Monday, November 3, 2008

Sine Nomine

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) (also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease) is a nasty disease. The disease eventually paralyzes its victim resulting in death by suffocation or maybe, starvation.  Tuesdays with Morrie  tells the story of a man with ALS.

My dad was a WWII vet that lost his left arm when he was injured on Friday, the 13th of April, 1945.  Infection  required the amputation of his arm.  He was 20 years old having turned 20 eight days before on April 5.  He died on April 10, 2001.

Because his right arm did all of the work for his whole adult life, it was a very strong right arm.  I don't believe I ever saw him defeated due to the lack of his left arm.  In fact, I know many tricks for doing things one-handed.

When ALS struck him, this strong right arm gradually lost it's strength and the muscles withered.  That strong bicep became a shell of its former self.   Thankfully, he died from a heart attack before the disease could complete its course.

William Walsham How was a Bishop of Warwick in England. Previously, he became the inspiring influence of a revival of church work. He founded the East London Church Fund, and enlisted a large band of enthusiastic helpers, his popularity among all classes being immense. He was particularly fond of children, and was commonly called the children's bishop.  He also burned Hardy's book, Jude the Obscure.  How wrote the hymn set by Ralph Vaughn Williams and sung most All Saints Days.  How's complete poem is found here.  

Although the hymn is full of battle of life images,  I especially liked this lyric as I sung the hymn yesterday:

  "And hearts are brave, again, and arms are strong.  Alleluia, Alleluia!

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