To read archived messages from John and Lucinda, click on a month.

Update December 3, 2004

Dear Friends and Family,

Yikes!!! It’s December and we are starting to stress out big time due to so many things. Sometimes it is hard to get and keep a grip.
Good news is that Tull continues to do more and more about the house as Lucinda is way out of time on a daily basis. We are both working on the book and are in contact with people who are giving us much guidance. More on that later.
Much love to all,
John and Lucinda

Update December 7, 2004

Dear Friends and Family,

There came a time when we nearly died. That was about two years ago. Lucinda did not die but got better each day; Tull somehow decided that he was not going to die even though they gave him a 1% chance of survival.

Guess what?? We are alive. Others are not and they were just as dad gum young as we are. Something got them…high blood pressure, cancer, heart failure…..something like mad cow???!!!!! Lucinda’s mother and grandmother report that their good friend who is just 63 is dealing with a very painful cancer.

Tull has had more than a couple frat brothers move on lately. Lucinda had a tidal wave of friend’s die of AIDS 20 years ago and has not had much in the way of peer death since.

Don’t want to be dark. We just do think about these things. You have these people on this earth who you love and they are not going to extend their stay just because you’d like them to. So go hug them every time you get a chance.

Much Huggin to ya’ll

John and Lucinda

Update December 11, 2004

Dear Friends and Family,

Lucinda just got back from spending two days at Ojo Caliente (a kind of funky hot springs spa an hour north of Santa Fe) with her friend Laura who treated as a belated birthday gift. It was a great little break.

John Tull has made wildly amazing improvements in his “gait” and strength in the last week. This is most likely due to his having given up a certain nasty habit with which he has been grappling for a year and a half. Lucinda could not believe how much better he looks and walks in just the 48 hours she was away!! His new goal is to give up the cane and he is on the way. He can walk quite a distance without it now and looks straight ahead (instead of at the floor) while he zooms around. Since giving up shorts for the winter, people no longer have an idea that he is walking on two fake legs. A guy at the gym the other day asked him if he had some kind of knee surgery. Tull lifted up his pant legs and said “well, it was a little more than that”, leaving the poor guy in a state of shock.

Tull has been asked by the American Coalition of Amputees to teach an experimental course in the spring for new amputees here in New Mexico. The course is being sponsored by Johns Hopkins University and Tull will train in January in Las Vegas, Nevada (not New Mexico) where Lucinda will sit by the pool.

Love to all,

Update December 14, 2004

Dear Friends and Family,


This morning, John Tull woke up and said “This is the day I walk.” He left his cane by the bedside, and walked everywhere the entire day.

Walked just like you and everyone else who has two real legs!

This is the moment we have been working for and waiting for for two years. Tull actually, not just a little, not just a bit, walked like a normal human. Glory to God in the highest.

We have not come down from our high, although Tull is quite exhausted. We will go to sleep with proud smiles on our faces. This was a partnership job at its best.


Lucinda and (Speedy Gonzales) John

Update December 28, 2004

Dear Friends and Family,

Boys and girls, ladies and gentlemen, and all the ships at sea, this is Ellen Fitzpatrick, émigré from North Carolina, speaking to you live from Santa Fe, New Mexico. I cannot tell you how great it is to be here, to see my old haunt again, to see Lucinda’s cagey, brilliant blue eyes once more, to see all my old and great friends, doing so well and looking so lovely. I can further report that John Tull is still taller than I am and walks with a swagger.

I am here with Laura Hamilton, and Lucinda is making us all a boeuf bourguignon. We are munching on Dubliner Irish Cheddar and Pink Lady apples as we wait.

This is my first time seeing John and Lucinda since the sea change, and there’s something special about that. I never saw John sick, and while I have never gotten over not being able to be here and do for him and Lucinda, my being the one who walks in and sees the same John I knew is a miracle. He just told me a Texas Ranger story, so I know it’s the same John.

I had my own anguish and tears way off in North Carolina, but I didn’t have them here. I am joyful and filled with hope and peace. As I told John Christmas Eve night (they were good enough to have a birthday cake for me), I lost my grandfather, Michael Bernard Hennigan, one of the best men who ever lived, the night before they were going to amputate his legs. I’d have given anything to have had him with me longer and wish the knowledge and technology had been around when he died more than 40 years ago. John’s granddaughter is going to have him, and Texas Ranger stories, too.

I’m grateful to be here, I’m having a ball. There’s still a lot they both have to go through, but it seems to me there’s a lot more light than tunnel.

Keep them in your prayers and if you’re in range, there are still things they need. If they say there aren’t, tell them they’re baldfaced liars. Tell them you’ll help organize the garage, fix stuff around the house, come with your tools and don’t let them say no. There’s still the Recovery Fund. Lucinda will probably edit this all out. But we need reminders.

I have to go back to North Carolina on Friday. I’ll have a much better outlook on life. Ah, who am I kidding. I pretty much have a good time wherever I am, knowing nothing’s in vain.

Happy New Year to all of you.