We recently returned from a visit to Laurent's brother, Jon, and his wife in Minnesota over New Years. We had a wonderful time and I was struck once more with the positive attitude and indomitable spirit of the two. If you haven't had a chance to read their blog, Neu_ology, you will want to do so. Jon was diagnosed with ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease in 2013. On the pages of their blog, you can read their words of wisdom, humorous quips, and unique perspective on life. On my page today, however, I wanted to share some of the stories from our brief week with them that touched me and buoyed my spirit.
The first day we arrived, I got out my camera as usual to take pictures of everyone. Pretty much everyone in the family knows that I'm going to take pictures of our gatherings. I can't help myself. I want to remember as many of the moments as I can, and I love the challenge of trying to capture special memories. I'm definitely an amateur, but gratefully my family puts up with me while I practice. On this particular day I had gotten a new camera recently and was showing it to Jon. While standing next to him, the tiny lens cap on my mirror-less camera fell off and landed on Jon's arm laying on his wheel chair arm rests. Since Jon is unable to move any part of his body except one finger to drive his wheel chair and his head, I reached down to pick up the lens. With a twinkle in his eye, Jon turned his head toward me and laughingly quipped, "Did you see how fast my arm reached out to catch that lens cap?" And then he flashed me one of his famous Jon Neu charming grins! What an example he is of maintaining a positive attitude and sharing his wit and humor with us even in the midst of trials that would sink many of us. I am truly grateful for his example and cheerfulness!
Perhaps the highlight of the visit was attending the baptism of their daughter, Katie. Her older brother, Jacob, performed the baptism while Jon acted as a witness. Following the baptism, Katie sat on Jon's lap as the men in the circle placed Jon's hands upon her head and held them there while Jon performed the confirmation. I'm pretty sure there wasn't a dry eye in the room as Jon spoke lovingly and pronounced a blessing on her. We are truly grateful to have been in attendance and witness this beautiful experience.
Laurent and Kerrie Neu love sharing music with others. It's such a blessing to be able to interact with people through music.