I was humbled by her response. And it took me a few days to come up with an answer. Hopefully my answer will enlighten some of you and inspire the rest of you.
The second thing that I have learned is that I am not the only one suffering. This disease has hit our whole family. My wife and I had plans that we will not be able to do now. My children used to look at me as their provider but not anymore. Devastating. I can see in my children's eyes the disillusionment and it will leave a mark for life.
As I explained this to my friend, she asked me, "If you have all this in your head, why are you always so happy?" Finally she asked the right question! What ALS has really taught me is to stay in the moment. And let me explain how. It is very dangerous to let my mind go into the past and think about all the things that I was able to do. And it is even worse, to project myself into the future and imagine what is going to happen to my body. So that leaves me in the only place that is left: the present. That is the secret to my happiness.
The key to my happiness and your happiness is the ability to discipline the mind. I have a choice to make, I can choose to dwell on the negative or simply appreciate what I have right now. Let me elaborate. If three months from now I lose the ability to speak and even move my legs, I would give everything to have that ability back. I would be happy with that. And guess what, I have that ability right now so I am happy. And that is what it means to live in the moment.
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.