My Major Life Struggle

My beautiful, strong mommy!
My beautiful, strong mommy!
My mom wins Top Individual Fundraiser with over $11,000!
My mom wins Top Individual Fundraiser with over $11,000!
My mom, myself and my roommate and friend Raven
My mom, myself and my roommate and friend Raven

Something I think everyone needs to know about me so they can better understand who I am and why I am, is my major life struggle. My mother, 50 years old, sweet as can be, loving as can be, and an angel sent from above, was diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gherigs Disease) in January this year. Her symptoms began in January 2014, when she began to realize weakness in her left leg. She now has no control over her left leg, and is beginning to lose control over her right leg.

Now why is this such a struggle for me? Since my mom has been diagnosed, I have been at Humboldt State, but I have also spent time at home, seeing her degrade, seeing her struggle, watching her fall helplessly, and unsatisfied with herself because she can’t do everything she used to be able to do. As a wife and a mother, she has always done the laundry, the dishes, the cooking and the cleaning with the help of everyone else. Now she watches us do those things, but she can’t always help back.

This past summer, I came home from college with my mom using a walker to help her move around since her left leg could only drag. She could not move it on her own. Coming home to that new lifestyle was tough, but it only made me push more to help around the house. I left college again in August with her just starting to use a temporary transport chair for long distance only; she still used her walker 95% of her time. I came home October 2, for the Greater Sacramento Walk to Defeat ALS, and my mom was now using a chair anywhere she went outside of the house. Three weeks later, I went home the weekend before leaving for Austin, because I was homesick and struggling on focusing in school. I went home to a whole new home. Over the past few months, my parents remodeled their bathroom, shower and bedroom. By the time I came home the end of October, my mom had grab bars for assistance, a new bed setup, a new handicap van to drive, and an automated wheelchair. I also noticed she was struggling to do more things like put socks and shoes on, get up off her bed or a chair or the couch, and more. I could see her weakness getting worse.

Being back at school has been tough this semester, and I have been diagnosed with mild depression and anxiety. However, the support I have received from all my friends and family has been huge, and there will never be enough for me to say thank you. The support coming from my own struggling family has never been bigger, and my family has never been closer.

The meaning to this blog is: Never judge a book by its cover, until you read and know the detail inside.

I love my family more than life itself and would do anything for them.

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9 thoughts on “My Major Life Struggle

  1. Hey sweetie. Awesome blog. Remember you are not alone. You can always call on us. We cannot change the situation but we can listen when want to scream, hold you when you need support, and wipe your tears if you want to cry. Not many know, or will experience this life strugle but some do know if you ever need anything! You are stong and amazing. A product of two awesome parents. Love you

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  2. Wonderfully written. It is so difficult to realize that your mom (my daughter) is struggling. She is such a positive person and so well liked by so many. I remember when we moved to Biggs and how well she was received at a new school. And then there is this friendship that she developed with Casey. Keep your chin up and your head held high, you will do great things in the world of journalism. I love you and your writing.

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  3. Annie Strella, you know me not…Cheryl your mom I have known since she was a little girl. Your Grandparents, where our neighbors in Concord, Margarita Farrari is my daughter. This by the way is just my introduction to you. I have read what you have written, she is all that you say, a strong women, a beautiful woman and she has a very loving and strong partner. Most of all she has a loving daughter to pay her this tribute.You brought tears to my eyes…with your loving words. I knew your Grand Parents, they were our friends, our neighbor.
    Cheryl, your mom introduced me to your Dad at Lou Farrai’s Wake…I had not seen your mom since they had moved away from Concord…It was like time never passed, she was bright eyed and happy, like the little girl I knew her to be. I think of her often, Debbie as well… your mom is in my thoughts and prayers…You do her proud. Time is ever so fleeting, the struggle ever so hard, but the love that is shown is ever lasting. God Bless your Mom and Dad…You give the meaning of daughter, a height to aspire too. Nice to see it has rubbed off!
    Marino Fernandez

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    1. Thank you Marino! This is so special to me, and Margarita is an incredible woman who I am blessed to have gotten to know in my life. Thank you for your kind words and wonderful memories, would love to meet you one day in the near future

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