I know some of my ActiveRain friends have wondered where I've been; some even reached out to me to see if everything was ok. Two weeks ago my life was changed forever...........
I can still remember that day in August of 2008 when my parents came to my house and told me my mother was diagnosed with "ALS" (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease. Sure I heard of Lou Gehrig, who hasn't? I even heard of the term "Lou Gehrig's Disease" but naive as it may sound, those three letters that I had never heard before and that had absolutely no meaning to me somehow managed to change my life forever.
As spoken by Matt White Pregame Speech to the Butler Basketball Team (through his wife Shartrina):
ALS is a fatal degenerative neuromuscular disease that affects the synapse between the voluntary muscles and the nerves that control them. Eventually, all of the body's voluntary muscles atrophy and fail. Ultimately, each person with ALS dies when their diaphragm stops working and they stop breathing. When diagnosed, ALS patients are told the same thing Lou Gehrig was told more than 60 years ago - ALS has no known cause, no treatment and no cure. Over the next four years you will lose the ability to use your arms and hands, you will not be able to walk, you will not be able to speak or swallow, and finally you will not be able to breathe. ALS is 100 percent fatal, and you will most likely be dead within four years.
Two weeks ago and two years after diagnosis, those three letters "ALS" robbed my mother of her life, my sister and I of our mother, her grandchildren of their grandmother and my father of his wife.
July 4, 2010 was 71 years ago since Lou Gehrig gave his final farewell speech at Yankee Stadiumand yet there is still no known cause, no treatment and no cure for this fatal disease. In lieu of flowers at my mom's services, we asked that donations be made to the Columbia University Medical Center, Eleanor and Lou Gehrig MDA/ALS Research Center, 710 W. 168th Street, 9-016, New York, NY 10032 so her doctor and his team can continue their research and one day find a cure for ALS.
In Lou Gehrig's own words, "So I close in saying that I [my mom] may have had a tough break, but I [she had] have an awful lot to live for" and I don't know how to live without her.
Grief is the purest pain one will ever know............