Alleluia, the great storm is over,
Lift up your wings and fly!
Sweetness in the air and justice on the wind
Laughter in the house where the mourners have been
The deaf shall have music, the blind have new eyes
The standards of death taken down by surprise.
Release for the captives, an end to the wars
New streams in the desert, new hope for the poor,
The little lame children will dance as they sing,
And play with the bears and the lions in spring.
True story, the last concert I went to was a John Mcutcheon concert with my Mother n Law for her birthday back in March. It was at a small arts community center in Chapel Hill, NC and it was packed wall to wall with hippies…serious hippies…like rain stick playing hippies…oh and us. I’d NEVER heard of him a day before in my life. My parents weren’t really of the dulcimer music listening group; my dad plays drums in rock and roll and country bands, and my moms cd case was filled with Blues Travelers, Dwight Yoakum, and other variety, but no John McCutcheon. SO when asked to go to the concert, I thought, “sure, no clue who this guy is, but I can get down with some folk tunes, I’m in”.
Why am I telling you this? Not just for your “random Lindsey fun fact of the day”, but because it’s another example of how weird the world works.
My husbands Aunt died last week from ALS. You’ve met her before on this blog, she was/is/will always be amazing.
After nearly 4 years of living with ALS, Annie’s fight and battle with her failing body is over.
There’s not much to say about this that hasn’t already been said by the plethora of family and friends who surrounded the Fortier family with love over the last few years. We are all heartbroken, we’re sad, we’re uncertain about what the future looks like without one of our favorite red heads holding our hands and laughing with us on this journey.
In March 2012, Anne wrote a simple phrase that was used on our Team Fortier walk and fundraiser t-shirts.
My hope and prayer is that a cure is found.
God performs a miracle, our strength is restored, and I get to grow old
I hope for wrinkles and grey hair.
I hope to attend my daughters graduations, pack them up, and drive them to college.
I hope for so much to shop for wedding dresses, meet their spouses, know them as adults.
I hope to dance with matt slowly and for a long time.
I hope to ride a bike, go for a jog, hike in the woods.
I hope to swim in the waves of the ocean, ride a raft, and walk in the sand at the edge of the water.
I hope to meet my grandchildren
Kiss their baby faces and chase them on the lawn
I hope to take my dog for a walk so long that he gets tired before I do.
I hope to do things by myself unassisted for as long as I can.
I hope I can tear up my handicap decal, get rid of my walker, and rip off this orthotic.
I hope ALS doesn’t get the best of me and that I still have lots of good stuff left.
I’ve led a happy life,with just enough sadness to make em appreciate it all and I do thank God for every single day that i’ve had to live, love, hope.
– Anne Fortier
We all hoped for that. And it makes you wonder why there couldn’t of been a miracle where someone somewhere figured out how to reverse this stupid disease and let all those things happen. But in the end, the miracle of a cure never came for us. But the miracle of knowing Anne, being touched by her story and her love, and taking a part of her with us everyday is our gift.
Her great storm is over, she can finally lift her wings and fly…and probably drink a margarita and sing the JMU Fight Song loudly and proudly too :).
We’ll miss you Annie. Luke thanks you for the idea of “free choice saturdays” and ” mommy child get out of jail free days” in the future.
2 Comments Add yours
Hey Lindsey, Really enjoyed this post. I have always been touched by the personal tradgedies that we all either experience personally or we see in the lives of our friends and loved ones. How do these absolutely unfair life experiences here on earth fit in with God’s plan? It is only through love that some if this becomes remotely understandable. And it is only through faith that it becomes bearable.
On a lighter note…I became a huge fan of John McCutcheon while Maripat and I were still married. We both really enjoyed a Christmas album that he made back in 1987. If you check with Pete, he can tell you how my Mom and I would put on “hootanannys” and Irish ceilis for Kyle, Pete and their younger cousins by lining them up and teaching them basic square dancing. This was always done to the music of John McCutcheon! He is a great artist and he has a new album coming out soon.
As a true son of Eire I have to tell you that his name is originally of Northern Irish origin and then become Scottish after the great Dalriadan migration into Scotland from Ireland. The name McCutcheon (don’t forget the Capital “C” after Mc) is an Anglicized form of the Gaelic name Mac Uisdein, which is a patronymic from the personal name Uisdean, and a Gaelicized form of Old French name Huchon, which in turn is a pet form of Hugh. This Anglicized form of a Gaelic name which in turn comes from an old French name is how our name Goggin (DeCogan) (Gauguin) came about. So Mr. McCutcheon feels like a distant cousin to me!
You might already have this link but its fun to read about our ancestor Milo DeCogan – what a bandit!