Thursday, October 18, 2007

Can we Handle Death? How?

After our rainy run last night two miles out and back from CaptnFun's at Pensacola Beach, I was pulled into a conversation that compared and contrasted voice over Internet with cell phone and landline. These runners are ages 20 - 70 with the average about 40. I was pleasantly surprised to find out how much they really do know. One girl said she had tried using Google Talk on her PC and cell phone to have a voice conversation with someone. Even I haven't tried Google Talk on my cell phone.

I started this conversation today with you about VoIP, true. But last night, the talk moved to something called Ataxia-Telangiectasia and many young who lose their lives to it. One couple really lost their little girl, and when they did, their world closed in on them and they couldn't breathe.

Does anyone remember the "bat child found in a cave" article in one of those gossip rags? (Good, that means you don't waste your time like I do gawking at their headlines in the grocery line.) This picture was of a child who had Ataxia-Telangiectasia.

Ataxia-telangiectasia, or "A-T," is a progressive, degenerative disease that affects a startling variety of body systems. Children with A-T appear normal at birth, and the first signs of the disease usually appear during the second year of life. These first signs are usually a "wobbly" lack of balance and slurred speech caused by "ataxia," which means a lack of muscle of this date, October 18, 2007, there is no cure for Ataxia.

The point is when we lose someone we care about to illness, homicide, or suicide, we are depressed. We feel there is nothing we can do. A lady who recently lost her son has spent every night in the cemetery sleeping at his grave and playing the loud rock music her son used to listen to. The church she is associated with is trying to figure out how to help her. My opinion is that they can not let her go on like this, but they cannot just forbid her from the cemetery and expect everything to be just perfect. No, they need to help her channel that emotion and energy into something in her son's memory.

Death is so difficult to deal with. I remember my generous mother, our precocious 40 year old friend Junmi, her tougher than nails husband Jim and his car covered with ultra-conservative political stickers, and many others.

What should the church do? What should the lady do who lost her son?

The AT Children's Project has several ways of helping those who've lost loved ones to Ataxia-Telangiectasia. One is Tim Borland. He is attempting to run a marathon a day for two months ending with the New York Marathon. This coming weekend he'll be at Pensacola Beach, and a bunch of us including the couple I spoke of earlier will be there participating. By 12:30 PM Sunday Oct 21, 2007, Tim and the other runners will meet us at their last 5K at Fort Pickens at P'Beach. Some of Emerald Coast Racing Team and CaptnFun will run with him, others will tailgate, and others will be cheering along the way.

The funds we raise will go to the AT Children's Project.

The answer is: We want to make a good difference in the world in the memory of our friend's daughter, and so, we are trying in small ways to do that. Try in your own small way to make a good difference in the world in memory of that loved one, and let me know how it goes. I really care and want to know.

(VoIP by Association)

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