Well, Reader-land, after consultation with a professional hostage negotiator, aka someone who knows things, we finally told three of our kids the news about what the outcome of ALS is for me.
But first, play this video, and put it on repeat.
We had held off saying that I am going to die because we didn’t know how to say it. But with help from our friend, we figured out a gently blunt strategy. The fourth child helped, there.
Reactions were mixed, because some, like Jack, had kind of guessed. Grace had actually logically deduced it, but Kate wasn’t expecting it and I think hit the hardest. She admitted afterward that she hadn’t made that connection. We all cried a little bit, but we wanted to be blunt so they would know we are here for them and ask any questions. Which they did.
This is roughly what I said.
Ok, I have something very serious to tell you, and I need to tell you now so you have time to ask questions. You know I have this disease called ALS, right? And we have been trying medicine and treatment to help me get better? Well, I am not going to get better. ALS will keep making me weaker and weaker until I die. Unfortunately, even with all the medical stuff, there is no cure for ALS. We needed to tell you now so that you can ask questions, and so that we can spend as much time together as possible, and have a good time! Are you ok, do you have any questions?
We spent about an hour, I’d guess, answering questions and giving hugs, and talking about heaven, and how we are with those who have died every time we are in the presence of the Eucharist, and especially at mass, and that opened the floodgates of questions about heaven. This morning, that is, and I didn’t get any because they know I go on and on. And on. They are smart kids.
What about Luke, you ask? Well, Luke found out that the Star Wars movie he’s allowed to watch (A New Hope), was out of time out. This made him extremely excited and he ran to put it in, all the while singing at the very top of his lungs the Imperial March, embedded above.
So the very serious conversation became laughter-filled as from the other room we kept hearing, “Dun dun dun, durn dee durn, durn dee durn!”
Which, when talking about death, is there a greater villain theme song?