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Christopher Reeve as Superman
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Monday, 11-Oct-2004 00:00
Honoring Dana Morosini Reeve -- A Superwoman
"God doesn't make these things happen. . . .But where God comes in, where grace enters, is in the strength you find to deal with it. You may not know where it comes from, but there's an enormous power at work." ~ Christopher Reeve, STILL ME


You won't see me sitting on a horse anytime soon. Last week, we were in shock to learn that my husband's slack key guitar buddy, http://home.earthlink.net/~trlau/(Ted Lau), was thrown by a spooked horse and killed when his head hit a rock. It's hard to lose those in http://www.50plusmag.com/being50plus/012804creeve/012804creeve.html(our age group) -- we think we're still 'too young to die' -- and we have been praying for his wife and his young daughter, as well as our friend's soul all week.

Then today, I turned on the morning news to learn that the world is grieving for http://www.chrisreevehomepage.com/(Christopher Reeve), born on September 25, 1952 and born in heaven yesterday at 52. He died from a severe systemic infection caused by a pressure wound, an ailment typical of paralytics. The infection put him into a coma on Saturday, October 9, 2004, causing his death at his New York City residence yesterday.

As an actor, he will be most remembered for his 1978 starring role in SUPERMAN and as a human being, for his prolonged and heroic fight for his life and quality of life after an equestrian accident left him paralyzed from the neck down on Memorial Day, 1995.

I will remember Christopher Reeve best in the role he played in the romantic fantasy, http://movies.yahoo.com/shop?d=hv&cf=info&id=1800119326(SOMEWHERE IN TIME). I was gooey-in-love with the movie when I first saw it, and years later, I was gifted with a video of the movie and its http://www.chrisreevehomepage.com/song.html(hauntingly beautiful soundtrack). In that movie, he played a young writer who is entranced and mystified by the old portrait of a beautiful stage actress (played by Jane Seymour) from the turn of the century. He uses self-hynosis to return to the misty distant past, and find the woman who has him spellbound. Soon they are in love, and the time difference is only one of the problems to overcome.

Ironically, Christopher Reeve played a paralyzed man in the suspenseful thriller, http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/6304140053/104-1029767-8898349?v=glance(ABOVE SUSPICION) (1995), the last film he made before being paralyzed in a horse-riding accident. Unlike the character in that movie, in real life, God provided him with the love of his life.

A hero in the eyes of many, Christopher Reeve is today being heaped with well-deserved accolades and tributes. As the world honors her husband, today, I wish to honor his widow, Dana Morosini Reeve. At 34. she was suddenly http://pathfinder.com/People/daily/95back/950610.html(his caretaker). She is as much the hero as her husband. Together, as a committed marriage pair, they fought the bravest of brave fights.

Christopher made no bones about it, and fully credited his post-accident survival to Dana Morosini, an actress and singer. According to online sources, when he wasn't looking for love (but God was looking out for him), he met Dana and http://cnnstudentnews.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0404/17/pitn.00.html(fell headover-heels-in-love with her). He overcame his "deep seated aversion to marriage" and five years later they were married in April 1992.

Dana Morosini Reeve, whose ancestors are from Venice, Italy, is an actress and a singer. She appeared on Broadway in the comedy "More to Love" and Off-Broadway. On television, Dana Reeve has guest-starred on "Law and Order," "All My Children" and "Loving." She had recurring roles on the CBS drama "Feds" and the HBO series, "Oz." As a singer, she has performed on national television and at various New York venues. Her book, CAREPACKAGES: Letter to Christopher Reeve From Strangers and Other Friends was published by Random House in November 1999. ~https://www.niaf.org/news/index.asp?id=45(Source)

Dana and Christopher were blessed with the birth of http://movies.yahoo.com/shop?d=hc&id=1800013042&cf=pg&photoid=524357&intl=us(Will Reeve), born in 1992. While still in the early days of his long hospital stay, 3-year-old Will asked his mom if his dad would ever be able to walk or to play soccer with him. Dana answered, "We don't know sweetheart, but maybe not." Will thought about this for a moment, and concluded cheerfully, "Well, he can still smile."

Christopher Reeve said: "This accident has been difficult for all of us. But it hasn't frightened anybody away. We all miss the activities. My daughter, Alexandra, and I loved to ride together. My son, Will, and I would play piano and sing together. Matthew and I loved to play tennis. We all used to sail together. I'd be kidding you if I said I didn't miss that. Ultimately, you have to accept that being together is more important than doing together." More of this thoughts are http://www.chrisreevehomepage.com/editorial-shouldertoleanon.html(here).

In intensive care, on a respirator, after the spinal cord had been reattached, he mouthed to Dana: http://www.msrc.co.uk/index.cfm?fuseaction=show&pageid=306("Maybe we should let me go." ) She refused to have the plug pulled. In his book, Still Me, he wrote about life before and after the accident. He revealed in the book that his injuries were so grave that his mother asked the doctors to withdraw life support.

Christopher himself considered ending his life but was dissuaded by the words of his wife, Dana Morosini. She said, "I will support you whatever you want to do, because this is your life, and your decision. But I want you to know that I'll be with you for the long haul, no matter what."

