I began to think about how much has changed since that day. I knew I had ALS at the time, but things were different. I was able to dress myself, roll over in bed unassisted, cook, raise a pint of beer to my lips, write, get on and off the couch, shower myself, I even drove us to the orchard in my Civic. Those capabilities are all in my rear view mirror. I now need a straw to drink, wheelchair to move, assitive tech to adjust in bed, a shower chair, and a handicap accessible van to get anywhere. These losses wear on me at times and are accompanied by lots of cursing and tears.
$35,421.67. That's a heap of money. That's also the amount of money the Gronk's Grace Army has raised in less than a year for others like me fighting this battle and experiencing the same losses I have. I have rolled onto Capitol Hill to raise awareness and demand change from our representatives to help support PALS. We bought a house to call home, where friends and family can come and be loved. We brought home Wrigley, our dog who we call Son. I give all my nieces and nephews rides on my wheelchair. I started my seventh year teaching and am still teaching to this day. Friends, family and strangers raised over $25,000 in GoFundMe funds to support our needs going forward.
Even with the terminal diagnosis, the Grace I've experienced since that day back in October is such that all I can do is be grateful and keep my eyes focused on the windshield. Looking back through the tiny rear view mirror won't get me anywhere. The windshield is full of Grace. The future is going to be great because I know God is in control. I've let go and let God.