There’s probably published, peer-reviewed research about stages of grief and all that when families receive news like our son’s. I cannot liken my son’s diagnosis to the grief that accompanies a loved one’s death, but I can say with surety that anger and depression were/are the real deal. I never experienced denial though, not even for one minute. As soon as my kid’s neurologist (although at that moment, he was not yet my kid’s neurologist, merely the neurologist) said he was certain my kid had muscular dystrophy, I was like, “Well, yeah. Of course he does. How did we not recognize this?” I also never went through the bargaining deal. I mean, yeah, I’d do anything to take it from him if I could, how I wish I could, but I wasn’t bargaining with anyone’s higher power about it. Never saw the point.
I’ve not gone through prescribed stages, and not strictly grief-related, but as I read older blog posts, there has definitely been some type of progression in the way I approach the world as an MD Mom. Coming out of the closet as an MD Mom last spring took some time. Our family signed up for the 2015 MDA Muscle Walk, a fund raising event last April, but I was sooooooo loath to publicize it. Acknowledging our participation meant that people would ask me why. Why are you supporting the MDA all of the sudden, Wendy? People did ask, and that internet invisibility cloak I referred to before, provided a comfortable (as if) vehicle to make it official. Asking for donations for the MDA allowed me to begin conversations I never wished to have, still never want to have, on my own terms. I reread a post I’d written last year about it, and I can physically feel my tummy butterflies, the tremor of my index finger as I hesitantly clicked publish last year.
I received an email from our local chapter’s MDA fund-raising leader Thursday reminding me that the walk was coming up. She thanked me for getting our fundraising page up and getting some early donors already. I wanted to puke less than I did last year, but still, pukey remains an apt descriptor for my stomach right now. I think last year I got a huge pity push of funds. Being a first-timer and all, friends who knew shared some intensity of grief or sadness or whatever it was I felt at that time for and/or with me. They coughed up BIG BUCKS on my son’s and my behalf because my friends are freaking A-mazing, captial A A-mazing. It’s not new this year, well the diagnosis still feels new for me, but it’s not the first time we’re walking, but the thought of asking for donations. . . Ugh.
There are a million billion things I’d rather do than ask for money. Any fundraiser my kids have had for school or baseball or when they were in Scouts? BUY OUT! Sure, I’m broke, but at least I avoided having to ask for financial aid.
I’d rather scrub the kitchen floor. And I’ve been known to say that I’d rather scrub the toilet bowl with my tongue than clean the kitchen floor. Jesus, Wendy. I’ve been saying that for years, but seeing that analogy in writing is just gross. I’ve even managed to gross myself out here, and my stomach is already wobbly. Eeeeewww.
I’d rather run a 10K. HA! Who am I kidding? I’ve never run a 10K in my life. Keepin’ it real, I’d rather run a 5K than ask for money.
I’d rather sit in the second row for a Barenaked Ladies concert. And THAT is saying something, people, because if I’ve taught you nothing, I’ve taught you that second row is NOT the front row.
I’d rather get up in front of 180 speech-language pathologists and give a one hour lecture on ethics. I’ve done that once already, and it sucks. There is simply no way to make an ethics presentation engaging or exciting, and I’ve already been trashed for my “cavalier” approach to it. No one else is willing to step up and do it though, so default-setting Wendy is on call. Still, I’d rather do this than ask for donations.
I’d rather do my taxes. Really. And I have been putting this off. . .
I’d rather watch a Wiggles or Teletubbies marathon. I would!
I’d rather drink a beer. I hate beer. I know. I live in Brew City, home of Laverne and Shirley and Miller and Pabst, but I cannot abide the beverage. I want to like it, but nope. When I was in high school and beer was the only illegal beverage any of us could score, I told friends that I was allergic to beer–you can understand that I didn’t want my friends to think I was uncool. Really I just didn’t want to drink because beer grossed me out, plus I signed a code saying I wouldn’t, but I was a high schooler, so I lied. Apparently lying wasn’t in the athletic code. A few days after graduation I threw back a beer, promptly vomited, and broke out in hives. True story.
I’d rather watch Eyes Wide Shut again. Wait. I take that one back. A bridge too far, y’all.
I will never find a comfort zone as it relates to soliciting for even the most worthy of causes. The MDA is a great stinkin’ cause, friends, but I hate asking. Hate. I will never want to, but I will. And I will want to throw up as I hit publish or share or tweet. Every. Single. Time.