(An open Letter to Caregivers of ALS)
I know cALS is a silly moniker, and one you never wanted or expected, but here we are. You are my cALS, my connection to the world at large. If a simple thank you could suffice, I would yell it, were I able to. Alas it is not sufficient, nor am I able to. You are a poorly recognized workforce, operating in the background, often in silence, your compensation…my undying love and admiration.
I know I challenge the very love that compels you to my side. Every day exhausting your body, mind and soul. Knowing full well the only resolution to this is a double edge sword that will leave you shattered yet relieved, there is no word that can describe this adequately, other than unconditional love.
No longer able to express my gratitude using my own voice, I am left with loving you through my eyes. Expressing all of my emotions with a glance, wishing this had never happened, thankful though that I have you.
I could recount the many ways you make it possible to be present, the list would never end. However your greatest gift is your time and touch. Your touch reminds me of better times, of tender moments, our life before ALS. At times I close my eyes and relish those moments and memories. When I open my eyes, you are there, exhausted, stressed, afraid…but present, at my side.
Look closely at my eyes, they are screaming…THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!