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About Eric’s Wife

Some may say I am a "Stay at home Mom," but that is not even close. I am Eric's Wife. I have exhilarating strokes of genius, followed almost immediately by paralyzing pangs of self doubt and, for whatever reason, here is where I blog about it - warts and all. I serve a merciful God with a clumsy hand and at the end of each day I go to sleep thankful to be His servant and Eric's wife.

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The Start of One Journey Meets the End of Another

March 13, 2008

My whole take on having MS can be wrapped up in my dear Grandmother’s first and last statements regarding it. I’ll tell you a bit about her first so you can understand just how profound her statements were and why they capture so well my thoughts.

When she was 12 years old she was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis. She grew to get married and raise three children, my mother being her youngest. No person who ever met her left not knowing the greatness of God’s grace. She embodied for me the scripture, “My grace is sufficient for you, My power is made perfect in weakness.”

My Grandmother was my very own personal Rock Star. I adored her and I never felt anything less than adored when I was with her.

She happened to be in town when I was first placed in the hospital. She had watched my decline and had suggested to my parents, four months before the professionals, that I might have MS. Mom and Dad got me settled in my hospital room and then Grandma (I always called her Grandma, but I think she preferred Grandmother) stayed with me while they went to take care of my brothers, who had no clue I wasn’t at school.

Grandma sat and joked with me and helped make light of things. I didn’t know then what she knew about the road ahead of me. A nurse came in to give me an IV, my first in a lifetime. I was terrified of needles and certain that there was some mistake. I was told I was only there for an overnight visit and told the nurse as much.

Grandma gave me her hand – her gnarled, crooked – hand and told me I could squeeze as hard as I needed to, but that, “Things are likely to get a lot worse from here on, no sense throwing a fit.”

I don’t think I will ever in my life forget what it felt like to sit there and hold her hand while I got that first of hundreds of IVs. It was an instant where her lifetime of living in a handicapped, warped body was met by my youthful form just beginning to start my own journey. She knew well what was in store, and though it frightened her, she gave me strength.

I have often thought that God gave me that moment. That starting of the race with my Rock Star at my side. She lived hours away and was just there for a random visit. My parents could have stayed for the IV. Instead, the stage was set for just her and I to sit there and quietly share what was to be her legacy and my charge.

It was less than one year later that she lay dying. Her mind was riddled with Morphine to ease the depth of her body’s pain and she was in and out of conscious thought. My mother was at her side and listened to every breath as she slipped further away. A few days before she was finally freed from her body, she opened her eyes and said to my mother with great clarity and certainty, “Amy’s going to be just fine.”

She taught me many things. She taught me to always match my underwear to my outfit. She showed me how to close Tupperware with my elbow. She impressed on me that it is never too late to learn something new.

More than anything in the world my Grandma taught me, she taught me that this body, this life, this everything, is nothing without the grace of my Savior.

Her words to me at the start told me that there is no sense shrinking back. I must always be prepared to stand against whatever falls in my path.

Her final words about me confirmed the end game God has planned for me all along, “Amy’s going to be just fine.”

If you have known me for long, you have likely heard me say that I am not certain I would like myself too much without MS. This disease has taught me humility, it has forced on me endurance, it has robbed me of any thought but that of Heaven and my Savior risen.

Having children and a husband to look after has changed my tune a bit. As much as I appreciate the many benefits to bearing this daily cross, it saddens me to see that my children must bear it as well.

To be honest, I have declared to the LORD that I am just about lessoned out and am ready to be all that my family needs me to be. As much as I think I am fed up with my circumstance, I remember what my Grandma told me in the very beginning and pick my chin up. No sense throwing a fit with so much to be done.

In the end, I know beyond any doubt that I will be just fine. And know that I have a Rock Star saving my seat.

I spent one last night with Grandma in the hospital before she passed. She gave me her last bits of advice, and I told Mom the next day that everything Grandma told me could be repeated in this song. Mom reminded me of this last night and I couldn’t post this without including the song. Even if you’ve heard this song before, and especially if you knew Grandma, give it a listen and hear what she told me.

8 responses to “The Start of One Journey Meets the End of Another”

  1. Karen says:

    Amy, you have such a gift of writing. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and experiences that have led you to know more about the grace of our great God!

  2. Sarah says:

    Aw, you made me cry. And I don’t often cry. I imagine you are so honored to have those memories and to know that your grandmother’s wisdom was passed on to you.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Amy, thanks so much for sharing, and teaching. You have really inspired me. Thanks continually reminding me of God’s kingdom and glory.

    Beth

  4. deleise says:

    That was the most amazing post. Wow.

  5. Ruth Ann says:

    Beautiful, Amy…just beautiful.

  6. NandL says:

    No sense throwing a fit. That is the best advice I have heard and can apply it directly to my advice, though I don’t know necessarily if it will get worse for me or not. I thank you tremendously for those words, Amy.
    Laura…

  7. NandL says:

    Oops… I said I can ‘apply it directly to my advice’ I meant I can ‘apply it directly to my life’…
    Laura…

  8. Angela O. says:

    She sounds like she was a great woman. Glad you had her in your life.