The ALS Association

From a Beloved Daughter to Her Father

Christina M. West Chester, Pennsylvania

My father, Dennis Trott, retired Air Force Veteran, was diagnosed with ALS in 2006. He is also a retired Carpenter who cherished his tools and craft. He resides in New Port Richey, Florida and continues his battle to fight ALS and has hope for a cure. Please support ALS awareness, research, and support for all ALS caregivers. They are the unsung heroes. Hammer: A Tribute to All Caregivers of ALS. A hammer, to most, is an insignificant tool left to the cobwebs in the back of a shed. To a carpenter, a beloved instrument not replaceable by a trendy electronic device. The hammer, the tool that expresses my father’s strength and love for life, family and friends, has been passed to you. Because when he could no longer hold his precious hammer, you, the carpenter’s apprentice, graciously accepted it. This prized tool now signifies your love and strength for each other, illustrated every day in your selfless acts of compassion, giving and kindness to him and all who grace your path. As ALS slowly takes everything from him, it cannot touch his precious hammer. You, the hammer, who never leaves his side for more than a few hours each week, because he needs you, who sleeps in the living room beside him, because he needs you, his cheerleader, his nutritionist, his voice, his foreman, you, who provides him with constant reassurance of your love and devotion day after day. You, the hammer, who assures him, that it’s okay to cry for the loss of self. Anyone who has ever had the honor to see my father and his hammer together, before and after ALS took hold, cannot deny the love that one look can express, especially when you only have a look . . . not a voice or a movement left. You were given to him in the last piece of his life, but you were given the best piece. You are now not only my father’s hammer, you are mine as well. My beautiful step-mother, you are a lovely and exceptional person who continues to build upon the bond of your love for my father every day. Although I’ve only known you a few years, it feels like forever. You, the hammer, I love you for cherishing him the way I do and I love you for caring for him like no one else, thank you. A beloved daughter,

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