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To the Husband of the Wife Living With Multiple Sclerosis

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Deep down I have a constant drumbeat of pain. I know it’s mental, but I can’t ignore it. It’s like an everlasting ache. I feel hollow inside. And I’ve spent years trying to fill that emptiness. I’ve hunted down all the soul-saving faces I could find. I’ve consulted with preachers, ministers and nuns. I’ve talked to guru masters, witch doctors and faith healers. I’ve hired yoga teachers, psychiatrists and social workers. But none of them helped. My quest became a vain pursuit that temporarily satisfied my void with insubstantial solutions.

I finally looked up to the sky and said, “God, please! Help me!”

I always thought my prayer hadn’t been answered. But I’m now realizing I did receive help. My relief was hiding in plain sight. And it’s been with me ever since my doctor told me that the answer is you.

Every time multiple sclerosis (MS) pulls me down the rabbit hole, you jump in with me with your hand in mine. Sometimes I’m so afraid I can feel the fear caught in my throat, trying to choke the life right out of me. But whenever I’m in that unsolicited dance with the devil, you always cut in.

When my pain is holding me captive, trapping me in a dark place and blocking all the exits, you constantly break through to find me and bring me to the light. When my world is on fire, you put out the flames. When everybody ran away, you remained. When I weep, you dry my tears.

I sometimes wonder could I do the same. Would I be there for you like you are for me? Could I watch as a chronic progressive debilitating disease ravaged your body?

I can only hope I would because you’re there for me.

Love is fragile. And I must admit, your love scares me. What happens if I lose it? I know caring for me can be hard and leaving is so easy. But you choose to stay. I don’t know why. But you do. You have every reason to leave. Look at me. I’m weak. I feel helpless. I feel broken. But yet you stay. You always stay.

Whenever we are alone, I hold you tight. So tight, sometimes it hurts. I often wonder if this will be the last time we are together. The last time you touch me. The last time you kiss me. The last time you love me.

But it never is. You just continue to show affection. And it’s the only thing that really keeps me going. I actually use that love to escape every once in a while. It helps to free me. It lets me dream of better times. I am empowered by it. It gives me hope. Hope for my future and hope for a cure.

I guess when I meet God, everything will become clear. But until then, I believe in my heart you were sent to save me.

This disease is so very hard to live with alone. So I want to say thank you for being there and showing me how to love despite multiple sclerosis.

“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.” ~ Lao Tzu

Nicole Lemelle the mighty.1-001

Follow this journey on My New Normals.

Originally published: September 18, 2015
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