Tuesday, 2 July 2013


Ricky had a tough day yesterday. He struggles with this disease, sometimes even more than I do. He has to watch as I go through the challenges of daily activity. He hears me curse when I can no longer do something that was within my ability a few weeks ago. He sees me fight against the incremental loss, the little by little of ALS. It effects him.

He is also struggling with his pride. While he cares for me he is not working. While I pay for his expenses, and for this he is very grateful, he is not making his own money, something which affects his sense of pride and self-worth. In addition to having to watch me go through my loss, he is suffering losses of his own. It takes a lot of strength to go through all of this, a kind of strength that he is building along the way.

I have not always been strong although I think I am stronger now than I have ever been. Strength is something more than just the physical ability. That physical strength has always been mine and yet now that I am losing it, another kind of strength is showing up.

Over the years I have learned to be strong within myself, to be the kind of man who could endure great difficulty and yet still persist in things, to be the kind of man who could withstand harsh and painful things, yet still keep moving forward. I have felt the pain of failure and learned, learned to accept my responsibilities, see my mistakes and I've been willing to make the hard decisions. Much like physical strength, this kind of strength is only built by exercising it. This kind of strength is based on experience, not weight lifting.

I've learned that there is a tremendous difference between being strong and being rigid. The greatest strength lies in the willingness to see necessary change and to embrace it, the willingness to know what must be done and to do it even when it hurts. Strength is doing the hard things even when the easy is there within reach. Strength is enduring what must be endured, doing what must be done even when you don't want to do it. Often the hard thing to do is the right thing to do.

Nobody would ever say that I silently endure; I am definitely not a stoic. What I am is the kind of man who sees the difficulty, feels the pain, learns from it and keeps going. My hope is that Ricky is learning this too, that it is possible to make mistakes, stumble, fall, and still get up and keep going. I want him to learn that it is possible to face great odds, endure great challenge, fight great difficulty, and still keep going.


  1. It is amazing that you are on your boat and at Sea! I hope you find this to be peaceful - Enjoy the ride and be safe!!

  2. Hi Debbie

    It is amazing what you can do if you set your mind to it. My recent setbacks are problematic yet I still yearn for the ocean. If there is a way to be found, I will find it.