It started out innocently enough.
I happened to notice a little sign as we drove down 72nd Street, between Dodge and Pacific.
Thought, “Hm, maybe I should go there some day. See if they need any volunteers.”
Then, life happened, as it does, and it drifted far from my mind.
Last month, our dryer needed a new belt and I received a recommendation to go to a little appliance repair shop, just south of Dodge on 72. Just so happened to be in the same shopping complex as that little sign I’d spotted so many unforgotten months ago. It was a Saturday when I made it, 4 p.m, and to my dismay, the little appliance store was closed for the day, so a trip Monday was in store.
And Monday, after running into the appliance repair shop, Ethan and I walked over, stuck our head in the door.
From the back came a person to assist me.
I told her I was here to volunteer! To help! To learn more.
And…I was terrified.
You see, even though Bart has had MS for a long time (Diagnosed in 2002), we all seem to pretend as if it is life as normal can be and that at any morning it might not all change. I am so grateful that our life has so far been one of ease and comfort, even with this hanging over us. I do give thanks to our Heavenly Father daily for this blessing.
But there is the uncertainty behind his disease, the ups and downs.
I seem to “deal” with it by pretending (to the world, and sometimes to myself) that this uncertainty is not there. That one day, when we wake up, life as we know it can be totally turned on its face. I am mean to Bart when he says he “can’t” get up in the morning, when he says he needs me to help iron his dress pants. I tell him he better get his butt up or I am going to stick all three boys on him. (a real threat!) Get angry at him because to me, he is just tired from staying up late playing video games (maybe this is his escape from his world?). But, deep down, I am mean because I do not know if he is truly tired because his MS has decided to come on hard or what. I am mean because I am afraid of what might be the cause of this tiredness. Stupid. I know. Ask Bart. He’ll tell you how stupid. 😉
So, for me, going into the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Mid America chapter, and saying I wanted to help, was a big deal, even if it is just a little help.
So far all I’ve done is make phone calls to round up volunteers for the MS Walk on 4/13 (in Omaha that day, want to help? Leave a comment and I will tell you more) and checked out their facebook page…which lead me to find a blog…which lead me to be sucked into her story of her MS, and brought that big old ball of fear that hides so nicely in the back corners of my mind and stomach, front and center.
I know I shouldn’t feel this way…have this fear of what might be…but I do. I know you have no control over “what might be” and “what if” or even tomorrow in generally. There are lots of factors you have zero control over, MS or not. You hear stories all the time of pain and suffering. Of lumps. Of accidents. Of headaches. Of heartache and despair.
So this year…I am trying hard to get my family prepared for the “what if” that could be coming our way like a steam engine, so that when it hits, we are a little bit more prepared then we are now. So that the ball of fear that likes to hang out so deep in my stomach and mind, can be a little bit lighter, and maybe I can be a little bit nicer to Bart, knowing we have a little less financially to worry about. I think I can do it. I am declaring this year the “get a little bit out of debt year”…I am sure I can do it. One neck tie, one cake order, one less box of Raising Canes at a time. (But, man, is that chicken gooood.)
And, I am going to embrace those who are already deep in the trenches of MS. Find out their war stories, learn how to be a better care taker of Bart, learn to be a better human to my brothers and sisters who I have for so long avoided at all costs.
No. More. Fear. Well…how about “a little less fear”?
Yes, that will work.
Because…We CAN do HARD things. And we will, together as a family, with the help of family, friends, and our loving father in Heaven.