Skip to main content

Why I'm Running

On June 12th I will be running the National Multiple Sclerosis Society DuskBuster run. It is a short run with a lot of backstory for me.

For a long, long time I have avoided all things MS. My mother was diagnosed with chronic progressive multiple sclerosis when I was 13. It was the disease in the house that touched everything. The outward signs progressed from cane to wheelchair to eventually complete confinement to bed, and were nothing compared to the inner challenges we all faced. She died from complications one week before I turned 21. MS took everything: my youth, my mom, my faith in things making sense. In the aftermath I questioned the meaning behind it all, and came up with nothing. Eventually I realized it was up to me to make meaning from it, and I feel like my life ever since has been in pursuit of this.

So for a decade and a half, I shut out MS and refused to let it touch anything else in my life. It was easy enough to do; it's not so common a disease, doesn't cast the same net that cancer does, which seems to touch every third or fourth friend of mine. But then about a year and a half ago, it began creeping in. And it did so in the most manipulative of ways: through people I admired. People I liked, who were living with MS.

My responses since have not always been graceful, as I struggle to find ways to express the grief I feel around the disease, while also celebrating the very unique, very vivid lives of those I've come to know who have it. Quite frankly, my anger that anyone has to live with this often just makes me want to pretend it's not happening.

But my anger needs a better outlet. Which is why I'm taking 5 kilometer's worth of steps toward something positive on June 12th, and raising money to support research toward ending this disease, as well as making it more livable for those who already have it.

I'm not a fast runner, nor particularly graceful, which seems apt. MS still really pisses me off, and if you would like to join my fight, you can make a donation HERE. If you want to run (or walk!) with my beautiful team, you can also sign up there, and we would love to have you.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

For Mom, Twenty-One Years Later

I lost my mom twenty-one years ago today. She died from complications related to a long battle with chronic-progressive multiple sclerosis. I was a week away from turning twenty-one. Which means I have not had her as long as I did have her.
It used to make me unique among my friends, to have lost a parent at such a young age. But I’m no longer young and many friends have joined this depressing club. The dues are astronomical and no one prepares refreshments.
People, moms are important. Don’t let anyone tell you differently. Whether you were once a child or are currently a mom. They are the sun, moon, and stars, even when they are completely obscured by darkness.
I wish she mattered less. She doesn’t. She matters more than almost anything: that first hit of love, that childhood sense of safety, that initial understanding of what it means to be a woman in the world: mom.



Memory is funny when it comes to dead people: I can remember her any way I want. Which means I can also mis-remem…

The Thankful List

I make a decent attempt at gratitude on the regular, but I love how this season makes me think about it specifically. Even in the midst of all the holiday hoopla and the days of generalized anxiety we currently live in, there are genuine reflections of thankfulness everywhere. Way more so than say Valentine's day prompting people to really reflect on their love for someone. I've been keeping a list in my notes app on my phone to record the things that are currently immense suppliers of joy in my life. Here's an incomplete list:

My dental hygienist.
This is not a product placement disguised as gratitude. This is my genuine, heartfelt gratitude for a woman I see every six months who I have complete trust in, and who makes an otherwise unpleasant experience as humane and awesome as possible. Yes, yes, my dentist is also great. Absolutely. But making a teeth cleaning a pleasant experience is a gift not many hygienists possess. It's a combo of demeanor, the exact right amou…

You Are Not Alone

You Are Not Alone

If you still haven’t found your sea legs in this new reality You are not alone
If you check your privilege while wondering how You are not alone
If your empathy is worn down by 3pm each day You are not alone
If you’re terrified by normalizing this but desire stabilization You are not alone
If you haven’t figured out how to talk to your family about this new reality You are not alone
If you want to post something flippant to social media and feel guilty about it not being political enough You are not alone
If you can’t figure out how to talk about this morning’s tragedy and by the time you do everyone else is raging about the next thing You are not alone
If you are often paralyzed and enraged by your own paralysis You are not alone
If you wish you could go back to the good old days of 2015 You are not alone
If you loathe being so lazy You are not alone <