Wednesday, May 23, 2012

I Once Knew This Guy...

     I once knew a guy…this guy was really something. He could do anything. Not that he was super smart, but rather super resourceful.  There wasn’t’ anything he couldn’t fix or do, for that matter.  This guy would jump into anything, roll up his sleeves, fix a brick retaining wall, plant six or seven pine trees in half of a day, wash a car, wax it, slick the tires and get a workout in before most people were out of bed in the morning.
     This guy I speak of was strong.  Physically he could hurl items around that really shouldn’t be.  Not that he was like a superhero or something, but rather his inner will afforded him super strength physically.  This guy would go grocery shopping and when he would bring the groceries in to the house he would carry six or seven of the bags on each arm, you know the cheap plastic ones with the loops at the top.  Physical strength and the ability to be productive is what drove this guy.  He had kind of a nervous energy, where he would just pick projects to mess with to occupy that energy.
     This guy I knew loved a challenge, especially with regards to the outdoors.  He took up hunting and loved to fish, and got the most enormous thrill out of seeing his kids fighting a four pound bass with both a grimace and unyielding excitement as to what could possibly be under that water.  It was just a neighborhood pond.  An old lady that lived on the hill above the pond was elated to let this guy I knew take his kids fishing.
     So this guy, this strong , resourceful, nervous energy guy I knew, found himself in quite a battle.  Slowly but surely that physical strength and desire to take new projects on found himself in a battle with complete and utter randomness.  This guy was diagnosed with some crazy off the wall unheard of illness called Multiple Sclerosis(MS)  This guy had no idea what to expect, and didn’t know a damn thing about this new thing he was afflicted with.  As (un)luck would have it this guy I knew would lose his walking, and a ton of that physical strength, and quickly he watched that nervous energy productivity basically take a back seat to the couch.  Thank God for one thing for sure, this guy I knew and know still has his resourcefulness, and some of that physical strength, because he lives alone and being alone is tough enough; now add the horror of being alone and sick; ugly combination.
     So this guy I knew turns out to be a guy I have known all too well.  Sure deep inside he is the same guy, but from the destruction of his illness, and its rapid and progressive course, he really isn’t the guy I knew, but this guy I now know.  The illness is not his only battle, warding off loneliness, personal issue, boredom, and the constant coping with pain and discomfort are also major battles.  This guy I knew…He is not the guy I know, but rather this new guy, that I would never have ever dreamt I would have known, and somebody that I used to know, a body, a physicality that has cut me out, double crossed me, and left me in a strange new world.


  1. You will never be alone as long as we live.
    And, as your children mature, they will continue to love you and hopefully, understand the battle you have fought. You deserve better.
    Love, Mom & Dad

  2. I'm not sure if being self-aware is more helpful than being non compos, like someone with Alzheimer's. Ultimately, I think it is more cruel.