Last week we were meeting as a family on Wednesday night, though we thought it best for mom to stay in the den during the meeting. After she had enough TV and grandpa time, she came out and posed this question to us. We laughed together, and mumbled some things under our breath, but no one really had an answer. Now I’m posing this question for myself, one week later.
One year ago, we thought Mom was just tired and needed to go to bed early. Maybe it was some micro-nutrient deficiency or maybe a tumor at worst. We met with a neurologist late last month and he thought it was Parkinson’s. But, no, it wasn’t any of these things. So now, after a year full of tests and specialists, blood-work and needles my mother has been diagnosed. It’s a diagnosis no one wants to hear. My sweet, beautiful momma was diagnosed with ALS. My mom, who spent her life raising 7 little hellions, the mom full of life and love for her family and friends, has a terminal motor-neuron disease.
There was the initial shock of hearing the diagnosis. The shock that knocks you off your feet and hurls you into a vortex of darkness and pain. The ice-cold fear that grips you when you Wiki “ALS”. Then there’s the rebound nausea and stomach pain that comes after you tell someone and they can’t hide their terror. I can’t eat. I can’t stop crying.
There’s no rule-book or strategy to handle grief. It’s true what they say, I can tell that you are searching for something worth-while to tell me to bring me peace. I know that you have no idea how to comfort me. I can sense that you’re nearly as scared as I am. But it means more to me than anything else that you are trying. It means the world to me that you care enough to send me Bible verses and words full of hope, even if I can’t hear them. I think the best is when you just cry with me as you hold me.
As you can probably assume, my family is trying to bind together. Give us a hot second and we’ll give you better updates and ideas on how you can help. We need so much help, we just aren’t sure where to start. We will all process this news differently, and will all need to time and space.
But please hear this, we can’t do this without your support. Momma needs your prayers and words of encouragement. She needs your time and maybe a ride to the pool, or a walk around the block. We’re all scared and don’t know what our future holds, but we know The One who holds our future.