ALS is cruelly and slowly crippling Mom. It started by atrophying the muscles in her left hand. Today that hand is a mere claw of skin and bone. The end will no doubt be choking to death. And she knows this.
Ah but it could be worse… she could have gone in a car crash without saying goodbye. ALS offers the longest and cruelest of all goodbyes but you know, I’m glad for it. This time has taught me so much. It taught me to love her more. It taught me to look back and appreciate everything that she did for me in my life with her. It taught me to put every petty thing of our past behind me. It taught me that this time is “all about her”. It taught me to pick up the phone every time I think of her because one day I won’t be able to. I had a nice chat with her on Saturday. She puts me on speakerphone when I call because it tires her too much to hold it. Her breathing is laboured because her diaphragm muscles are growing weaker. It tires her to speak. Her voice is raspy and faint. One day it will be gone. Just like one day she will be.
This summer she asked my sister and I if we would help with the caretaking when the time came. Definitely, we would. You see she wants to stay home until the end. She wanted to be sure that she’d be able to do this before investing in any special home modifications. This fall they put in a ramp for her wheelchair and an elevator. It has given her a renewed freedom. Ever so small but when you sit in a recliner all day; I understand that a little outing goes a long way, even if it is to get your flue shot.
Her days are numbered. I wished I lived closer…and so does she.
Cherish your Mom and be good to her.