As My ALS Journey and Family Expands!
ALS entered my life in 1995 when my young husband, Kevin O’Donnell, received his diagnosis. He was only 30 years old and it would be difficult to put into words how that day and diagnosis impacted us for six years, and me for nearly two decades now. I have written extensively about my years with Kevin, as they have shaped my entire life. For his love and companionship, I am truly inspired and grateful.
Since that day of Kevin’s diagnosis in May of 1995, I have been on an ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) journey.
My journey started as I embraced Kevin while we received the devastating news which was incompressible; I heard every other word. Neurological. Terminal. Live. Percentage. Hope.
When Kevin lost his battle with ALS in 2001, I lost a huge part of me. It took me YEARS to accept that he was gone and to understand that having him as my husband for only nine years was better than NEVER having him at all. He was brave, funny, loving and kind. I find myself now, after some of that pain has subsided, understanding that I would not have changed my role as wife, caregiver and advocate, even had I known what would ensue, for anything. It was the greatest role of my life and one for which I am proud.
Today, I live each day in Kevin’s memory – charged with continuing his battle in the fight against ALS and in the hopes of helping new families currently faced with this horrific disease and the enormity of that challenge.
In October 2011, my daughter Alina and I met with the ALS Hope Foundation in Philadelphia to share my non-profit, Hope Loves Company, with them. HLC was formed to provide emotional and educational support to children of ALS patients. We had a great meeting which ended in this suggestion: “You should go to the International MND/ALS meeting in Chicago in December, 2012. Share HLC with others.”
Food for thought. I filed that information mentally.
Since then, with the help of my HLC Board, we have reached out to ALS families all over the United States- offering them our love and support. We have sent free copies of the children’s book, What Did You Learn Today? to families in Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Texas, Washington, Alabama, Tennessee and more.
To read about how the children’s book WDYLT? as well as Nora, Adam and Warren Ames came to bless my life, go to the HLC website and read about yet another incredible journey.
HLC had its first Kid’s Day in June 2012 for ALS children and their families. I was overjoyed to see the positive response from families, volunteers and Waterloo Gardens, all of whom generously embraced the day and HLC. Waterloo Gardens in Exton, PA even donated their grounds for Kid’s Day!
Over the summer, HLC received its first large donation from Steve and Michel Gleason, of Team Gleason — a generous welcome and congrats that officially tagged us as a non-profit organization with big shoes to fill. Steve reminds me of Kevin, living bravely with ALS and making an impact every day from his wheelchair; accomplishing much more than most of us who are not challenged by a neurological disease.
In October, I was reminded that the National Alliance meeting in Chicago was just around the corner. I called in my troops. My dedicated sister-in-law Keiren updated the website and brochure. My dear friend Linda helped with contacts and preparations.
My friend Margaret picked out just the right clothes from my wardrobe.
Riverton Health and Fitness Center and their monthly donations to HLC gave me hope for the camp that I was about to reveal to a very large audience.
My incredible intern Emily created my presentation, one that took us a few visits to perfect.
I lived for weeks, at my computer, in my pajamas, with one goal: share HLC with the ALS community and share it well! There were days when I began my work at 6 am and realized by 3 pm, that I had not had breakfast!
On December 1st, in the midst of Christmas gifts and decoration, I parked my suitcase. My husband Warren loaded our car and drove me to the airport. Best of all, our three amazing children wished me luck and said I would do great. Wow.
The ALS Hope Foundation generously sponsored my trip to the conference and gave me the opportunity to present HLC.
Without my generous team, I would have been back in New Jersey still working, when my plane left for Chicago.
Alone, with the spirit of my team in my heart, I headed to Chicago, slightly apprehensive yet passionate about sharing HLC with the world.
Day 1- I sat in a room of 80 attendees- a menagerie of patients, caregivers, advocates, scientists, doctors, etc… and felt smaller than my already small stature.
My mind wandered.
Will HLC be embraced?
Will others rally behind my cause?
Will my presentation go smoothly?
Will this experience move me forward in my work as an ALS advocate, for ALS families in any way or in many ways? I had no sleep the night before, due to these concerns.
As I looked around the conference room, I sat in awe. Diverse cultures. Diverse appearances. Diverse languages. Conversations were taking place in many languages foreign to me.
How can we unite our efforts when we don’t share a common language?
