Friday, December 2, 2011

Reflection: One Year of ALS

It has been one year. One year of triumph, blessings, heartache & gratitude. It's been a year of struggle. To say that is has been without pain is an understatement. The greatest thing about feeling so many raw emotions is that is gives you an opportunity to experience peace. A peace that is so enveloping it grips you in the darkest moments. It throws you into a whirlwind of gratitude. To know that in absolute despair there is hope. There is a presence holding you- catching every tear that falls- embracing you and gently guiding you. A reminder that this life is worth fighting for. That something so much greater is waiting at the end of this race.


I am a firm believer that there is a reason for everything. That no detail in our lives is a mistake. I feel nothing but joy knowing that Ryan is a gift. That he was given to us at exactly the right time for a specific purpose. Mom is progressing slowly and because of that she is able to know and love on her grandson. There is an incredible bond between these two.

Ryan- 12/16/10
Just a short 2 weeks after mom's diagnosis Ryan was born. Although early and unexpected, his arrival was just the healing we all needed. There is so much beauty in new life. Ryan is an absolute miracle and such a great reminder of the incredible love of God.

Mom with Ryan in the NICU
There have been several other blessings given to us in addition to Ryan. In January, Mom and Dad were gifted a "honeymoon" in Hawaii. They were sent to paradise to enjoy a vacation of a lifetime. Spirits were renewed and love and faith bonded them together once again. That trip gave new meaning to fighting for your life. 

Mom in Hawaii 1/21/11
In April, Brandon & MaryRose were engaged. The celebration of love and family has been in full force. Mom has been able to be involved in so many aspects of the wedding planning... memories I know she will always cherish! 


We've celebrated many holidays and family firsts. We've grown so much closer as a family unit-if that was even possible. 

Easter- 2011
And- to top this first year with ALS- we all joined together to experience Paradise with another trip to Hawaii. Memories and moments of love were engraved in each and everyone of us. 


ALS is a disease known for no time. When told your life expectancy after diagnosis is 3-5 years it can easily weigh you down to know that one year has passed you by. But- we refuse to let this milestone bury us. We stand in complete gratitude and awe that we were given such an amazing year! A year of life- hope, love and miracles. 


None of us are guaranteed tomorrow. This life is not our own. Thankfully- there is complete healing- peace and hope after this life. There is an eternity of grace and passion waiting for us. A set of arms ready to welcome us to a place of complete glory. 


We rejoice in this trial- although, so very difficult- because we know there is something greater! One year down is not defeat. One year down is a triumph and a blessing!!