I don’t know you but our mutual friend Mark Press told my husband Mark and I that you were recently diagnosed with ALS and are struggling with the news. I understand your struggles because I was in your shoes about nine months ago and I was a mess. Judy, after you get a grasp on trying to make sense of your new life, hang on because you are about to enter a world that is full of emotions both happy and sad.
So far my adventure has been mostly full of amazement even though I still cry a lot. Don’t worry, you can get pills to help you with emotionality. I have so much good to share with you, Judy, that I am not sure where to begin.
After you and your loving husband wrap your minds and hearts around your new life, you will begin to see what true love really means. Every time I think of Mark I smile because while he is helping me he looks at me with the most beautiful adoring dark brown eyes. I’m sure you will see it in your husband, too. I now notice more of the little things Mark does for me, like making sure he turns my coffee cup the right way so I can easily grasp the handle or making sure he gets me dressed and ready to go for the day even though he forgets to shave or put on deodorant because he is so concerned about me. Judy, you will be amazed at how you will fall in love with your husband again more and more each day.
If you have kids they will be sad and maybe a little mad. You all may be thinking about your past or the future which can create all sorts of emotions. So what we are trying to do is to focus on today which is helpful. We all hug a little tighter, we laugh a little more and we let the small stuff go a little easier. Finally, Mark and I are starting to see our kids being happy again but it took a while. Now when our kids stop over or call we can hear excitement in their voices. It feels wonderful and we are so proud to think our kids were able to gracefully overcome this huge hurdle in life with the help of time. Your kids will, too.
If you have brothers or sisters they too will adjust with time. The beautiful thing is that I get to see my siblings more often. Let them cry with you but don’t be afraid to talk to them about your illness and your future no matter how hard it is. If your siblings are like mine they will want to help you so please let them because it will make you all feel good.
I know you have wonderful friends and they too will want to help. Surround yourself with the people that won’t be afraid to talk about your disease or your future if you want to talk. Let them help you plan or organize your life if you need help. Graciously accept gifts if someone offers to build you a Chairiot, make you a quilt or cook you a meal because they love you and they want to make you smile and it will.
Judy, I know you and your husband are people of faith so please trust God. This new path you are entering may not be the one you had planned for but it is real just like mine. If you can trust, you can live with sincere joy again and this could be the most exciting journey of your life. It is for me.
Please call me if you want to talk and I will listen.
May God bless you.