Tuesday, May 22, 2007

may 21, 2007

dear president clinton,

i hope that this letter's salutation soon becomes ambiguous.

pardon my neglect of the shift key; i have ALS, aka lou gehrig's disease. i cannot hold up my head, and i write this letter with one feeble hand while slouched in a wheelchair, wearing an adult diaper.

i was a journalist, and then a computer programmer.

we bought three copies of your autobiography: one of which i lost on a trip to my parents house when i could still hold books and walk, one a gift from my wife (who is as remarkable as yours) and one audiobook downloaded from itunes once i could no longer hold a book.

my beautiful wife, who is the reason our two children (4 and 7) are whippet smart, reads to me from your book, as do several friends from the miraculous support group set up by our wonderful neighbor.

the support group has brought out everyone's better angels. and if it is true, as my friend visiting from hawaii said, that many people love me, then it is just a reflection of the basic human impulse to GIVE ... to anyone halfway decent who is in need.

this same impulse is not entirely unnoted in clinton politics. that may explain why my night attendant, a strong mother of five who advises others with wisdom on the values of work and education, says she misses you SO much. another attendant who immigrated from ethiopia 10 years ago has been reading our copy of your book aftter plucking it, without asking, from amid my medical cluttter. likewise, a third, a tibetan, is also reading it. unprompted, he exclaimed "this is fantastic reading." among the three, they have five jobs -- that i know of.

you can be proud that your embodiment of american values resonates with hardworking americans both established and new.
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