Here’s another gem I came across the other day. I believe Joe wrote this in early 2014 (just before his diagnosis):
by Joe Fischer
The long and short of it is that my family are the coolest people on the earth.
Jamie is fun. That's what Jamie is. She does not need you to have been ready to have fun, or expecting to have fun, she just is. Her mind is also powerful enough to have developed a real plan as to what fun we will have today, which means we just might. She is ready to love you, and does not give up.
Anna is dangerous because she's like me. She's audacious. She knows you're wrong and may make you enjoy it. Anna is a pixie. A little fairy. Ready to let you stay around if you are not made of nonsense. For a few special people she will genuinely forgive nonsense. But do not tell her what to do today.*
My Mom has made decisions. She will be rewarded for them. She has decided what will be worth what in her life. It is more believed in her mind than in anyone else's that another's happiness is a greater end than hers. More simply, it is better, always better, that I should have the last piece of cake than that she should. She has maintained this output of energy toward three new lives and not been depleted. And moreover, retained mental power enough to learn Latin and Spanish. And she can cook.
My Dad is the smartest one of us, which means we actually will be ok, even if he's the only one with any way of knowing 'ok' when we see it. And he's made the same decision as my mom—that we will be ok. To that end he does what he'd rather not, more days than not, more years than not, till the job is done, as long as it takes. In addition to this, his rate of being simply right is simply uncomfortable to men who are not simply humble.
* I think this is in reference to a favorite family story: when Anna was two years old (Joe was six), Anna was reprimanded by her dad for her behavior at the dinner table . She looked at him sternly and replied, “Don’t tell me what to do, Daddy. You’re not my brother.”