notes

Archive for November, 2013|Monthly archive page

victory on the playground (for Alice)

In storytelling, Tangents on November 5, 2013 at 11:59 pm
width="295"In fifth or sixth grade, my best friend  and I trained for the Field Day Three-Legged Race.
Yes, trained – we wanted to win that sucker, so we practiced our three-legged stride faithfully … at recess every day and probably at home, too.
Our training paid off: Sporting our long, stringy hair, glasses and very best 1970s lack of fashion, we won the Three-Legged Race that day.

 And we loved winning it.

10287040_10202947238614961_8936849695838270406_oNot in a ‘Chariots of Fire’/serious sort of way — probably more because it was a funny sort of thing to win and because we had invested serious effort in that funny thing, and our plan worked

Fast-forward a few decades, and she had to be just as methodical in dealing the biggest challenge of her life –  MS. Years into it, when the disease became relentless, she tried every option available to her, including experimental stem cell treatments. This time, when the stakes were so much higher, all the drugs and treatments and research did not slow that progression.

But she was never going to let the MS take control, and she wrote the end of her story, which was lousy, but on her own terms; I take a lot of comfort in that. I hope one day our society will come around to understanding/respecting the wishes of people we love who have terrible diseases and zero quality of life and are ready to let go.

Today marks five years since she left, and I miss her every day. But I hope that my posting photos and stories on Facebook and elsewhere doesn’t make it seem as if I am continuing to mourn her death. I’m really just continuing to celebrate her life; it is still making mine richer.

Thanks, Al.

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