Today I was reading an article about a performer in the Bay Area by the name of Carla Zilbersmith who has amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), the same disease that took my mother’s life in 2002.
Normally I stay away from anything that refers to the disease as it makes me way, way too upset. I only got three pages into “Tuesday with Morrie” before I had to put the book down and away for good. But the title of the article “Zilbersmith battles ALS with humor” really drew my attention and not only did I read the article, I found myself going to her blog and getting completely absorbed during my train ride home.
Ms. Zilbersmith completely captured me with her honesty, her humor and her incredible bravery in the face of a terrifying disease. She is able to see the beauty in life despite that which pulls her body away from her control.
“How do I have time to fight ALS when all around me the world invites me to joy?” This line made me cry. It made me think of how life goes so unappreciated for so much of the time. It made me think that I’d like to meet this woman and tell her how incredible I think she is.
Most of all, Ms. Zilbersmith reminded me of my mother and the incredible grace and dignity she showed up until the very end. And that made me smile amidst my tears.
It’s my birthday on Saturday. Every year I would thank my mother for bringing me into this world since my birthday was always just as much about her as it was about me.
Happy Birthday to us Mommy.