The first few speakers presented. Ten powerful minutes each. Stem cell hope from Israel. Raising funds suggestions from Australia. ALS forums and their place in the U.S.
I sat stunned. Quiet. Attentive. I nodded in agreement with everything that was being said. Wanted to shout a huge, “Amen!” but avoided the temptation and the opportunity to embarrass myself.
It quickly became clear to me that we did all share a common language at the International MND/ALS Alliance- ALS. We united in the face of ALS and our determination to help make a difference to patients and their families.
Day 2 – It was my chance to present Hope Loves Company. My leg was wiggling back and forth. I began to shiver, yet, I stood and presented HLC and my journey to a room full of reflective strangers. When the HLC video ended , I could hear the shuffling of purses, in search of tissues. As I left the stage, I was greeted by smiles of approval.
For most of my life as an ALS advocate, I have been alone. Kevin’s picture was the impetus for motivating my work. Then I met my husband Warren, his children Nora and Adam and placed a picture of their mother, Tina, next to Kevin’s. Over the last eleven years, I have added hundreds of pictures (in my heart) to that line of heroes gone too soon. But most of my work is done in isolation, just me and the computer and an email address of someone who needs more information, a place to vent, a reason for hope.
Following my presentation, several people came up to me for bear hugs. One man who spoke no English kissed my hand again and again. I have never felt less alone in my ALS journey.
The culmination of Day 2 of the conference ended with a Warm and Fuzzy dinner, as it was aptly named ten years ago.
After a chocolate themed dessert, each of us had the chance to stand and say something. I couldn’t resist.
“This day reminds me of John Heywood’s quote, ‘Nothing is impossible to a willing heart’.”
There, I had learned that in Latvia, Russia people wait six years for wheelchairs.
I had cried with a woman from Taiwan whose young husband lives with ALS.
I had exchanged ideas with a woman from France who helps ALS families.
My willing heart will bring me back to the National MND/ALS Alliance conference next year and I will feel right at home as my ALS journey and family expands.
The Philanthropist's Art
"Dhruvi is a quirky teenager with a knack for philanthropy and philosophy. In her free time, she can be found curled up with hot cocoa and a good book or chasing inspiration with pen and paper in hand. She aspires to be able to change the world someday... No big deal."
Volunteering is an art. It requires absolutely perfect levels of passion, drive, and a bit of insanity to commit one's time and effort to a cause that doesn't "pay" with tangible, papery rubbish. It is a relatively new art, too, as humans are starting to learn to be more humane and have begun to possess the resources to do so. Volunteering is the willingness to give your labor, skill, and brainpower for a greater good. Now, you may be wondering, "Why do people practice this art? What do they gain from it? How can I get in on this fancy shmancy secret society that has been kept hidden from me until today?" Luckily for you, the answers to your well-asked questions are nicely fitted into the 500-something words below.
Volunteering has tons of benefits, and these are the reasons people choose to do it. These intentions can range from completely selfless to very much for personal advantage, but in the world of volunteering there is one quote people always follow: "The more the merrier!" There are people who volunteer to be volunteers, you know, the whole "make the world a better place", "help people", philanthropy type of thing. This is the basic quintessence of volunteer work, and the benefits of it are simply feeling that you are a righteous person and you have made a change in the world. Other people volunteer to be able to show off about it later, either on a college/job application or to surrounding people in general. The benefits of this is being accepted into a nicer college or workplace, or just being accepted by your peers. While some may think that it is selfish and inappropriate to have an incentive to volunteer, it really just depends on why you're doing it in the first place. If you want to volunteer as a self check of your own morals and ethics, then yes, maybe you need to be volunteering with no need of personal gain behind it. Nonetheless, if you can give to others while also receiving back some sort of compensation for your time and energy, that's great too! Nothing to feel guilty about. Some other personal motives for volunteering could be to meet new people or learn new skills. We are all very real people living in a very real world, and that means socializing with other humans and learning life lessons and crafts that can be used later on in your existence. All this along with epic humanitarianism? Yes please!
