Ken has always been an exceptional person. He’s kind, gentle and non-judgmental. He’s taught me how to be the same. Now that he’s finding himself weaker and unable to walk on most days, we’re both missing things we used to do together. Not big things. Everyday things. Like grocery shopping and snooping in the antique shops. Like Saturday chores. And it always surprises me when I feel a sense of lost when such things don’t happen any longer.
We’ve adjusted to the deterioration of Multiple Sclerosis as well as any couple can. He keeps fighting, and I keep supporting. I’ve learned to be more patient than I ever thought possible. He’s learned to be more courageous than he thought possible. Together we face the challenges of “the other shoe dropping,” never knowing what will be taken away next.
If you have someone in your life who suffers from MS, or Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s then you know what I’m talking about. The first tendency with such a diagnosis is for the healthy partner to run away. I did feel that, but then I looked into the eyes of the man I love and knew I could never abandon him. It’s not an easy decision to make for anyone. I’m no saint, but love has a powerful effect when it’s the real thing.
On the days I need to be with my girlfriends or just alone for a couple of hours to recharge my soul, Ken understands. He knows his illness prohibits me from a lot of other things. So, the pendulum swings both ways. He loves me enough to appreciate my needs, too.
Unlike other posts, I have no “moral” to this never-ending story, but I would like to tell you if you are faced with such a problem in your life, stay the course. There are people who are willing to help, and you will discover things about yourself and your afflicted partner or friends that will amaze you.