I am 51 years old, a two time breast cancer survivor and a 29 year advocate for Multiple Sclerosis as well as being an author, mother of two, and wife of nearly 25 years! I am proud of every one of these things equally. My first book, Living With Multiple Sclerosis: The Ripple Effect, is scheduled to be published this winter. It is a collection of personal essays written in the past two years while I was undergoing some changes in my physical health. During this time, I experienced a near-death experience which has led to me becoming a more devout Christian.

Since childhood, I was raised a Christian, attending the local Methodist Church was a regular occurrence for my family. I remember faking a stomachache one Sunday morning to get out of church. With the rest of the family gone, I asked my mom if I could please watch television while I rested on the couch. Her answer surprised me, and I’ve never forgotten it: “If you’re too sick for church, you’re too sick for watching cartoons, and you need to stay in bed.” Mom said it in a very matter-of-fact tone which told me there would be no compromising. I never again faked an illness to get out of church!

I guess it was just ingrained in me from infancy. Sunday mornings are for church. It’s been awhile now since I have attended our church, and I can’t really give a good reason for my absence. Yes, my MS is a fatiguing disease and I never feel truly rested, but that’s not a good enough reason. Steve works on Saturday nights, and I feel guilty waking him on Sunday mornings to take me to church. Speaking of that, it takes at least 3 people to get me dressed, with makeup on, hair coiffed just so and out the door in time for church. I feel guilty asking so much of my family when I’m so dependent on them for so many other things as well.

I know I would feel so much better about myself and others if I would just get up and go! I think I will make that goal my New Year’s Resolution for 2016…and maybe even before!

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