By Penelope Conway
Life is a constant flow of people who come in and out of our lives. I have lost and gained many meaningful people over the years. Multiple sclerosis seems to have helped me in the weeding out process. It did that quicker than anything else I have ever faced. I’m not sure if it’s because of my constant unpredictable days or my need for help just to handle the simplest of things in life, but to the ones who have chosen to stick around, I’m forever grateful.
You are the ones I have been lucky enough to turn to when I need guidance, support and a shoulder to cry on. You aren’t millionaires, movie stars, someone famous or in a popular band. Many of you don’t even have a fancy title or a huge impact around the world, but in my life, in my world, you are amazingly monumental and the greatest of the great. You are doctors, nurses, friends, family, and an online MS community.
Thank you for your constant support and care even when I don’t deserve it. I know I can be stubborn and opinionated and yet somehow you see past it all to the me that I really am. You have taught me the importance of loving myself and taking care of my own wellbeing throughout this crazy journey I’m on with MS.
To the doctors and nurses who have become an integral part of my daily life, you are the reason I have hope for a better tomorrow. You have shown me that change happens and whether those changes are good or bad, there is always a way through them. It’s because of you that I keep pushing forward.
To my family, you are the ones I look up to because you have been the rock I needed most when I had nothing else to hold on to. You have shown me the meaning of love and family, and the importance of sticking together.
To my selfless and caring friends, you have inspired me to thrive and to be the best version of myself that I can be. You have given me strength when I’ve been at my weakest and have encouraged me to keep going when I was ready to give up. Thank you for showing me how truly important friendship is and how to be there for others just like you have been there for me.
To the online MS community, without you I wouldn’t have a reason to get up in the morning. You have shown me and the world, that people with MS are amazing and so much stronger than people ever thought possible. You make me laugh, smile and encourage me when I need it most. You understand the struggles and chaos that fill our days and somehow manage to find a spark of hope in the surrounding mess.
Each person in my life has helped me to becomes the person that I am today. Thank you for showing me how I deserve, and don’t deserve, to be treated and for sticking up for me when I have trouble sticking up for myself. Because of you I have a better future up ahead and a better tomorrow to look forward to. Thank you for instilling in me the desire to be the absolute best person that I can be.
Each one of you are a part of my life for a reason. Without you, I wouldn’t be half the person I am today. Thank you for being the most influential people in my life.
Sending you lots of love across the miles from my heart to yours,