One of the most poignant memories I have from my early teenage years is when my best friend’s Dad died. He had Multiple Sclerosis, and I didn’t know him for very long before he’d shut himself away from the world, wanting to be remembered healthy. Their family really got the shaft, because following his death, their mom remarried (the boys and I lovingly referred to their stepfather as “Doctor Dick,” and no, his first name was not “Richard”) and then there was this nasty series of bouts with cancer and divorce.
My best friend’s mom was a total rock for me later when both my Mom AND Dad died. One of my favorite memories of her is from my early 20’s, when I commented that she didn’t LOOK like she’d had a double mastectomy. She reached into her dress and pulled out a fake boob, which she then threw to me with a smile.
Well, I just learned that my best friend’s younger brother has been diagnosed with MS. I haven’t kept in close touch with their family, but I really, really feel for them. It’s one thing to be brave when you’re facing a potentially debilitating, deadly foe that may kill you. It’s another thing to find that you’re facing the same foe that killed your Dad and tried to destroy your family. I look at what they’re up against, all of them, and wish I could do something besides call them up on the phone and cry. And I’m too much of a coward to even do THAT yet. I’ll get to it… just not right now.
I’m praying for them, though. On my way into work at the Temple tonight I’ll scribble a name on a slip of paper, and that name will end up on the prayer rolls of the temple. If you’re the praying type, and if you believe it’ll help, you can join me. “Please bless Matt,” will do. I’m sure God will know who you’re talking about.