Something popped up in my Facebook Memories app today that I thought might be kind of nice to share, especially in the wake of Father’s Day.
At 11:33am on June 21, 2013, I posted this on Facebook:
“This is the perfect morning. Dark, stormy, and watching this masterpiece with my dad.”
The day before, I spent my 29th birthday getting a few MRI scans and later celebrating with my family and now-husband. I chose to spend the night at my parents’ house to have a little extra time with them.
It was a lazy morning. Mom rested upstairs after being up most of the night with their post-surgery dog and Dad and I chose to do one of my favorite things together: watch old, so-bad-they’re-good movies.
I had spent the preceding weeks getting poked and prodded after a couple months of tingling in the left side of my body. My PCP felt very strongly that it could be Lyme disease, but that there was a small chance it might be MS. Having an otherwise pretty immaculate medical history, I was a little bit nervous, but confident that it was Lyme and would be fairly easy to treat.
Shortly after posting that upbeat status update on Facebook, my PCP called me directly and told me that my Western Blot came back negative for Lyme and that I needed further testing. She didn’t say it was definitely MS. She didn’t need to.
And that’s when everything became real.
My dad, with a laundry list of health hurdles himself and memories of his late uncle in a wheelchair being his only real previous exposure to MS, remained (outwardly) unshaken while I fell apart. His ability to remain calm and not show his fear while his little girl crumbled impacted me so deeply. I’m so thankful I didn’t have to spend those moments alone. And I’ll never forget that.
He has since become an advocate, proactive from the start. He probably knows more about the disease than I do by now.
He is the first man I’ve ever fallen in love with and has been a constant source of integrity, strength, wisdom, kindness, and perseverance. I hope to live up to those unwavering values.
I’m very, very fortunate to come from a close family and to have, truly, the best parents anyone could ask for (in fact, I plan on writing a separate post about one of my mom’s shining moments in making living with MS a little bit more palatable, as well) . I hope they know how much good they’ve done and how much they have taught and passed on to my brother and me. The older I get, the more I recognize these things and am grateful for the sacrifices made and the love that drove it all.
Happy belated Father’s Day to fathers of all kind. Happy everyday.
You can also read articles I’ve written for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society here!
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