Thursday, 19 March 2015

Trickett Died Last Night

Trickett Fewell Wendler died last night. She died from ALS. Trickett was a young mother with three children and a loving husband. She leaves behind mourning parents and friends. I read an article recently where the author referred to ALS as a disease which primarily attacks older white males. Would someone please tell that to Trickett's children?

Trickett died from the ever increasing weakness associated with ALS. It took her ability to walk, to feed herself, to talk, to hold herself upright, to breathe. This is a vicious, slow moving beast which Trickett saw from beginning to end, her mind and spirit bright and alert right to her last breath. Now her husband cries for her and her children wonder why nothing could help her.

Yesterday I spent the day with friends and Katherine, exploring downtown Austin, Texas. We visited the capitol building and then wandered down the city streets to the South by Southwest festival. Rob, Terry, and Katherine took turns pushing my wheelchair, with me on board, around the capitol grounds and through the main floor of the capitol building. They pushed my wheelchair from there to the festival venues. They pushed me through the crowds, into the bars and restaurants, and back up the hill to where we were parked.

You see, I am resigned to being pushed a lot these days. ALS has weakened my arms just enough that the exhaustion of pushing myself around for the day sets in far too early, is far to powerful for me to resist, for me to deny that I need help. I can still move myself around pretty good; I can push my own wheelchair in most situations, except up steep ramps and slopes. It's just that I am approaching that weakness threshhold where I won't be able to any more.

I am fairly sure I can last out this trip. I wonder if it will be my last one. Of course, I wonder that with every trip I take. It's not that I won't travel. It's just that my travel will have to change, if it continues at all. Like Trickett, I can see tomorrow coming. I know what is happening. I can feel the changes in my body. That's just what happens with ALS; the train is coming and one day it will hit me full on, at low speed, crushing my life with weakness.


  1. This is so awful Richard. Prayers do no good, nothing does. I love you .

  2. that is beautiful. I'm sorry for your journey. It may not be pity that you ask for, it is not pity that I intend to give. It's empathy. This hideous disease took my dad at 62. Thank you for giving ALS a voice he went too fast to use his.

  3. thank you for your wonderful account of Trinket. I am sorry for your struggles. I imagine pity is not what you want, pity is not what i intend to give. it is empathy, for I have lost my own father to this hideous disease just a few years ago when he was only 62. Thank you for giving ALS a voice as he lost his well before he had an opportunity to say or write his last words.

  4. This us a horrible desease,
    My dad passed away from als at 56 years old, in 1 year. We haven't come far at all, so sorry for your loss