week I read a letter that made my
heart wince. It came from
a desperate young woman living with
the ravages of chronic pain. Her
words, however, depicted not her
own despair, but her husbands.
She tearfully described the sorrow
and panic and guilt she felt
as she realized that it was her
condition that was holding him
under the angry waves that threatened
to destroy him.
words begged response as she called
out for someone anyone!to
help this man who was sinking under
the heavy burden of her pain.
The climax of her cry came in this
sentence: "I love him so much
that I even thought of leaving him
so he wouldnt have to see
me like this...or deal with all
of this." Her words cut through
my mental landscape like a machete.
I was taken back by the range of
emotions it stirred.
mind flashed to scenes from a movie
I had recently rented the movie
"Simon Birch." I fell
in love with this miniature twelve-year-old
who was wise beyond both his size
and his years. In a gut-wrenching
scene that you hope only
happens in the fantasy of novels
or the silver screen, Simon is responsible
for the bizarre accidental death
of his best friends mother.
trauma is cruelly magnified by the
fact that the woman he "killed"
was his surrogate motherthe
only loving mother-figure Simon
had ever known. I am still haunted
by the gripping scene when Simon
straddles the lonely bridge and
breaks the silence with a cry meant
for heavens ears"Im
sorry! Im sorry!!"
have been a traveler on that bridge.
I, too, have "apologized"
to heavenand to all those
who are wounded because I am wounded.
Im sorry that Rexs
life has had to readjust to my illness.
Im sorry that many
of his dreams for our family have
been scrubbed. Im sorry
for ways MS has impacted my son...
my parents... my friends. If those
I love could only know how
sorry I am...
all the caregivers that spend themselvessome
willingly, others because they musthear
me on behalf of all those who suffer
with chronic illness or constant
pain. As you battle hopelessness,
helplessness, depression, anger,
frustration, know this: Our
suffering is intensified by the
losses that our diseases have inflicted
We did not choose the path we stumble
down. We still grapple to accept
our condition and struggle not to
blame ourselves for the debri that
it has dumped on you. But
in our weakness, we offer each of
you this giftour "catharsis",
if you will We are sorry.
WE ARE SORRY! Thank you, Simon Birch,
for the moving scene of a broken
person on a bridge we all
must cross. And in the crossing,
find ourselves more whole.
Kennemer is a woman who lives with
multiple sclerosis. Connie
is one of the founding members of
in Touch International and she
recently released her third praise
Journeys. Vist her website at
He Will Give You Rest
monthly support newsletter, Volume
ii1, Issue 8. © 1999