Monday, June 7, 2010

Doing the best we can. Part three: Life and love.

Sometimes doing our best has nothing to do with physical accomplishments, careers or travels. It has to do with how we approach life, living and love. All too often, when faced with a chronic illness, a person dismisses the possibility of love and romance. After all, who would want to sign up for that in a relationship?

That said, meet Dan and Jennifer. They met several years ago, fell in love, got married and have been happy ever since. A typical love story, except for one thing. They both have multiple sclerosis.

Dan has relapsing-remitting MS and it is not as severe as Jennifer’s (or mine!). He works, he walks and he jogs about three times a week. He also cares for Jennifer.

Jennifer has secondary-progressive MS. She cannot work or walk. But she is a caregiver to Dan, helping in every way that she can.

Dan and Jennifer have something else too. They have a tremendous spirit and attitude that propels them to make a difference in the world. As a result, they are an example to everyone who knows or knows of them.

Having MS does not stop them from participating. In fact, just the opposite is true. They lead and inspire others. They fundraise, advocate and speak. They receive rewards and recognition and are featured in articles and videos. They have even figured out how to dance together. They are alive, in love and living with a chronic illness.

They are not only doing the best they can, they are doing great.

I have never met Dan and Jennifer, but have been a fan for some time now. I am always touched and inspired by the things they do and their extraordinary love for each other. Read Dan and Jennifer's blog and learn more about them. Learn about two people doing their best in life and love and be inspired to do the best you can.

Dan and Jennifer have a prayer that say every night and part of it is as follows:

“Gracious God, help Jennifer and me to accept your will in our illness. As your children we believe that you cause all things to work together for our good, both of body and of spirit. But sometimes in the midst of illness and pain we forget or doubt. Forgive our weak faith. When we become impatient, encourage us by your word. Despite our worries and suffering, help us by our lives to reflect the radiance and confidence of those certain of your promises of help. Restore us to sound health if it be your will, and enable us with new vigor and enthusiasm to serve you zealously for many years to come. O Lord, have mercy. Hear our prayer. Amen.”

I think their prayers are being answered.

Participate. Make a difference. Live a life that matters.

6 comments:

  1. Michael,
    Jennifer and I are completely blown away by your kind words about us that you've posted on your blog! We always look forward to what you have to say and we were absolutely humbled when we logged onto your blog this morning. As we've said before, we are so grateful that we found your blog because your perspectives continue to help us move forward. Looking forward to someday finally meeting you in person :-) We're having a blast taking this journey with you! All our best, Dan and Jennifer

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  2. Beautiful story, beautiful prayer.

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