Jennifer of all trades. Master of Arts.

On Dec. 16, 2010, Jennifer posted “Halfway through.” In this blog she talked about how much work she had completed toward her Master of Arts in Humanities degree, as well as the equal amount she had left to finish in order to graduate from Central Michigan University. On May 4, 2013, her dream of a master’s degree became an educated reality. So was the amount of work, sleepless nights and MS-related pain and challenges all worth it? What does her smile tell...

Our true love story

I always tell my interns to write tight. Make each word count. I hope I make them proud with this post as I let the humbling work of others speak volumes. See for yourself why Jennifer and I gratefully offer huge thanks to: • Adam Miedema – our friend and my Central Michigan University colleague – for his vision to produce this video as a way to share our love story with others • Cynthia Drake – another one of our friends and another one of my CMU colleagues – for her vision to include it with her story about Multiple Sclerosis in the latest issue of...

Being orange

Step into my office. Or, better yet, step into our Springsteen room. Either way, you’ll immerse yourself in a sea of orange. It’s a strong citrus sort of color that screams, “LOOK AT ME!” but it’s lack of neon flare whispers, “i promise i won’t bite.” My consistent color palate at work and at home is obnoxious to some; applauded by others. Many are perplexed by this vibrant autumn hue that I – a relatively reserved and mild-mannered man – purposely selected for the two rooms in which I spend a great deal of my waking hours. Orange is the color for...

Straight ahead! (with MS)

I’m going to gripe about the same thing each time I watch a football game. Jennifer knows this. She just smiles and lets me gripe. Usually she chimes in to acknowledge she understands why I’m cursing the current stupid running back, wide receiver or kick returner. “Straight ahead!” Jennifer repeats as though she’s my pigskin parrot. “Stick your head down and go forward!” I don’t know if she does this because she agrees with me or because she wants me to feel I’m not alone. This drives me crazy: Athletes on college scholarships or professional payrolls who...

Mind if we play through?

I enjoy that even with the challenges Jennifer and I face in living with MS, every day life is everyday life. The effects of these challenges  – including everything from her inability to walk to my constantly numb hands and feet – merely are par for our courses of this disease. It’s as though we are looking right at MS and asking, “Mind if we play through?” But we never stop to see if it’s granting us permission. We just tee it up and drive ourselves down the next fairway of our life together. Sure, there are plenty of sand traps, trees, doglegs,...

How we roll

I don’t think we want to have MS today. We’re too busy. Oh sure, my hands burn with numbness, and I’m sure Jennifer has her own issues. Going to bed at 11 p.m. and getting up at 3:30 in the morning will have a negative impact on even the healthiest of people. But don’t tell us that we both have Multiple Sclerosis and should take it easy; that our bodies need a lot of rest. I’m incredibly busy at work coordinating communication plans for some big projects, such as Retired Army General Colin Powell speaking on Central Michigan University’s campus Jan. 24, and...