Dear FHS classmates:
A series of vague and puzzling symptoms beginning last March sent me to Mayo Clinic in search of a diagnosis. I really expected them to find something benign, a trifle, in that I always have been so healthy, and I really haven’t been sick since the Hong Kong Flu epidemic of 1968. I do all the right things–healthy diet, exercise, never smoked, don’t drink–and was pretty complacent since most Buckinghams live to be a hundred.
I could scarcely breathe when I received a diagnosis of ALS (or Lou Gehrig’s Disease.) It’s progressive, incurable and always fatal.
While I still am working on acceptance, I also am realizing how important it is to live each new day to the fullest, since that’s all we really have for certain. Like Lou Gehrig, I feel very lucky: wonderful childhood, wonderful family and friends and an 12-year marriage to the great love of my life, Bart Holaday. I have traveled to more than 90 countries and all seven continents, done the weird and the wild, such as SCUBA diving Australia’s Great Barrier Reef and tracking mountain gorillas in Uganda, the latter just last year.
So, no complaints about my life, just lots of gratitude. If I struggle a bit it’s because I’m so reluctant to leave my husband, my mom–she’s 92–and my sons and grandchildren. On the brighter side, knowing that my time is abbreviated, I am able to write, say and do all the right things so that I leave this world with a calm heart and no regrets.
I don’t mean to sound morbid. I’m not on death’s door. However, my future is so uncertain that I am unable to make plans that extend into the future. That includes our reunion. I’m so eager to be there and to see everyone, but if things don’t work out for that to happen, I want you to have a wonderful time and to take lots of photos to share with me.
I always have been so proud to be a member of the Class of ’59, and I have such special memories of those high school years. Also, throughout my life I have realized that I really got a very good education at FHS. I always have felt well-prepared for the next steps in my education and in my life. Vina Walz, Patricia Mendius, Mary Jane Masters, Woody Woodrum, Tommy Campbell, Ray Horvath, Betty Ahrens and so many others left us a priceless legacy.
So, you guys have fun at the reunion and try and remember Lynn Buckingham with smiles and even laughter. Prayers appreciated. Love to you all.
Posted on July 30, 2009, in friends and tagged classmates, Farmington New Mexico, friends, friendships, Lou Gehrig disease, Lynn Buckingham Holaday, prayers, teachers. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.