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DON GOLDMAN Don Goldman, born April 23, 1935, in Los Angeles, died April 14 after a long and productive life, even in light of a skiing accident at age 18 that left him a paraplegic. The following excerpted letter to our daughters and son-in-law, written a few months before his death, provides an insight into a life well lived, as a National Park Service planner, a Peace Corps Volunteer, a writer, a gardener, a community volunteer in Washington, D.C.; Del Rio, Texas; and Santa Fe... and most important of all, a great husband and father. Lorraine, Jessica, Emily, Adam, Hannah and Noah Dear Kids Three, Before we were married, there were issues about where we would go in life, and how. One significant one was marrying a physically handicapped man. What would the future be? Lorraine and I had some very long and honest discussions. I hoped that my physical future was bright, but I was just five years out of a rehabilitation hospital where I had made life-long friends with people whose futures were bleak. I didn't want to promise my girlfriend what I might not be able to deliver, but I didn't want to scare her off either. At that point I was quite independent physically; that is, I walked on swing-through crutches, drove a car, and had a social and sports life. But there was an elephant in our room. It was I who brought it up as something that had to be talked through and fully understood. With remarkable ease, we agreed one by one on each issue. At that point Lorraine was eager for children in our future; I was also, but paraplegics fathering children was an open question. Some were able to conceive; others, not. On every subject we had serious discussions, and always came to closure. Which brings me back to my beginning: Marrying a physically handicapped person. One of the things I made as clear as possible was that my physical condition might stay the same as it was in 1961, but more likely it would deteriorate as I got older, how fast or how far we couldn't surmise. Hoping we had many able years ahead, but not knowing, we decided to live together as if we had unlimited time. Our hopes and yearnings included children, careers, and travel. Our first test was leaving California to pursue a career in the National Park Service. Next, to plunge into a similar unknown, the Peace Corps, dragging two toddlers away to who-knows-what. In every one of these life choices they were mutual decisions. We seemed to be a hand-in-glove. As we like to say, we've had a long and successful run. Long after common sense told us things would come apart, they were still together, the team still functioned. Now, we are in our 70s, and things aren't working as well as when we were in our 20s, but look at all the time we have had! The time has come to adjust to a new reality. My need for physical assistance has increased at the same time Lorraine's strength has decreased. In addition to my paralysis, which has, as expected, increased with the years, my muscles and range of motion have weakened. We don't know what the next chapter will be, but it will certainly require significant life-style changes. The assistance we have received from friends and relatives, and especially the three of you, during Lorraine's illness and the beginning of my bone and muscle problems, has been overwhelming. We intend to stay together in our home. With love and the biggest thanks, and the fullest agreement by Lorraine, Don Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. on Wednesday at Temple Beth Shalom with Rabbi Marvin Schwab officiating. Interment will follow at Memorial Gardens Cemetery. In Don's memory, contributions may be made to Coming Home Connection (418 Cerrillos Road, Suite 26, Santa Fe, NM 87501), whose outstanding caregivers made Don's final months at home possible. Berardinelli Family Funeral Service, 1399 Luisa Street Santa Fe, NM 87505 (505) 984-8600. Please sign our guestbook for the family at: Read Obituary
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