I say yes to the next quarter

Today I am 75. I can honestly say that it has been a long time getting here.  I feel as if it’s a  milestone of sorts: three quarters of a century.


Me on my 75th

During the last 18 months, I have been writing my autobiography and began at the very beginning when I was just a little kid and my mother noticed that there was something wrong with the way I walked. I have relived everything: braces, high school, boyfriends, surgery, art school, marriage, divorce, many deaths, employment, being fired, marriage again, loving my work and having to quit, university and then starting CMT International. There’s a ton of life in there, 35 chapters of it. I wouldn’t have remembered a lot of it in detail if I hadn’t kept journals from 1966 until now, but I did. Whether anyone will be interested remains to be seen but for some reason I wanted to get it down. My editor and I are working on the last six chapters, I’m picking photographs for it and finishing up the final details. It will go on Amazon sometime within the next 6 to 8 weeks.

I know I’m living on borrowed time, we all are really, and I’m a lot closer to the end than I am to the beginning but I’m going to try to make the very best of the time I have left. My body is slowly breaking down. I haven’t walked in more than 20 years and my hands are getting worse by the year. I tried to turn the key in the van’s ignition today and I couldn’t. I can turn it off but I can’t turn it on and it’s got something to do with the way my wrist won’t work. I guess I won’t be driving alone anymore but I am very lucky that I have my Ron who goes everywhere with me and a couple of good friends who also accompany me for shopping trips or wherever I want to go or they want to go. Sometimes I’m just grateful to get out of the house.

I read something the other day by Ken Gallinger who writes a column on ethics, in fact I tore it out of the newspaper: ”Hope requires neither a cheery outlook nor imaginary friends. It requires only the courage to make ethical decisions in an unethical time – the courage to be kind, to be generous, to be faithful, to be loving.

In a world that too often says “no” to life, hope is the decision to say “yes, dammit, yes” – and then to live accordingly.”

I say “yes” to whatever life, and that includes CMT, has to throw at me. Yes.

From here on it’s like driving into the great unknown but there is one thing that you do know; it will end in death.  That’s one thing we all have to get our minds around as we go into our fourth-quarter. So, to those of you who are there, I say let’s drive down that road together, and say yes.

Till next time,



A bunch of hepatica from Ron after his walk in the woods


17 Responses

  1. happy 75th Linda, I look forward to reading your autobiography. it will be similar to mine, except now at 55, I am feeling stronger every day, I think and know recent lifestyle changes that include yoga, meditation, ayurvedic panchakarma and dietary changes are helping repair my broken temple. I am very grateful. Namaste
    Suzanne Butterfield

  2. Happy Birthday Linda. You are an inspiration to many.

  3. You look simply marvelous Linda. Happy 75th Birthday. I always look forward to reading your thoughts and stories. Can’t wait to read your book…..Hugs from Hilary

  4. Happy 75th Birthday! I am always so happy to see you in my inbox. I love the pictures, you are beautiful. Best wishes, Janis

  5. Good for you, Linda, in getting your book almost finished. I haven’t started on my autobiography yet, and I’m close on your heels age-wise. 🙂

  6. Happy Birthday Linda xx you are so looking good girl, Age is only a number it is how you feel that matters, just keeping doing what you are doing as it serving you extremely well !!! Hugs from Fintan,.

  7. Thanks to all of you. I had a lovely day for my birthday. Ron and I went out for a drive because it was so warm out and then he made me a lovely dinner. Last night just before bed I looked out the kitchen window and got the best birthday present possible – the leaves were coming out on the Maple tree under the streetlight. When the leaves are on the trees I don’t really care what else happens in the world, unless of course it is decided that there will be war. I can’t really fathom how these leaders think but in the meantime it’s day to a day for us mere mortals.

  8. Happy birthday Linda and congratulations! I am 66 and close on your heels. In late 2015, I had a tracheostomy that has kept me going after I stopped breathing two times because of my CMT-affected diaphragm (left side paralyzed, right side weak). It was emotionally a hell of a recovery time for a few months for many reasons, including having to move and not knowing if I could suction myself (I live alone) cause I couldn’t get the sterile gloves on to practice, It took them 6 weeks to tell me I wouldn’t have to wear the gloves at home cause I wouldn’t have to worry so much about infections there in my own environment. ! got a place with indoor parking (no winter snow) and an elevator so I’m a happy camper now. Don’t need oxygen — yet. Hoping I never do! In 2014 I bought a car with keyless entry and ignition cause I had already had many key and doorknob and heavy door issues. I highly recommend pressing numbers or knobs over dealing with locks and keys. I alternately love and hate all the new technologyI It enables me to do a lot I couldn’t have done even 25 years ago, like type. I look forward to reading your biography. I love your message and hope your spirit breaks through any obstacles to come!

    • My right side diaphragm is paralyzed, but I have not had to suction yet. My pulmonary doctor put me on a V-Pap, not a C-Pap or Bi-Pap like is more common. He also put me on oxygen when I sleep or lie down. I have seen an improvement, not something my doctor or I expected. This last week I have not used oxygen at all. The doctor told me to leave it off after a test without it one night, I sure didn’t think that would work, but so far good. My doctor thinks the V-Pap is responsible and he even wrote an article in the newspaper. I also use my spirometer faithfully, work out in a spa, and talk too much and too loud (something I have done all my life). Dr. Shy said this was great to help my muscle. I also sleep on my right side (Dr. ordered). I slide my feet around the house with a rollator, but can not with shoes on. I have had 4 hip replacements and l knee and it hurts my right hip to sleep on it all the time, but ice helps. Time will tell about the V-Pap, but I hope this will help.

  9. Thank you Mary for your kind words. I don’t know if I could suction myself but I’d certainly try. Putting on gloves is impossible for me. People don’t realize how much how a little thing like telling us to wear sterile gloves can interfere with procedures that we are supposed be doing. They don’t think twice about putting on gloves. I’m hoping the next van we buy will work for me as I cannot push a button with the end of my finger but have to use my knuckles. We’ll see. You are truly a survivor and I applaud you for your tenacity.

  10. Hi Linda It makes me sad to hear that things are getting worse. I am glad you are writing your life story living with CMT. My oldest daughter also has CMT I see her struggle with it. We keep on telling her that she has to help herself and try to keep busy. I understand the difficulties she is having. I have my own disabilities and try real hard to keep myself busy easier some days then others. I keep on telling her do what you can and you will be happy. I know her life will eventually end up in a chair but until then I tell her be happy there is always people worse off then you or I. I wish you the best and look forward to your posts.

  11. Happy birthday Linda you look amazing. I left a message for you before.

  12. Here’s to you and the grace in which you have lived it. May each new day be a blessing to all of us!

  13. Happy belated Birthday Linda. Computer was in the shop until today. I celebrate number 78 on 4/28. I wish had I had kept a journal, but thankful I am doing as well as I can. Blessings to you and hopefully many more years to write.

  14. Happy Birthday! I will be 75 next month and I say yes! Can’t wait to read your life. I appreciate you so much.

  15. Enjoyed your birthday post very much. I well remember turning a quarter of a century in the 1970’s & it seems to have flown by. My 68th is approaching & I’m noticing more pronounced progression…….hands seem numb, less grasping ability, fingers slippery or dry….loss of oil on tips & feet dry, smooth on soles, bladder/kidney function less output, more foot edema. Feel less able to concentrate or accomplish much in a day. Extra effort required to do what I did not so very long ago. Just felt like sharing these noticeable (to me) changes. Your posts are always appreciated, Barbara in OR


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