My mom was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis when I was four years old. The doctor who discovered it told her it was progressing rapidly, and that she could be in a wheelchair in one to three months. Another told her she had a mild condition, and may go years before experiencing any symptoms. She was terrified, confused, bitter, and completely blind to what her future might hold. Three days after her diagnosis, a beautiful, kind, and loving friend of hers passed away. She was 30 when she slipped into a coma giving birth to her third child. She was gone within a day.
When my mom heard this news, she vowed that she would not let her condition hold her back. Every moment she got was one more than Ilene had. She gave my sister and I the best childhood any kids could ask for, spending as much time as she could with us, teaching us everything she knew and shaping us to appreciate life as much as she did.
I was 15 before I even learned of her condition. Neighbors and friends learned even after I did. For all those years she carried her burden in humble silence, never letting on as her symptoms increased in number and severity. Today she is limited in some ways by her condition, but in so many more ways she is strengthened. She has lived with a vivaciousness and vitality that inspires those around her, and has not wasted time on idle or petty things. Her courage and strength inspires me everyday, and I am so proud to be her daughter. Thanks, mom.
Submitted by Anonymous
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