When we carry people in our heart.

Maybe the problem is the fancy words. Maybe the problem is you don’t know because you don’t have a story. You don’t care because you’ve never heard, you don’t know because its never broken down doors. Maybe all you need is a story. A connection. A tie.

Maybe you need to embrace the way these things pull people together. Maybe if we all dig deepest, we’d see that this is about love. & that, love, indeed is at its core. Maybe this is really just about getting love right.

Christ worshipper or not, I think we could all agree united is the best way to go about anything. One nation. Under God. Indivisable. The little girl within me imagines it more like one big hug, the kind when we’re all like bring it all in & everyone surrenders their excuses & walks towards the center.

& so I’ve been noticing this trend lately. How could you not? The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. The American Heart Association. Unclean water. Bullying. Here we are, pulling together. Here we are, & we’re all hugging.

So I think it’s really dissapointing that so many people are up in arms. Why are we dumping clean water over our heads when their are people overseas without the luxury of a cold glass of water to sip on? Why are we making such a big fuss about something that doesn’t take as many lives as something like cancer?

Someone wrote to a person who was unsure about the whole ALS ice bucket ordeal, telling them to do the challenge but donate the money to something that takes more lives. So I guess I just wonder how much my grandma’s life mattered.

If you are taken out with a bigger clump of people, part of a bigger statistic, does your death count more? Have you been more robbed?

But I know these comments are made out of ignorance. I know they’re made from homes who haven’t been touched by ALS. Cancer, maybe. Alzheimers, yes. But not ALS. It has no form, no story carried in our hearts, whispering a name into our every day. No your missing etched into the corners of our wedding days, prom nights, & graduations.

& some get it. Some are trying to inform, with those big words that are nothing more than science, & I want to help you see, but my words aren’t big, factual terminology. Mine are small fragments of a broken heart.

This is a story & here is what I can offer you.

These are the scars lining my palms. My sister doesn’t know the sound of my grandmother’s voice, too young when the notepads came out to remember the pre slurred speech. The robust, bold laughter. We watch the same family video from Christmas on repeat, listening to a woman in all her glory. Watching her dance with the baby in her arms. She was the most beautiful.

I remember the day my father slipped out into the garage with my grandfather. Everything slipped so quickly from normal to falling. It seemed one day she was making fried zucchini over the stove, & the next she was in the hospital bed in the livingroom. But their were the inbetweens that got her there.

Their were transitions.

Like the transition from fried zucchini & memorial day picnics & fruit cake to all liquids, as my grandma lost her ability to swallow. Like the transition from long conversations on the front porch swing to boxes of ink-covered notepads, having lost the ability to speak. Like the transition from the recliner & the portable oxygen tank to the hospital bed & my grandpa carrying her to the bathroom on cue.

& so I guess to me it’s more than dumping a bucket of water over your head. It’s awareness. Because how many people would really randomly google ALS to find out what it is apart from videos blowing up their newsfeed of people dumping water over their head. How much money would be raised from an article with big words? It’s unity. Because although we may not know, we’re reaching out. If you’re going through it, than it matters because you matter. One nation. We’re all here, & we’re all hugging.

It’s your turn, love. Break the silence. Spill your guts.

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