Imagine this: within the span of a few short years, you go from using a cane, to a walker to a wheelchair. Your tremors become so bad that you can’t write your name legibly or feed yourself with a fork.

The years go by, and eventually your husband can no longer lift you from the wheelchair to the bed, so (after attempting to hire help, which never worked well and was too expensive) you divorce, to save him from losing the business you had worked for YEARS to build; and you go to a nursing home.

You have half a room, one dresser, and a hospital bedstand on wheels. You wait until your roommate dies so you can have the bed by the window.

You are 49 years-old.

You live there for 23 years, and then someone else gets the bed by the window.

Now imagine being that woman’s daughter.

You are the one who handles her finances, or lack thereof. You take her to medical appointments. You take her out for shopping and fun every week, even though it’s exhausting for you.

You have her come stay with you during the holidays, and though you wish she could live with you full time, you know that you can’t take care of her, because you’ve started ‘walking into doors’ and ‘tripping over rugs.’

You tell people you have bad knees, but some of them suspect the truth: you have MS like your mother. You manage to hide it until your mother passes away.

Then you start using a cane.

Then a walker.

Then a wheelchair.

You are in your fifties.

By the time you are sixty, you feel blessed that you can still stand up, walk on a limited basis and use a fork without stabbing yourself in the eye. Your handwriting is atrocious, but it always was anyway.

You are determined to not be like your mother, so you work with hand weights and you make yourself keep moving, even when you feel like you’ve had the 24 hour flu for ten years.

You try every drug, legal and experimental, and travel the world to pursue cures. But the disease is chronic. It is progressive. And eventually, it may take your life.

Now imagine being that woman’s daughter.

You hold your breath during your twenties, waiting for your legs to suddenly stop moving, or for your eyesight to randomly fail. But it doesn’t happen.

You get married and have your babies and wait for your thirties to be over, so you can breathe again. You have an MRI, and there’s no sign of the disease.

No cane.

No walker.

No wheelchair.

You turn forty.

If you wonder why I run marathons, why I Crossfit, or why I make the food choices I do, the answer lies very close to me. When you feel with your heart what MS does to a person, you don’t take anything for granted.

I have a choice about my health.

My mother and grandmother didn’t.

I thank God every day that I can go to Crossfit. I make the time for it, because I have that privilege.

If my mom needs to lean on my shoulders, they are strong enough.

If she falls, I can lift her up.

No worries.

Because on this day, at this very moment, “It’s all good.” 

*quote from Coach Rob

About Keri

Writer, widow, life story coach, expat, Mom of 4, madly in love with Crossfit and Krav Maga--my life is stranger than fiction View all posts by Keri

3 responses to “Generations

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