Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Terminal

I'm worried. I just had this e-mail exchange with my mother...

Me: As for dad, I'm sorry he's behaving like such a shit. I hope it gets better.

Mom: thanks for the wishes - it is what it is..I signed on for better or worse. Had lots of better - now it's the "worse" part. The hard thing is that I know it's depression from the MS - I've finally learned to bite my tongue (believe it or not!). I continually tell him that I refuse to argue/fight with him. Hard to carry on a one-sided fight....

Me: I know you signed on for it, and it's admirable. However, I can't imagine how hard it is for you. He loves you, though, and that's the most important thing.

Mom: you got that right


My parents amaze me. 35 years and counting, and they still love the hell out of each other. I have always maintained that if, in my life, I have just one quarter of the happiness and love they've shared, then I'll be a very lucky, happy person.

My dad is not well. It's funny, because Multiple Sclerosis isn't thought of as a "terminal" disease like, say, cancer is. Sure, you don't technically DIE from MS. You die from pneumonia, or because your heart shuts down. You die because every one of your bodily functions forsakes you. Want to walk somewhere? Forget it, buddy. Your legs aren't going anywhere. Feel like having a conversation? Oh, shit, that's right, your mouth won't move! Gotta take a leak? Good luck getting to the bathroom on time.

Thankfully, my father isn't at that point just yet. He's in a lot of pain, but he has his good days, too. Unfortunately, though, they seem to be fewer and farther in between these days. I've reconciled myself to the fact that I will lose him someday. I'm not trying to be morose, but I've been lucky in life to have a father who loves me so much. I can handle the bad, because I've had so much good.

What I can't stop thinking about though, is my mom. I cannot imagine what it's like to watch the person you've loved for over three decades slowly waste away. When you love someone as much as she loves him, it must be devastating to want to take his pain away, but know full well she can't. She's a brave woman, and I hope that one day I'll be as strong as her. But, at night, when it's quiet, and my father is asleep, what thoughts must be running through her head?

I want to hold her and tell her everything will be ok. I want her to know that she can count on me for support. I want to take her pain away from her, but I know I can't.

I love her that much.

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