC since graduating in the late 1960s. 
He was a wonderful, funny, vibrant person 
and an avid bird watcher. 
We got together with him each time my parents came to 
visit me here in New York.
Few people made my dad laugh as much as Pete did.
Once diagnosed, it didn't take long for ALS to take 
Richard's life, which may be a blessing.
He and his girlfriend and another couple made 
one final trip, an African Safari. 
My parents have a few photos from that trip which 
seemed to be a life altering event. 
I have enormous respect for him. Despite being ill,
he had the will to see a bit more of the beauty in life.
I don't know if I would have that kind of courage, but I recognize that it's
important to seek as much as you can from life while you have it.
My dad mentions Richard often. It's still hard to believe he's gone.
I hope there will be a cure, someday soon, for ALS 
and other devastating neurodegenerative diseases.
You don't have to dump a bucket of cold water on your head to give!
I made a donation to the ALS Association
You can read about what they do, here.
Keep in mind- every little bit helps! 
I found a beautiful memorial to Richard by one of his friends 
 on Fantastic Forum - this is one small part,
but it says so much.

"Finally, what I would also like to share with you about Richard's interests, was that he was also a lover of birds. He travelled the world, from Central America, to the Galapagos Islands, and near the end, on the trip of a lifetime to East Africa to observe these magnificent creatures. His love of birds extended to nature and highlighted for me the delicate balance of this world we live in. Birds as I know them are small creatures, with incredibly varied and delicate features. In many ways, his love of birds reflect his gentle soul, and incredible diversity." 

This was written by Scott. I have no idea what his last name is, but Scott -
if you happen upon this post, it was a touching tribute to a lovely person.

Hope you're having a pleasant weekend!
xo, A

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