All this talk about the “ice bucket challenge” leaves me thinking, about my Mom.
That picture of my Dad and me was taken not long after my Mom died, about a year and a half ago.
My Mom and Dad would have been married 60 years. I honestly don’t remember them ever arguing. I don’t think they ever spent a night apart.
My Mom was healthy. She never complained about any aches or pains. She was remarkably young looking and acting for her age. Until she got ALS.
My parents had just moved here from Illinois to be closer to my brother and me. My Mom started having trouble eating. She wasn’t hungry and lost a lot of weight. I thought she was sad because she missed Illinois, where she lived her whole life. Then she started to get weaker and weaker. We took her to doctor after doctor. We spent that whole summer in one doctor’s office, hospital room or another.
Then, just before Christmas we got the diagnosis. My Mom had ALS. She lived only a couple of months after that.
Remarkably, the ALS had started in her swallowing ability, where it usually ends. But it had spared her hands. My mother had a God given gift. She could sing like a bird, ironically her maiden name was Burd. And she played the piano by sight, effortlessly. I have never known anyone else who could hear a piece one time and play it so beautifully, without looking at a note of music.
So I grew up with the sound of music. I know good and well she’s playing somewhere now in heaven.
But I thought that in my case, it might be better for me to share a very private video with you, rather than do the “ice bucket challenge”. I recorded the video to the left of this post on my iPhone two days before my Mom died. I hope you will watch it. I hope you will see what ALS takes away. And I hope maybe it will move you to give, to the ALS Foundation.