Live life, appreciate value of family strength

I have asked my son to help me with this letter because he has much more education than I, and a much better vocabulary

Dear Editor:

I have asked my son to help me with this letter because he has much more education than I, and a much better vocabulary of the Queen’s English.

Kevin already knows that I don’t want a funeral or memorial service.

That this is to be published in every newspaper that will accept it, after I’m gone, and that all possible will read it.

If my words help one person, or one family, it will have made my life worthy and complete.

It is a terrible reality to wake up every morning knowing you have got something wrong with you and also knowing there is absolutely nothing you can do about it, without time and without other’s help.

My life has been wonderful and fantastic, especially my senior years. There has been an immense amount of fun.

Have a positive attitude and true faith in your God. Never take anyone or anything for granted.

The glory is in doing a good deed, not in the glory of doing it. I have no regrets. There have also been a lot of dark times in my life, however.

The post-pregnancy depression that is so common with women, I could not get over. There is so much help available now in the way of therapy and drugs. Little was available in the ’50s and ’60s. Little was known in the medical community about manic-depressive illness or mental illnesses in general.

People get sick and people get healthy. This is the same mentally, as well as physically. Just because you don’t see it does not mean that it is not there.

It amazes and infuriates me the number of people who go to a doctor with a minor injury such as a couple of broken toes. Yet they, or their families, will use a denial mind-set when they have a mental illness. Quite often, one little pill and they can live normally ever after. This stigma attached to mental illness is absolute garbage. One would think we have advanced further as a civilization. Obviously not.

Never quit or abandon your family or community. Your family must always know that you are there for them. There may be times that you have to step aside from someone sick to save your own sanity, but no matter the time, distance or illness never quit on them.

Ellen Emmons,

Centennial Centre for Mental Health and Brain Injury, Ponoka

September 2010

Editor’s note: This was written by Ellen Emmons with the help of her son, Kevin Emmons. She died in August.