Erik Quinn: The Heart of a Family: Eraser

Friday, April 11, 2008


I desperately want to write, but words fail me yet again.

I was blind to the way his strong hands began to tremble as he reached for things. Deaf to the way he insisted his words were beginning to run at the edges as they came off his tongue. I shrugged and insisted that he sounded the same as ever to me. I watched him start suffering from excruciating muscle pain and ignored the grimaces he tried to hide, as I knew they would pass within a matter of moments if I were patient and politely pretended not to notice. Over the past few months, I trivialized the strange, ominous cough that crept into his core and began a daily assault on the the natural rise and fall of his chest.

I just ignored it all. I simply refused to acknowledge the strange, dark shadow in his presence for months. Some friend I am.

However, ignorance is a luxury I no longer possess now that I know its name. It has made itself officially known after a cruel, rude introduction, and the people who speak for it have made a grim promise that it will erase my friend from my world, perhaps within a matter of months, as there is no known cure. The same people sent him back out into the world alone with this shadow trailing behind him and told him to live as he did before. He isn't even 40 years old. I can't imagine watching him die slowly in front of my eyes. My brain throbs. My heart is split in two yet again.

No. No. No.

I wish to God I didn't see it. That I had never heard it. I want to hide my face behind my hands and periodically peek at it from behind my fingers like a child, hoping that it will disappear.

I wish to God I didn't know its name.

But I do.

Lou Gehrig's disease.

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Blogger Laura said...

I am so sorry that your friend has to go through this, and that you have to experience this.
It's painful. I've been watching my girlfriend and her husband struggle with this. It's heartbreaking, they have 2 boys under 4yrs.
Both you and he are in my thoughts and prayers.

5:08 AM  
Blogger Julie said...

It is very painful to watch someone you care about suffer and know that you cannot help them. You and your friend are in my thoughts and prayers.

1:10 PM  
Blogger Ava Jewel Leilani said...

Nancy, I am truly sorry that your friend has to go through this. I am not good at wording somethings and I hope this doesn't come out wrong but having you as a friend is going to be such a comfort. You and your friend are in my thoughts and prayers. (my mother went through the same thing with a very close friend of hers so I know this is not an easy time for your friend and yourself),

8:13 PM  
Blogger Kim, Grandma to Ava,ws said...

There are no words. I'm so sorry.

8:03 PM  
Blogger Tara said...

Oh Nancy, I'm so sorry your friend is going thru this. My friend's father passed away from this cruel disease a few years ago. It is so heartbreaking to watch. You are both in my thoughts and prayers.

6:20 AM  
Blogger Amy said...

My best to you as you help your friend in such a trying time. Remember to look for peaceful and happy moments between the struggle you both have in dealing with the ALS. Be strong for your friend.

9:26 AM  
Blogger Aspen said...

My dear friend, just as everyone has said...words cannot take the heartache or fear away from you or your friend. Logan's grandmother passed away from ALS many years ago. You both will be in our thoughts and prayers over the next few days, weeks, and years. LOVE LOVE LOVE

1:07 PM  
Blogger Gina said...

I am so sorry for your loss. My father died in 1994 from ALS. I was so angry that he had to leave this world in such a terrible way because he was a wonderful man and did not deserve to suffer so. You are in my thoughts and prayers.
God Bless,

1:34 PM  
Blogger Katie said...

Oh Nancy,
ALS is an awful thing that nobody should experience. All you can do is be there, but that will be such a great comfort too -
I appreciate you writing this post-
May i please show it to some people that will find great comfort in it?


4:00 PM  
Blogger Nancy said...

Katie -- Sure you can. Hugs back to you. Thanks. :)

4:12 PM  
Blogger Lizard Eater said...

OMG, Nancy. I'm so sorry. ALS is such a horrible, cruel disease.

May your friend find pockets of peace -- and you, the same.


8:26 AM  
Blogger Michelle said...

I'm so sorry your friend is going through this...he's in my prayers.

7:28 AM  
Blogger Rosemarie said...

Hoping you find the courage, like you always do, to be there for those who need and love you most.

10:19 PM  

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