Walking For a Cure. . . But Mostly For My Partner

I lay in bed Saturday night before the MS Walk thinking. Going over my game plan for our early start the next morning, wondering if Oliver would have the patience to spend at least part of the walk in the stroller (He didn't by the way, he put up with it for less than a block before I put him in the 'Baby Trekker'.), which carrier I should take to wear him in when he inevitably had enough of his isolation pod.

I thought about how I should have gotten those weird looking running shoes that make your butt look good, and if my not so good looking butt would even make it the 10 km with a 15lb baby strapped to me.

And at last I thought about why I was doing this. What possessed me, completely at random one day to sign up for this walk?

When people ask me I usually spew some gobbledy gook about wanting to set a good example for Oliver about charity and activity and all that good productive citizen stuff. That is all true, but that's not really why I did this.

I knew when I got involved with Das Piper that he had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. I had no real idea of what that meant, it worried me some, but he had told me that having been diagnosed for 10 years with little to no progression it was nothing really to be worried about.

I believed him, and in our daily lives I don't really ever think about it. But as time wore on and I started to take stock of all the things that Das Piper has lost I began to realize that MS is never far from his mind.

From having to relearn to tie his shoes, having to give up playing his bagpipes, which he loved, and having tremendous trouble learning to change a diaper because of nerve loss in his hands, to being limited in his work as a contractor because of vertigo, fatigue, and occasional weakness in his legs, Das Piper is reminded of his disease constantly, and in a way that I can sometimes forget or overlook.

I know he wants me to overlook it. He doesn't like to admit when his legs are bugging him, or let his frustration show when he's having trouble reaching the next cord on his guitar but I see it.

The day I signed up to do the walk Das Piper had just gone to work. Moments before, Oliver had been laying on the floor by his father's feet playing and watching him getting ready to head out.

'No-one ties their shoes like I do' I heard Das Piper say. 'Your mom will have to teach you how to do it the right way.'

I have raised $500 for MS research in the last few months, it's not much, but I am proud of it. Experts say that they are close to a cure. But more than a cure, I wanted to do this walk to show my partner that I am here, that I love and support him, that I have accepted him MS and all, and that I am willing and able to help him in any way I can, that I don't mind if Oliver learns to tie his shoes differently. I need to show him these things because I know that if I were to say them out loud I would cry, and he would tell me to stop being mushy, and that I don't need to worry about him. He hates it when I worry about him.

He wouldn't even let me wear a tag with his name on it to tell other walkers what had inspired me. But that wasn't that important to me. He knew that I was doing it for him.

As far as teaching Oliver anything about charity and all that, well, he slept through most of it and was a little oblivious to the whole thing. But he did think it was a pretty nice walk despite it being a bit on the cold side.


i am the diva said...

well done!!

a lovely post.

dk said...

I'm sure dp can learn to put up with you being mushy - it's good for him.

big huge dk hugs

Randi said...

Actions speak louder than words. Well done!