A woman has come into my life. I thought that this part of my life was over, that something like this could never happen to me. I thought that no woman would ever want me in my damaged, terminal state. Yet here she is, fully aware of what is happening to my body, what is happening to my life. I am as shocked as anyone could be. She has known me for a while yet I had no idea she had this interest in me. She doesn't read my blog, doesn't see these thoughts, although I am pretty sure she knows that I think them.
Today was a scene of domesticity. She came over after lunch and we just finished watching the Super Bowl. She chose to cheer for New England simply because I was cheering for Seattle. She knows very little about football and even less about American football. Yet she found great joy in backing the winning team in what was a close, tension filled game. I don't mind; it was fun to have someone cuddled up next to me on the couch as I watched the game, getting me a coffee or snacks so that I didn't have to make the transfer to and from my wheelchair.
Now she is busy in the kitchen cutting up the various ingredients for a Greek salad. She is doing this so I can take the time to write. There is no quid pro quo in this, no expectation of return to her for doing this part of daily living. In fact, there are a number of things she does that one would not expect in a "normal" situation, things like dealing with my jug, helping me with my coat and shoes, making sure my legs are moved and positioned as necessary.
She seems unfazed by the extra help and time I need. I will apologize for some limitation, for her having to fetch something for me. I will express concern about her being involved with someone with such poor prospects and so little money. She says to me "I knew all about this before I got into it." There is no expectation of return, no thought in her mind that I have something to offer. She seems quite comfortable with what is happening to me and how ALS will progress.
I am not sure how this will change my life or where it will take me. What I am sure about is that it is such a pleasant feeling to have someone in my life who understands what I am going through and seems perfectly willing to go through it with me. She laughs, finds humour in things I say or do, and doesn't seem to want to judge me for any ideas I have that are different from hers. She accepts me for whom I am, at least for now.
It's a strange thing, the way life works. I have no idea how long this will last, nor when it might end. All I know for sure is that I am going to live in the moment and enjoy it. It proves that you just never know, even though I thought I did.
The blog was posted originally on February 1, 2015.
About the Author
Born in Victoria, British Columbia, far too long ago to make a difference here, Richard McBride was, up until recently, a lifelong resident of the Vancouver and Fraser Valley region of Canada's most western province. McBride has had the joy of a very diverse career ranging from his first career as a stockbroker to training consultant and technology consultant to project manager.
Major changes in his life before his diagnosis of ALS meant his relocation to Calgary, Alberta, Canada. It was there that he received the diagnosis in November 2012. McBride continues to share his life and experiences both through his blog titled Richard is Living with ALS and through a tremendous group of friends, support specialists, and most importantly, with his four children and three grandchildren, with a fourth on the way.