In honor of Father's Day, this post presents my three daughters' perspectives on the good and bad of having a dad with MS. As you will read, the girls view MS as both a blessing and curse. They provide heartfelt insights as to the dissapointments and inspiration they've drawn from having a dad with MS. My daughters have been so kind and compasssionate as they've been part of a journey they did not choose to join. So, enjoy their honesty and Happy Mother's and Father's Day to all.
Alex is 20 years old and a junior in college who is studying to be an art therapist for children with emotional disorders. Her perspective on having a dad with MS:
Since the age of 2, I have had a father suffering from MS. I did not realize that such a disease existed until I was about 10 or 11 years old and did not fully understand what MS was at that age. All I knew was that my dad had trouble walking, had to give himself shots in the leg every Friday night, and was sick every weekend because of the medicine. I remember crying often when he went on business trips because I did not know if he was okay. I was always afraid that he would fall and no one would be there to help him up. I wondered why he was never able to play sports with me or run with me. I was upset that he had to endure such horrible things and could not grasp why it had to happen to MY dad.
As the years went on, I began learning more about the disease. I started using MS and my dad's story in papers that I wrote in school. It wasn't until high school when I realized that despite my dad having the disease, there was nothing my family and I could do about it, so all I could do was see it in a positive way. Even more recently, I've seen the disease as a blessing. My dad has switched to new medicine and is doing an amazing job of overcoming the obstacles MS presents. Before, he could barely walk and now he is running, biking, swimming, and can engage in practically any sport. He has been competing in events and is training for an upcoming full triathlon. He is my biggest inspiration.
Through his struggles, he has shown so much positivity, I could never completely be in his shoes, but I can imagine the difficulties. He has taught me that nothing is impossible, that the word does not even exist. I am so proud of him. There were days when I thought he would be in a wheelchair by the time I was in college, now I am half-way through college and I do not see any wheelchairs in his future. All in all, I have learned to look past the bad and see nothing but the best. I hope that many people can acquire from his experiences and be inspired by his success. I love you, Dad!
Jackie will be a junior in high school (she is a twin with her sister Maddie) and is an active athlete who runs track and plays tennis: