A smidge more than two years ago I wrote about my friend, M, and his battle with MSA, or Multiple Systems Atrophy. MSA is in the Lou Gehrig family – a 100% dysfunctional family. It is a brutal wasting away. Over a long, long time. Horrible.
You need an update. And this is it:
Now that Sal and I are down here, we visit.
M is still here. He is still fighting. He is still losing.
This living sentence makes a life term in prison seem like a luxury vacation.
This is long, hard and cruel. This is uncomprehendingly painful, impossible and bleak. And yet both M and his wife, D, live it. Endure it. Every day. MSA is terminal and it is equally interminable. It is way, way too much for anybody.
But, somehow, they are handling it.
I have no idea how either of them remain sane. That M still has a sense of humour and worries about D and that she is gracious and kind and somehow has enough energy to worry about their frequent guests is nothing short of heroic and the epitome of grace. Mother Teresa couldn’t have done as well. I can’t imagine anyone doing this well……..
…….maybe Stephen Hawking and his family.
I know M & D. And so I vote for M & D. Hawking is second.
That’s how bad this is.
And it is just getting worse.
I won’t go on. After a point, my writing about it causes me to put myself in M’s shoes. And I can’t take it. Not even for the brief time it takes to write a lousy 300 or so words. Even that is too much for me. I do it only as a tiny tribute to spirit, courage and love at a level I hope I never ever have to know.
But let me leave you with this: give M a thought. Give D one, too. And, while you are doing that, love all that you have and ever will have. Life can be and often is, nasty, brutish and short – but love can and does endure. I have that on the very best of authority – I see it all the time in my own life but I see it even more vividly when I visit them.