I recently finished a phenomenal book titled Tuesdays with Morrie. The book is about a college professor who is diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s dieses); a former student has created this relationship with his college professor and meets with him every Tuesday. After the student graduates and Morrie is diagnosed they continue their Tuesday conversations. ALS is a progressive, fatal, neurodegenerative disease caused by the degeneration of motor neurons. This is in the same family as MS.
The day I was told that my MRI looked like I had MS they had to do additional testing to make sure it wasn’t ALS. The main difference that I could see between ALS and MS is that with ALS I was going to die in a matter of time. I remember while going to get my chest x-rayed and a spinal tap, I cried the entire time, fearful of the fatal disease. While reading the book I couldn’t help but write some of my favorite quotes from a dying man who has a whole new out look on life.
“Accept what you are able to do and what you are not able to do. Accept the past as past, with out denying it or discarding it. Learn to forgive yourself to forgive others. Don’t assume that it is to late get involved.”
“Life is a series of pulls back and forth. You want to do one thing, but you are bound to something else. Something hurts you, yet you know it shouldn’t. You take certain things for granted even when you know you should never take anything for granted.
“With out love, we are birds with broken wings.”
“We put our values in the wrong things. And it leads to very disillusioned lives.”
“No matter where you live what we human beings have is shortsightedness. We don’t see what we could be. We should be looking at our potential stretching ourselves into everything we can become.”
“By throwing yourself into emotions, by allowing your self to dive in, all the way, over your head even, you experience them fully and completely. You know what pain is. You know what love is. You know what grief is. And only then can you say, ‘All right. I have experienced that emotion. I recognize that emotion. Now I need to detach from that emotion for a moment.’”
“As you grow, you learn more. If you stayed at twenty-two, you’d always be as ignorant as you were at twenty-two. Aging is not just decay, you know. It’s growth. Its more than the negative that you’re going to die, it’s also the positive that you understand you’re going to die, and that you live a better life because of it.”