So... how does one volunteer? The motivation was the difficult part; comparatively, finding volunteer opportunities is very easy. In fact, with the numerous technological advancements humanity has gone through in the past half-century, finding volunteer jobs can be as easy as plopping down on the couch with some delicious pie and an electronic device that supports the Internet. (Of course, you can go the old fashioned way and call your local libraries and animal shelters to ask for work. Or pull up your favorite search engine, be it the infamous Google or something like Goodsearch.com (a charitable act in its own right) to look for opportunities in your area. Perhaps you're not much of a physical "doer" type of person? That's okay, the modern volunteer era has countless virtual opportunities also, such as writing for blogs or web designing. You can also make an account on a catch-all website like Volunteermatch.com, which has tons of ways you can alter your search results to completely mold to your needs and qualifications. (Keep in mind that, while some nonprofit organizations ask for certain skills you should possess, there is a multitude of nonprofits who accept beginners and require not much more than a living body to help them with their cause.)
Alright... What are you waiting for?! Come on, shoo, get out there and volunteer! Volunteers come in all different shapes, sizes, skills, ages, ethnicities, anything. The types of volunteers in the world might very possibly be as diverse as the human gene pool. How inspired and excited are you to be part of it?
How to use the book, What Did You Learn Today?
The children's book, What Did You Learn Today? by Tina Singer Ames, follows one teacher, Mrs. Mayer, after she learns that she has ALS. At the end of class each day, Mrs. Mayer asks her students, "What did you learn today?" Her students share their answers and make Mrs. Mayer smile.
While Mrs. Mayers lives with ALS, she continues to ask her students daily, "What did you learn today?" She is always happy to hear their responses.
"We learned that you can have fun even when bad things happen."
WDYLT is a great resource for gently introducing ALS to a young child.
Pick a cozy and quiet place to read the book as a family.
Allow your child to read out loud too if he or she can or cares to.
Allow time for questions from your child. If you don't know the answer to a question, it's ok to say that you don't know the answer.
Follow your child's lead, if he or she enjoys the experience, read WDYLT again and again.
If he or she seems disinterested, then understand that now may not be the right time to share.
Follow up with an activity. Make paper sunflowers and hang them around your home. Finger painting sunflowers is fun too. Share the book with friends and family. You can also be a guest reader at school and share the book with classmates. It may be fun to hang the question on your refrigerator: What Did You Learn Today? and refer to it weekly to encourage discussion.
Never underestimate the power of words. This is the speech that I gave with my late husband Kevin and our daughter Alina (both by my side) in 1995 at the Rilutek hearing in Washington, D.C. At the time, there were no drugs approved specifically for ALS. Rilutek proves to extend life expectancy in patients for three months, but those three months might mean the world to a patient. Perhaps they allow the attendance of a special wedding, the witness of a new birth, or the celebration of a silver anniversary. Whatever they grant, they were well earned and needed.
The use of Riluzole for ALS patients passed that day, 4 to 3 at the FDA hearing. It just passed, but it PASSED. Today it is still the only FDA approved drug specifically for ALS. Never underestimate your power to create change.You are your best advocate so be loud and be heard.
And my speech:
There is nothing like the warmth of the morning sun and the sound of my three year old daughter Alina whispering in my ear, “Mommy, I awake!” When she awakes, she is excited about beginning the day. My husband Kevin and I are excited and grateful for each day that we are granted as well. We relish the simple pleasures of life, such as the joyous laughter of Alina when we hug and play as a family. Our world would be just perfect if Kevin wasn’t terminally ill. As a young family, we are just beginning to grow.
I, Jodi O’Donnell, am twenty-nine years old and my husband Kevin, thirty years old, lives with ALS. Unfortunately, the wrath of this ruthless disease may rob him of his most precious years, my daughter of her loving father, and I of my partner and best friend in life.
It has been our goal to remain hopeful and optimistic about our situation; only four months have passed since Kevin’s diagnosis and our lives have already been greatly affected. Kevin how has minor symptoms that cause discomfort: cramping, fasciculations, shortness of breath, fatigue, falling and muscular weakness. Still, we manage to wake up smiling and appreciative for each moment and have even accept the challenges that confront us. Regardless, of our positive outlook, rethought, the presence of ALS is constantly in the back of our minds; keeping us captive of what is to become of us if nothing is done. I cannot fathom what life was like for ALS patients ten, five, even three years ago- without even one approved drug in their corner.
