(Click HERE for the zoomed-in version)
So what exactly is the above picture you ask? Well, it’s my Mom at some dance it would seem – I’m going to guess in the mid-1950s timeframe, give or take (my family can likely validate that). Looks to me like she was just about to start break dancing, moonwalking, or something crazy in the middle of the group – which if you knew my Mom, would have been pretty darn cool to see.
I am still going through Mom and Dad’s stuff – little bits at a time as my brain will allow – and stumbled into this photo. It fired up many, many emotions – I was sad, angry, happy, depressed, and impressed all at the same time. All of which left me very confused and emotional, so I put the picture away to “deal” with later. I guess it’s now “later”.
So why all the emotion over a picture of my Mom dancing many, many moons ago? I’m not really sure where to start on this one, so this will end up as a rambling stream of consciousness – so here we go.
(And please note, this is NOT a “woe is me” blog – I hate that stuff. This is really just a reflection on how that picture struck me and what that has to do with MS)
I’m not going to post “before” and “after” pictures – I can save that maybe for some MS awareness stuff. But the Mom that I knew wasn’t the busting a move type. Life had other plans. She bowled with a group, camped a lot, was very involved in Scouts with us, and the church, of course. MS changed all that though – slowly, but surely. It whittled away her ability to do any of that. That’s where the “angry” part comes into play. To be blunt, it really pisses me off. But I’m not going to dwell on that – we’ve had that discussion already.
You can imagine why I might end up depressed and sad, but that is not as important to me as what this picture really says to me. Three really important things come to me when I study this picture, and that’s what I want to share with you.
Most importantly overall, this picture gives me hope. No, I have not completely lost my mind here (though many may argue that point). I spent 30+ years with my Mom in a slowly deteriorating condition – ending up stuck in bed, barely able to move. So why the hope? It shows me a “Mom” that I never really knew and it gives me hope that we can help others get back to that place – back to the point where they can dance, bowl, have fun, etc. Watching someone slowly deteriorate makes it really, really hard to have any sort of hope. This picture does a great job of reminding me why we have to be hopeful. We have to remain positive that we can get people back to the place that my Mom was at in 1955 (ish). Without hope, we have nothing. So I’ll probably pin up this picture to continue to give me hope.
Secondly, this picture inspires me. It inspires me to do more, to fight harder, and to never give up in our battle with MS. Giving up is really not an option – period. There are a lot of people out there like my Mom that would give anything to get back in the dance circle and bust a move, or whatever they called it in the 1950s. So I guess I can check the “inspired” box again. We have to do something – it’s how I am wired. I cannot just sit back and let this crap continue to happen.
Lastly, and the most important to me anyway, is that it makes me happy. Yes, that is really true. It makes me happy because I can picture Mom doing that right now, up in Heaven, with my Dad, in a circle of her loved ones. She is no longer bedridden – she is free from MS – and truly happy. God bless her. And fire up the DJ up there so she can dance.
At least that’s what I like to believe. Go ahead and prove me wrong. 🙂
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