It’s that time of year again, and I still want to ignore it. I still want to wish it away, block it from my reality.
But this will be the fifth consecutive year of having family and friends gather for a walk in nearby Kennebunkport.
Maybe that’s not such a bad thing. After all, what would we be doing on Saturday if Laura didn’t have this fucking disease, this disease I try to ignore?
So instead of yard work, shopping excursions or puttering around the homestead, a group of us will drive –caravan style — to the Consolidated School and register for the annual MS Walk.
On that day, I am surrounded by people with MS, and it is impossible for me to deny that the disease is also eating away at Laura, my wife . . .my best friend, my advocate.
Laura has her own system of denial. She is not as good as me, but she does a pretty good job of keeping the disease hidden from public view.
You almost can’t tell… unless you watch a climb a set of stairs.
Right here, right now
According to the National MS Society, more than 2.1 million people have been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.
We are luckier than most of these people. We have good health insurance, and Laura still has most of her mobility. She is not in a wheelchair.
And that’s the part that gets me: knowing that it’s just going to get worse; knowing that every day I lose just a little bit more of the person I love most in the world.
We generally don’t talk about MS or the way it impacts our boys, our marriage . . . our lives.
But each year — even if it’s for just one day — we tackle this disease head on by participating in the annual MS walk, an event that raises funding for continued research and the ongoing search for improved treatments or maybe a cure for MS.
Laura was diagnosed with MS a little more than five years ago, and each year we have been blessed by watching Team Seaver grow in number and spirit. It is encouraging to see other families living with MS; to witness their courage and determination.
But it is also haunting to see so many other people dealing with MS in their own families, especially when their loved one’s illness has progressed so much more. It’s sort of like seeing your own life 10, 20 or 30 years into the future.
I cannot afford to worry about the future, nor mourn the past. Thus, I have to focus on what can be done today . . . right here, right now.
So, at the risk of annoying friends, acquaintances and colleagues, I offer this link to the Team Seaver page. Here, you can make a small donation to help fund ongoing research and support for people with MS.
No gift is too small, and all are very much appreciated. Thank you.