Kevin was diagnosed with ALS on Memorial Day Weekend, 1995 after eight months of doctors and tests. Soon after, the wonderful news of Riluzole and its efficacy was released. This news has remained the thread that has woven our hope and dreams. We realize that research takes time, but that time is so precious to my husband and thousands of others with ALS. Each day that we fail to have access to the proper prescriptions, leaves us one day further along defeated.
Some of you may be familiar with the statistics and facts associated with ALS, but please allow me to remind you- approximately 30,000 people in the U.S. currently live with ALS. The average life expectancy of an ALS patient is 3-5 years. As many as 80% of those 30,000 victims will die of ALS within five years. Mathematically, that means that 24,000 people have very little time to waste; to those of us with ALS, life is far too precious for precision.
Time is of essence here; the accessibility of Riluzole is currently the only answer for many people who are trying desperately to be patient. As patient as we may be, ALS waits for nothing. It is relentless; it rapes its victims of their physical capabilities yet leaves the intellect fully conscious to observe the body’s decline. And sometimes, it does that as rapidly as one year. I understand it is the FDA’s responsibility to fully test experimental drugs, however, the present system is not working quickly enough. The clinical drug trials available are wonderful, but leave those who do not quality despondent and without hope. And who has time for placebos? We are fragile human beings in need of help. If a drug for cancer can be approved in six months, then Riluzole should be approved just as quickly. ALS patients matter equally! Given the alternatives that we have, we’ll accept the risks of experimental drugs, because the benefits outweigh the risks and our bodies are already failing us. Considering the fact that we are already terminal, what do we have to lose? I implore you, for the benefit of so many genuine people who depend on your compassionate decision making, proceed quickly with the approval and availability of Riluzole. As it stands now, our lives depend on you and we trust that you will do the right thing.
Sharing the Care of Your Loved One
If you have ALS, so does your family. That is to say, ALS is a devastating disease which affects everyone involved. While living with ALS is difficult, living with ALS without the support of family and friends would be even more challenging.
When my late husband Kevin started needing more assistance, my sister-in-law Keiren stepped in to help us with an amazing book she found called, Share the Care (How to Organize a Group to Care for Someone who is Seriously Ill ) by Cappy Capossela and Sheila Warnock http://www.sharethecare.org/
Keiren read the book and then invited interested family and friends to attend a Share the Care meeting in our home.
The book has everything caregivers need. It includes the steps involved in setting up a meeting, ways to get and stay organized, suggestions for jobs and all the forms that are needed to run a Share the Care group.
The following HOW TO is from the Share the Care website:
Share The Care™ is a detailed step-by-step model that shows you HOW TO:
• Create a unique caregiver "family" from friends, relatives, neighbors, co-workers and acquaintances.
• Answer the question all your concerned neighbors and friends have asked. "How can I help?"
• Hold a meeting that will turn a group of ordinary people into a powerful caregiver team.
• Organize the team using a simple, easy-to-follow system and a workbook guide that guarantees every job will get done and no one person will have too much to do.
• Discover the hidden talents within the group, make the most of their resources, cope with group issues and stay together in the face of adversity.
• Navigate through the medical maze of doctors, hospitals, treatments, medications and much, much more.
• Deal with your own emotional issues and fears while helping someone who is facing their own mortality.
• Make caregiving a meaningful, loving experience and replace stress, fear and loneliness with teamwork, courage and friendship.
Whether you're a burned out caregiver or a first time caregiver, you can benefit from a system that lets you share responsibilities, have a support network among the caregivers and make a real difference in someone's life.
Establishing the Share the Care program in my home was such a blessing. Our group consisted of more than 30 volunteers and they did everything from building ramps to picking up prescriptions. One of the best parts about the program is that there is a questionnaire for volunteers. The questionnaire helps to find the right job for each volunteer by assigning a job which is comfortable and convenient to him or her. Some volunteers like to provide hands-on care while others rather make phone calls or run errands. This system allows volunteers to be committed for longer periods of time because their roles are created based on their interests and needs.
Kevin was much taller and bigger than I am so there was a need for physical help. We had volunteers on a daily basis that specifically helped with transferring Kevin from his wheelchair to his hospital bed. We had a nurse help with physical therapy once our insurance covered program ran out. These tasks were an enormous help to both Kevin and me.
Some of the volunteers were family members. Some were friends and others were friends of friends! We also had volunteers who worked from the peripheral and helped with errands. Members did yard work, provided meals and even helped with paper work!
