I never imagined I would be sitting next to my Dad today, listening to music and laughing.
5 years ago, I was sitting in my parents living room writing out my "to-do" list while my parents were at the hospital for my Dad's scheduled EMG.
~(My Dad had been going to a number of checkups/tests that summer to make sure everything was running smoothly and to see what was causing the slight drop in his right foot.)~
I heard the garage door open, and like I did most times, I greeted them at the top of the kitchen stairs. This time was unlike any other. My Mum was a wreck, I had never seen her look so sad in my life, my Dad was pretty blank/not emotional (which was not like him). I remember saying ?hey guys! how did the...? and just stopped and kind of stood away from the entrance so they could come in..I didn?t really know what to do.
I stood there with my dry erase board, in my pigeon like stance..and kept writing and erasing and writing and erasing..hoping (yet fearing) that someone would break the silence. My Dad (trying not to cry) said, ?I've got that damn Yankees disease?.
I, like many of you, didn?t know much about the disease. I just knew it was bad, had no cure, and had taken a friend's Dad in less than a year.
I remember not wanting to get upset, but not knowing how to react. I walked down the garage stairs and then ran out the door and started crying against the fence. I am not sure why, but I just didn?t want my Dad to feel anymore pain and the last thing I wanted him to see was me crying.
I was asked not to tell my little brother b/c his 21st birthday was 2 days away and my parents did not want to bring that down on him and not tell my older brother, who was in Paraguay with the Peace Corps at the time & studying for his GRE exam for graduate school admission. This was a heavy weight on my shoulder, but I understood.
Although this disease has sucked the life out of me at times, it has also brought so much goodness to my life. 353 days of the year (yes, 353) I wake up excited for another day and the opportunity to make my life, and those around me, lives amazing. I have done things for my Dad that I never dreamed possible; getting him in The Yankees ?dugout for batting practice and meeting some of his favorite players, going backstage to meet one of his all-time favorite singers, Alison Krauss and reconnecting him with old pals from his early Navy days.
I credit my Mum for keeping our family together. She may be little, but she is strongerthan most.
Life can be a real (fill in the blank) sometimes, but you need to always remember that you control how you react to a situation.
A huge THANK YOU to the friends that have stuck by me through the ups & most importantly the downs, to the friends I have made along the way & to all of the continued support of my fight against ALS. Never give up!
'97 In the kitchen~showed me everything I know about whipping up a good meal!