I have been so blessed and privileged to be the leader of our great Bluefield – Princeton M.S. Support Group for the past 30 years. On Apr. 20, 1987, we held our first M.S. support group meeting. No one had ever attempted to organize or try to establish a support group in the southern part of WV specifically for patients or family members that were diagnosed with M.S. It was a big step. Many of you were there throughout those early years. Now, some 30 years later, almost to the very day, Apr. 25, 2017, we are the longest continual running M.S. support group in West Virginia. No small accomplishment. Our success has not been without defeat. Over the years, we have suffered physical setbacks, pain and even lost some of our M.S. family to death.
The Bible tells us, in the book of James, that we are to remember that our life is as a vapor that appeareth for a little time and then vanisheth away. 30 years has come and gone. The time has truly vanished away) just as the Scripture says. No matter how hard one might try, or what one might do, we can in no wise bring back even one day of our lives and re-live it again.
But thanks to our great God, we still have many precious memories of those past 30 years. Many of you do not know that I have kept a memory scrap book over the past three decades of my life. I started this book when I was first diagnosed with M.S. on Sept. 13, 1985.
Items I have placed in my memory book include the initial doctor reports of my M.S. diagnosis. I have kept notes and letters about the formation of the Bluefield-Princeton M.S. support group, which we now call our M.S. family, newspaper clippings about our chapter, even pictures of support members past and present. All these various odds and ends have no real economic value. But they mean a great deal to me sentimentally.
My M.S. journey has been touched by many precious people and I thank God for each and every one of them. Over the years, several individuals have dropped me a card of encouragement. Some even made a phone call to let me know they appreciated the existence of our M.S. support group. I would like to ask each of you to take the time sometime in the next few days to share a blessing with me.
I ask this as a personal favor that will remain between you and me. I do not ask this as a pat on the back or for personal praise.
Often we can become discouraged and bogged down with the cares and sickness of this life. We struggle daily with the effects of M.S. on our individual lives. I too have gone through some dark times. And often, it has been my memories and my personal faith that has gotten me through.
But if at any time, during the past 32 years of my M.S. journey, that I have been an encouragement to you or a loved one that lives with M.S., I would ask that you share that with me; either in the form of a hand-written note, an email or pictures with names on the back would be so welcomed. Maybe a memory from an M.S. Walk or M.S. Bike Ride.
No, it’s not about what I’ve done, it’s about what God has done through me. As I celebrate my 70th birthday this month, I ask that you add a memory to my M.S. journey through my memory book.
God bless you and yours. In Christian Love,
*Please send correspondence to:
M.S. Support Group Leader
1160 Shumate Rd.
Peterstown, WV 24963
Or call: 304-753-9126