I am guessing that he wanted me to write it not only for him but for any of you struggling in life so you would be encouraged to hang in there.
Akhil has grappled with the idea of assisted suicide because it is legal here in Washington. I am sure if I were I in his shoes, I would have wrestled with the thought as well. My beliefs make euthanasia a concept I would find difficult to embrace; however, I would not pass judgment on someone who made that choice.
I find hope in knowing that God uses all things for redemption. He desires that each of us will make the choice to follow Him. It is only by choosing Him that we can be redeemed and accept his offer of an eternal life in heaven. Unfortunately, just as Christ had to die for all of us; sometimes one of us must suffer in order that someone or perhaps many may have their eyes opened to the grace and mercy offered by the cross.
I encourage Akhil to live each day as God has ordained because we do not know who may be watching our journey and be impacted by it. We don’t know how God orchestrates opportunities for salvation but there could be that one person, who on that last day of Akhil’s life, chooses to receive that gift because of something he saw demonstrated in Akhil’s journey. God values each one of us so much that He will sacrifice one who is secure in his destiny to bring one more to Him.
Winners may need to get creative and find a work-around at times or admit defeat with grace to a worthy opponent but they do not just give up.
I would like to think that we are winners!
I want them to remember how we fought this battle up to the end with grace and dignity and that in itself is a victory!
I get frazzled when I am trying to get something done and Akhil is making continual requests for movement, scratching and suctioning.
Is life hard living with someone with this disease? Of course it is! I am dealing with the financial stresses imposed by ALS along with having two girls in college and a third headed there (hopefully). I am working crazy hard to build a business that may or may not be a means to support myself someday.
On the weekends, I am the sole caregiver for Akhil; there is no rest after my workweek. On Monday, it all starts again. Yes, life is hard and it is definitely not what I thought it would be but I am happy in spite of these circumstances. I am happy because for me happiness has always been defined by my faith and my family.
I have faith that God is allowing us to endure this struggle for a purpose greater than we can see right now. I have three wonderful daughters who are growing up to be strong, persevering and empathetic women thanks to this journey. I have a husband who loves me. The smiles from that man make each day of hardship worthwhile.
Will I miss the difficult days caring for someone with this dreadful disease? No. But that does not mean that I won’t miss Akhil. I hang on to each day with him because I know that these days are numbered. There will come a day when I will long to hear him calling to me to move his arm or scratch his chin. For now, I find happiness in knowing that we have one more day together.
I am sure that whatever challenge you may be facing, you have someone out there who feels the same way about you; someone who would treasure just one more day with you so hang in there!
Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. Psalm 139:16
Would you keep fighting if you were in his shoes?
Akhil would like to hear from you why you think he should continue this fight with ALS.