But the best gift Share the Care gave to me personally was the gift of time. The program allowed me to spend more quality time with Kevin. I knew my time with him was limited and I didn’t want to waste it going grocery shopping or running to the cleaners. I wanted to be with him as much as possible.
While a caregiver to Kevin, I was also the mother of a young child. I often felt torn between caring for Kevin and our daughter Alina. I made the decision to ask our Share the Care group to help with Alina’s extracurricular activities. Volunteers came through and their help brought me great joy. As Kevin’s disease progressed and he needed a feeding tube and ventilator, his social life diminished. He was less interested in leaving the comforts of our home to tackle the poorly handicapped-accessible world. But Alina did not miss a trip to Great Adventure because her cousins invited her. Alina did not miss her school play because her grandmother took her. While it was difficult for me to miss some of Alina’s events, Kevin’s illness was my priority at the time and she had so much fun with her family and friends that she rarely missed us.
If you or your family has not yet implemented the Share the Care program into your journey with ALS, please consider doing so. If you do not have a large group of family or friends, reach out further to those in your community who can help. Know that you will not only be receiving care, you will be changing lives! People who enter your home to help will leave feeling inspired.
“It is one of the most beautiful compensations of this life that you cannot sincerely try to help another without helping yourself.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
The Gift of Motherhood
Motherhood is a gift that I always wanted to open. As a little girl, I rocked dolls to sleep and hugged any baby, plastic or real, within my reach. My sister Kate, thirteen years older, had her first child when I was seven years old. I remember the night she and my first niece came to visit. It was two am and I was sound asleep. They had flown in from Florida on the red eye. I had twin beds in my room- which I shared with another sister Kim. Kim had a sleepover with her friend so I welcomed the chance to have baby (and mommy), all to myself. Kate sat on the bed, turned and propped up her feet. Her baby was a bundle of pink. I wanted to jump up, to see my sister and her marvel but knew that if I made a peep, I would get in trouble for being awake.
A shawl graced my sister’s shoulder and enveloped her baby closer; they were one body still, a circle of love, nearly one month after delivery. I did not say a word. Kate gingerly touched her baby’s face and hands. She smoothed the bundling and closed her eyes too. The baby was suckling and content. I drifted back to sleep knowing within hours, I would be a part of that love.
From then on, I wanted three children. By age ten, I would tell my mother the possible names for my children. Madison, Taylor, Justin, Alexander? Being too young to be a mother, I did the next best thing- babysat. By the time I was in high school, I spent more time with children than peers. At college in the 80s, I was a nanny for hire. Nannies were the newest additions to families in need of helping hands. The job was perfect while I was training to be a teacher. Read great books. Hold little hands. Feed curious minds. It confirmed my desire to have my own children and gave me the chance to apply my skills. Little did I know then that I would have three children one day, but the births of two of those children wouldn’t involve any labor pains for me. There would be much greater pains at stake.
By the time my husband Kevin and I were expecting our first child, I was 26, and had the rhythm of motherhood down. I would lie in the tub, belly afloat, book prompted open to the warn pages of Eric Carle or Maurice Sendak. My novice husband found this early literary intervention, humorous. I enjoyed making my baths a daily ritual, loud and encompassing in our small home- giving him little escape and reason to tease. “She’s gonna say book before mom and dad,” he’d joke. But the books bounced with affirmative kicks-she liked her mommy’s animation.
When Alina was born, we were elated. I held all 8 pounds and three ounces of her on my belly and took a good look. She was absolutely perfect. Since she rarely slept, we had quality play time. She was cute, curious and clever. We were blessed with a miracle and found her ability to dominate any activity and every part of our home, funny. How could something so small take up so much time and space?
The summer that Alina turned one, something strange happened. Our family took a bike ride on a warm June day. Alina was happy in her baby seat, on the back of Kevin’s bike. We were turning a corner and suddenly, there was crying. Kevin, then thirty years old, had lost control of the bike and he and Alina went crashing to the ground.
Later, when we were home, I nursed Alina to sleep. She was calm and peaceful : I was a wreck. It was then that I knew that I would never nurse another child. She was going to be an only child. It was a mother’s intuition. Kevin was sore, but more than his injured elbow and knee, was his dignity, “What happened? Why did I fall? It was impossible for me to keep the bike up. Something is seriously wrong. I hurt our baby and I feel awful.”
