Monday, 15 June 2015


The song birds outside my bedroom window woke me this morning with the wonderful sounds of spring, reminding me that life is sweet and beautiful. After Betty's Run for ALS yesterday, where the weather was cold and wet, I needed a sunny, fresh start to a day. These small creatures, flitting and fluttering about, chirping and singing, the sun shining and the lightest of breezes; this was the best way to start a day.

Betty's Run can be a real challenge for me, at the same time as it is such a strong reminder of how much support there is for me, and for other PALS, here in Calgary. The challenge in the run is two-fold. When the weather is cold, as it was yesterday, it's challenging to my body, the chill running deep, setting in, holding on until far into the afternoon and evening. When my feet and legs get cold, there is no circulation to warm them, no muscle movement to pump blood, nothing to send my body warmth coursing through the veins and arteries of these dead appendages. They get cold; they stay cold until warmed by some external source.

Even more challenging is the impact this run has on my spirit. While I am certainly uplifted by the support and enthusiasm of all at the run, it hurts me to see the other PALS, especially those who are not doing well. To see those who were diagnosed at the same time as me, yet decline more rapidly; to see those who are newly diagnosed, confused and frightened about what this disease will do to their body and their life; to not see those who were here last year but did not live to see this year.

It's enheartening to see the families and friends of those PALS who have died, to see them out there supporting those of us still here. They support in memory those they have lost. I have to wonder, who will run for me when I am gone? I am no great figure; I have no large family. I am not a great fundraiser or organizer, at least not any more. I no longer have the strength for it.

I feel like I am one of those birds outside my window, a small creation of God, singing in the sunshine. Like them, my seasons are short. Like them, my life is precarious. Like them, I am dependent on circumstances. Yet, also like them, I find joy in today's life. And also like them, when I am gone, other birds will sing in my place. That's just how it works.

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