I want to write this post, but I don't know where to begin. I guess we start with the elephant and let the holes fill themselves in.
My mother-in-law has ALS. She has been in my life 16 years, and I love her like blood. She lives in NY, I live in MN, we don't see each other very often these days.
About a year ago, before anyone had said anything about ALS, she began having trouble swallowing. Then trouble speaking. She is incredibly health conscious, so she went to her naturopath who put her on a detox program for heavy metals. She digressed to the point that she could not speak at all, and swallowing became very troublesome. She was sucking on ice cubes for water, freezing soup to suck on for meals. She lost 150 lbs.
The last several months have been tough in other ways, too. I have been struggling to find my center and deal with the many stressors in my life. My old methods of de-stressing have not been very effective. Some days I am at my wits end. I make bad choices.
Now I am in NY, helping to care for my mother-in-law. Making arrangements for her transition home. Filling out mountains of paperwork. Talking with her about making a will. Talking with her family about the imminent future. Running.
While running has not become again, yet, the go-to stress reliever it used to be for me, it has begun to mean something more. It is still my time to recharge, to be alone, to clear my head. But now too, it is what my mother-in-law cannot be or do. What I can do for her. The life that she can see in me.
I watch myself run with her eyes. And I remember not to take these days for granted.