My sister used to be the most active individual. She loved to drive what we called her "stinkin Lincoln". She liked to dance and party and visit other people. She was the one who would keep the community laughing, celebrate a new babies birth and support those who were grieving.
Well, over the years she has given up on most of those activities. Her Multiple Sclerosis has stolen mobility to the point where she spends month after month in her farmhouse, lying on the couch or sitting for brief periods of time in her wheelchair.
The Liberation Treatment that she had in Mexico this winter has allowed her some movement in hands that were previously curled up in her lap. She can now feel and move her legs slightly rather than having to ask her husband to move them for her.
But there is no more driving, paying unexpected visits to the neighbours or being able to be employed.
It is easy with MS to think and talk about all the things that are lost. In fact, sadness can lead to depression if the focus is only on the things that are gone.
One of the things that I admire about my sister is that she is the communication center for everyone. If there is a death, Deb will be the first one to contact as she will have all the information. She will be able to tell us when the funeral is being held and whether to send flowers or make a donation to a designated charity.
Deb knows the history of families and remembers funny stories about things that the rest of us have long forgotten. She can tell you about who she was in grade seven with and talk about pets that we all had decades ago.
You can ask Deb about a recipe that she hasn't made for years but she can tell you the best way to put it together.
Yes, she has a memory that we likely all wish wasn't quite so efficient at times.
When we are curious about something and if she doesn't have the information, we don't worry - she certainly knows where to get it. Within minutes she will call back with the details! It's actually kind of fun to see how quickly she can "get on it as she would say.
Every family needs someone who can tie everyone together. In our family it is Deb. She talks to all of us individually and then shares the news more efficiently than a global media network. We can gather all the latest happenings by making just one telephone call.
If you have MS, I challenge you today to think about how you can focus on things that you can do instead of what you can't do. Perhaps you will use Deb as your role-model and take on the role of being the communications center for the family. I hope so because it will make the lives of everyone a lot richer.