by Erin Brady Worsham on Thu, 2015-03-05 13:32

2 … 0 … 1 … 5 … 2015 … 2015 … 2015 … What is that strange looking number? It’s a number, a year, I never thought I would see. On the day of my diagnosis I had no intention of going on the ventilator and thought I would be lucky to see 1997. Of course, all of that changed when I discovered I had gotten pregnant the day after my diagnosis. Then I was willing to do whatever it took to see our son grow up. Well, now he’s a freshman at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. Please, God, just a little longer.

I have finally gotten around to making some resolutions for 2015. I know, I know, my procrastination in making these resolutions doesn’t bode well for them actually happening! Be that as it may, still I will make them.

I resolve to make better use of my time. There’s a reason God has allowed me to still be here. (Hey, just because you’re on a ventilator doesn’t mean you won’t die, either from sickness or by accident.) I will try to be more productive in both my art and my writing. And I will try to live every single day in the full realization that it is only with God and by His Grace that I’m able to continue doing these things at all.

I resolve to be kinder. It’s really easy to snap when someone inadvertently hurts you or they don’t understand what you’re trying to communicate. It’s the reality of not being able to move that g-tubes are going to get pulled, arms and legs are going to get dropped, and arms, legs and your trach are going to get into uncomfortable positions. It’s also the reality that when you can’t talk clearly, it is going to be difficult to communicate with you. Some people are just better at non-verbal communication than others. Anyone who’s ever played charades can tell you that! 

I resolve to use my communication device to talk to the people around me. When you aren’t easily understood, it’s very tempting to choose silence over making the effort to write a message. You cannot overstate the power of connecting with people “verbally”, but you also have to accept the possibility that the person you’re trying to talk to will walk away before you’ve finished composing your message. I can’t tell you how many times that has happened! You’re left with a half-finished message and the feeling that what you have to say isn’t important. Still … I … will … try …

Finally, I resolve to be happy and to try to be an instrument of making those around me happy, too. It is in my power to choose how I will look at my life. I can concentrate on my limitations or I can be thankful that I’m still with the people I love and that God has allowed me to be productive. I choose to be happy.

2015 … 2015 … 2015 … It has a nice ring, doesn’t it?

About the Author

Nashville artist and writer Erin Brady Worsham was diagnosed with ALS on Sept. 7, 1994. She began using the ventilator on Thanksgiving day in 1997 and has never looked back. She continues to work and exhibit her art as a professional artist.

Says Worsham, "One of the reasons I believe I have lived so long, other than my great husband and son, is that I don't think about ALS. My blog titled Cosmic Connection is about contemplative observations of the world around me that ALS has allowed me to make through the peaceful stillness it has imposed on my life."

To learn more about Erin Brady Worsham, read the following articles about Erin and her life with ALS:

Creativity Soars Over Barriers

Having Children After an ALS Diagnosis

A Turn of Fate

Secrets of Survival

The Artist Inside

First Person Singular: A Magic Carpet Ride

Staying Alive: Does Personality or Belief Make a Difference

Mind Muscle

Life on the Vent

Connect with Erin on Facebook and check out more of her artwork for sale on Etsy.

Erin's blog Cosmic Connection is exclusive to MDA's ALS blogs.

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