We made a doctor’s appointment right away. Our family doctor then sent us to a sports medicine doctor. The look on his face was disconcerting. “I’m not sure, said the doctor after several tests, “but you might want to see a neurologist.”
Eight exhausting months later, Kevin received a diagnosis: Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis- better known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. ALS is a neuromuscular disease – which means, it damages the cells that control muscle movement. Muscles are needed in every human function. Walking, talking, digesting, breathing. ALS causes these muscles to weaken, making simple tasks, impossible. And it’s terminal.
Sniffles and silence accompanied us home. I held on to the words of one of the nurses. “You are your own percentage,” she had said to Kevin, with a hug. “You can beat the odds.” These few simple words became our mantra for six years before Kevin lost his battle with ALS.
I lost my composure that evening when I held Alina. She would be progressing, learning to talk, run and potty, Kevin would be regressing into total dependence- unable to do the simple tasks she was mastering.
Kevin’s battle with ALS ended in 2001. Alina was eight years old. I was 35. My hopes and dreams were placed with my husband in his coffin.
In 2002, my mother sent an article from the Pocono Record. It described how Tina Singer Ames wrote a book, What Did You Learn Today? for her children Nora and Adam, and her husband, Warren. It was beautifully crafted in hopes of helping her children, as well as other children, understand ALS. It was also a gift from Tina to her family to cherish for the rest of their lives. Tina was diagnosed with ALS in July of 2000 and died in December six months later.
People talk about falling in love, a lot. Usually stories focus around couples and how they meet. Falling in love can happen with children too and it did when I met Nora and Adam. I was working as Director of Communications for the ALS Hope Foundation in Philadelphia. I had arranged a children’s day- a day for children of ALS patients and grandparents to have fun and forget. I ordered fifty copies of What Did You Learn Today? Warren, Nora and Adam Ames arrived with the books.
Warren was friendly and respectful. He and I had a lot in common and talked freely about our losses. We missed our soul mates. We cried a lot. We felt empty. But it was his children- Nora and Adam initially, who I couldn’t seem to forget.
Adam was seven years old. His hair was disheveled and his laces untied. His face was that of an older child, concerned. Nora was 11, tall and svelte- nearly my equal in size. Sweet and endearing. I immediately felt their loss like a pull in my stomach. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to vomit or run. Instead, I pulled them both close to me, into my arms. Sat them on my lap and tried to give them, briefly, a mother’s love, my love. I wanted to let them know that they would be ok. Their eyes, though, said differently, we need our mommy.
That afternoon, I fell head over heels in love with Nora and Adam. Warren was dating someone so I invited all of them to my home for dinner. Dinner was nice. Warren “forgot” to invite his girlfriend.
Then he ended his relationship.
We met at the park. We met at the zoo. Whenever we were together, we were whole. A man, a women and three kids who enjoyed being together and having fun. We were all sad independently, but when together, we managed smiles and laugher. Surprisingly, Warren and I had very similar parenting styles. Tina and I had similarities too. She was a teacher, so was I. She was a child’s advocate, so was I. She wanted the best for her children, so did I.
One day, after a dinner at Friendly’s, I asked Warren about Tina’s last words. He looked at me, tears running down his face. “She,” he paused, gained his composure and whispered, “she said, before she collapsed to the floor,” but who will raise my children?
It was then and there, in the parking lot of Friendly’s, that I knew I was chosen to raise Nora and Adam.
People ask me frequently about my relationship with my step-children and how we’re so close. It is very simple really, so simple that I have no elaborate answer. I have never viewed Nora and Adam as step-children, but as my children. My maternal instincts, the ones that were sacred to raising Alina, were sacred to raising Nora and Adam also. I have loved them equally and unconditionally.
Love and faith are the two main ingredients needed to raise children in a blended family and in any family. Let love guide you in your parenting and never differentiate your children negatively. Always celebrate the wonderful qualities each child brings to the group. Have faith in your maternal instincts and their strengths.
This best Mother’s day, Adam, now seventeen, gave me a handmade card. It read, “God could not be everywhere, so he invented mothers.”
Then he added, “Thanks for being everything to me.”
I did not give birth to Adam or Nora, but every part of my soul thinks I did. And no one can tell the difference.