Since I was bitching that I was blocked, woe is me, what am I to do and all that bullshit, I decided to write about one of the most amazing men I have ever met and kill two birds with one stone, if he doesn’t inspire me, nothing will and that way I bring attention to my little circle of readers to ALS.
I will be forever humbled by my former boss; he is currently suffering from ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) better known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease and has remained determined, sweet, humorous and more than anything hopeful. Hopeful that if maybe not for him, but for those who will get sick in the future there will be a cure of this terminal, debilitating and simply horrible disease.
To learn more: http://www.alsa.org/
I met MM when I was twenty years old and miserable. I was working at McDonald's, my ass kept getting bigger because I had to eat two of my daily meals at work and I was getting spider veins on my legs from standing on my feet for 10 hours a day. He was like a knight in shining armor. His wife loved my mom who worked with her, cleaning her house and talking care of her elderly parents and knowing how badly I hated my job she had put the little bug on her husband’s head to hire me as a trainee appraiser since he was losing one in the office.
I was given the opportunity to interview and I showed up, greasy and nervous to the office. If I had known what I know now of him I wouldn’t have been nervous at all, but since I didn’t know him I was shaking, wishing this could be true and I could work in an office, with working air conditioning, away from oil burns and more importantly where there was a chair.
He took me in under the wings of his company and kept me there for as long as he could. I have never met a man like him and I don’t think I ever will. MM is the smartest man in my acquaintance, he has a big heart, a willingness to help others, an amazing sense of humor, an even temper, awesome stories to share and treated each and every one of us like family. He used to brag about me to his friends and colleagues about how smart I was and how good my English was even though I had only been in the country for a few years.
I spent five years almost six working for him and they were unforgettable years full of laughter and praise, full of working late when we procrastinated because we spent a too long lunch hour talking about Scotland and smuggling him coffee that his lovely wife didn’t want him drinking. When MM got diagnosed we were so utterly ignorant about the disease that we didn’t even worry. It wasn’t until the time started passing and he started losing weight that I went online to research. “Terminal” is a word no one ever wants to hear, but no matter where I went that’s what it said. ALS is a terminal disease. We, the people that worked for him, his family, friends, everyone was heartbroken. Why, how could this happen to a man like him? I’ve had years to digest it and still refuse to believe it.
Each year in March we March, we walk to raise money, awareness and to spend some sunny time with friends and family who need something to hold onto, who for that one moment can look at the horrible disease with something else than fear and dread and with maybe a little bit of hope. Hope that a cure will be found, hope that a reason behind the disease will be discovered, and hope that when the time comes they won’t be alone.
There are no survivors in this walk, there are no brave people telling their story. It’s not like cancer which at times thankfully can be overcome. There are just people facing their death and still unwilling to give up.
If that is not inspiring I don’t know what is.
So tomorrow at 9 am I will be along with MM and his family and friends and we’ll walk and talk and catch up with the ones we haven’t seen since the last walk and ignore the reason why we are there and concentrate only on MM and be happy that maybe tomorrow there’ll be a cure.