P.S. I will be soon post an account of his decision to go off life support and what that was like for me.
Hello! My name is Don Young. I died today, April 18, 2015, from complications of ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease). Today is also my 51st birthday! My favorite day!
I was born on April 18, 1964. From that point I grew, I crawled, walked, ran, fell and scraped my hands and knees, a lot, and got up and ran some more! That is until I took my last step in October 2013 when ALS took the muscles from my legs. Then I sat around a lot! In between those dates I played, cried, graduated college, did some doctoring, printed photos, drove a delivery van, threw peanuts at baseball games, handed out miniature golf balls and clubs, did some lifeguarding and coached my kids in soccer. Coaching my kids in soccer was my favorite. Oh, I also helped run my family’s construction company where I was a master artist on a backhoe. My works are on display throughout Southern California.
I did some bad things but for the most part, I did good things. I didn't do any great things like most us, primarily because I’m a simple, quirky, uncomplicated and intelligent man who knew he wasn’t here to be great. Just good. And I am happy to be that man to this day.
I also was married to the most wonderful woman who blessed me with two fantastic children (other people have verified that statement too). Well, actually I personally verified this with the wife.
After I was diagnosed in 2012 I retired and began to live my life! I relaxed and changed my perspective. I rekindled long neglected friendships and enjoyed the love they provided. I also made many new friends too. I realized I had much more room in my heart than I thought possible! I went to Europe with my family! I wrote bad poetry and a well-received blog. I cried and laughed. Most of all I learned to appreciate the moment - to experience life with all the senses and not just watch it go by.
My greatest achievement was to get Deanna Calabrese to fall in love with me for the rest of my life. My legacy is Jaqueline Ann and Alexander Lee, my children. They will do good things too, maybe even great things! Deanna will continue to be great, she can't help it.
So R.I.P. me! But I hope I don't rest. I would love to run and fall and scrape my hands and knees again!
Love and long, happy lives to you all!
Donald Leslie Young