ALS Association

 

A Husband and Caregiver’s ‘ALS Experience’

Ronnie selflessly cared for Linda, his wife of 20 years, throughout her fight with ALS.

“The hardest thing anyone can experience is watching a loved one slowly die [when you] can’t do anything about it,” he said. “It doesn’t matter what disease they have.”

He added, “ALS is [an] ugly disease. It slowly takes away the person we saw being able to take care of themselves and enjoy life. The sad thing is…there is no cure. The person who has ALS just slowly wastes away.”

Linda was diagnosed with ALS on April 16, 2012. She passed away less than 14 months later on June 8, 2013.

“If it wasn’t for God, I couldn’t have made it through,” Ronnie said. “I pray every day for all the caregivers and have the utmost respect for them.”

He wrote “ALS Experience” after Linda’s death.

ALS Experience
By Ronnie Edwards

I reach for her and she’s not there.
Missing her is almost too much to bear.
For 20 years, she was a big part of my life,
My best friend, confidante, and loving wife.

It tore me apart as I watched her die.
All the time asking, ‘God, Why?’
She went from being vibrant and active,
To needing help with everything just to live.

She still put others before herself,
Praying for them in spite of her ill health.
Even while in great pain, she would still smile.
It made taking care of her really worthwhile.

She was the strongest woman I’ve ever known.
Not once did I ever hear her whine or moan.
As painful as all this had to be,
She was more worried about what it was doing to me.

After I would put her to bed at night,
I’d go to another room, so I could cry out of her sight.
I’ll always remember her last day.
She fell asleep holding my hand, and quietly passed away.

I’ll never forget her till the day I die.
The strength she displayed, I’ll share with pride.
All the lives she touched, I am amazed.
For her to go quietly, I’ll give God the praise.