This experience was later chronicled in the autobiography, http://www.cnn.com/books/reviews/9805/28/(STILL ME).

>> http://movies.yahoo.com/shop?d=hc&id=1800013042&cf=pg&photoid=524357&intl=us(STILL ME is available at Amazon books)

Said Christopher: "I thought it would be selfish and unfair to my wife and three children to remain alive because of the care I would need. But it was my wife, Dana, whose words gave me the courage and the motivation to live, when she knelt by my bedside and said, "You're still you, and I love you."

Those words sent both of us on a journey we could not have imagined. But that's the way it so often is with change in our lives. In http://www.chrisreevehomepage.com/sp-remarkablechanges.html(Remarkable Changes), Jane Seymour talks about how one decision can create a cascade of challenges in our lives that require us to work harder and try more diligently than we ever thought we could."

After his initial fear of being a burden to everyone, suicide became no longer an option because of Dana's loyal steadfastness. They became profiles in courage and unrelenting optimism and examples, providing uplifting inspiration to all married couples going through rough times. Through good times and bad, she stuck by him, supporting him with her constant love. She has honored the wedding vows, "For better, for worse... in sickness and in health.

Love is not easy.

Earlier this year, the Reeves were invited to co-deliver the http://web.middlebury.edu/offices/pubaff/news_releases/news_2004/commencement+04+April.htm(Middlebury College commencement address) at Dana's alma mater. (She graduated, cum laude, from there as an English major with a concentration in Italian in 1964) Dana was quoted then to have said:

"There will be turns in the road that you cannot possibly anticipate," she said. "Some will initially seem like setbacks, but once you dive in they can be some of the most extraordinary experiences."

They co-delivered the brave messages of "A single person can make a difference," and "Don't be afraid and never give up." Although life may deal you formidable or unexpected circumstances and that one will encounter despair, their message was "the extraordinary efforts of ordinary individuals" can make a difference and their lives would be richer for their giving. The Reeves received a standing ovation from the college's 5,000 some commencement attendees.

The text of their respective addresses can be found http://web.middlebury.edu/offices/pubaff/general_info/addresses/reeves04.htm(here).

Yesterday, the gospel reading was about gratitude. God-incidentally, this morning, I came across this and thought of Dana Morosini Reeves, whose heart is a grateful one:

Grateful
Lyrics by: John Bucchino
Sung by: Dana Morosini Reeve at the Coming Around Again tribute to Christopher Reeve held in the McCarter Theatre, Princeton, New Jersey, on January 12, 1997 and at an American Paralysis Association fundraiser later that year. Excerpts of Dana singing this beautiful song were played on national television and aroused considerable interest.

I've got a roof over my head.
I've got a warm place to sleep.
Some nights I lie awake counting gifts
Instead of counting sheep.

I've got a heart that can hold love.
I've got a mind that can think.

There may be times when I lose the light
and let my spirit sink.
But I can't stay depressed
When I remember how I'm blessed.

Grateful, grateful, truly grateful, I am.
Grateful, grateful, truly blessed
and duly grateful.

Within a city of strangers,
I've got a family of friends.
No matter what rocks and brambles fill the way,
I know that they will stay until the end.

I feel a hand holding my hand.
It's not a hand you can see.
But on the road to the Promised Land,
This hand will shepherd me.

Through delight and despair.
Holding tight and always there.

Grateful, grateful, truly grateful, I am.
Grateful, grateful, truly blessed
and duly grateful.

It's not that I don't want a lot
Or hope for or dream of more
But giving thanks for what I've got
Makes me happier than keeping score.

In a world that can bring pain,
I will still take each chance.

For I believe that whatever the terrain
our feet can learn to dance.
Whatever stone life may sling
We can moan or we can sing.

Grateful, grateful, truly grateful, I am.
Grateful, grateful, truly blessed
and duly grateful.
Truly blessed and duly grateful.

Grateful can be found on several CD's, most notably, http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B000003MS8/ref=ase_supermanhomepage/104-1029767-8898349?v=glance&s=music(Across America) by Art Garfunkel.

>> http://www.chrisreevehomepage.com/livechat-dana-031199.html(A wonderful) (Barnes & Noble Online Chat with Dana Morosini Reeve - November 3, 1999)

I just read in the above transcript that one of the Reeves' favorite books is TUESDAYS WITH MORRIE, one that Dana read aloud to her husband, just as I did to my husband. It is a book that touched me at the deepest levels, prompting me to thank Oprah for buying the movie rights. This contact lead to my appearance on her show and my online documentation of that experience http://www.geocities.com/~olelo/twm/(here).

Tonight, my husband and I shall pray to God and dedicate our prayers to Dana, and also for Will, Matthew, Alexandra and Christopher's extended family and friends, and of course, the sweet repose of Christopher Reeve, an exceptional soul.

Dana Morosini Reeve is a super heroine -- a Superwoman -- who has lived Jesus' words: "I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples." (John 13:34-35 NLT) God bless her and may Mother Mary cover her with her comforting mantle.

His movie character once defied gravity, but I imagine Christopher Reeves is experiencing the real deal. God willing, he is flying with the angels.

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