What do you do when your inspiration dies? Stephen Hawking died. He was an inspiration to everyone living with ALS /MND. Diagnosed in 1963, I believe he was known to have lived the longest with the disease. When diagnosed, he was given just three years to live. He surpassed that, and just kept going. When you are given news that your life is about to end, someone who defies the odds becomes your inspiration to keep going, just like they did. If he can survive, then so can I, I always thought. And really, I guess that hasn’t changed. He did live with ALS for 55 years, and I am only up to 20 years, so far.
I suppose you just have to trust that the Universe /God has your back. Just last night, I remember waking up in the middle of the night, having heard an odd noise. I don’t remember exactly what it was, but I remember thinking it almost sounded like a person saying something. My husband was still asleep, and no one else was there. I definitely didn’t dream it, and it was loud enough to wake me up. Then, this morning after I had gotten up, and was in the bathroom washing my face (well, having my face washed), I was thinking about what the noise could have been. I wondered if somehow it was a noise from the face mask I wear for my bi-pap machine? It has air constantly being pushed through it for me to breathe, and can sometimes make noises when air breaks through the seal on the nasal mask. But, not sounds like a person making a noise. Then, I wondered if it was just someone watching out for me, I don’t know, God, a Spirit guide, guardian angel, etc… I wondered if I had quit breathing and someone thought they would wake me up so that I would take a breath. That happens every night, I mean, me not breathing, which is why I use the bi-pap machine. It forces air into my lungs to keep me breathing while I am sleeping. Since I was washing my face, I had my eyes closed as I thought about this, and just as I had that thought about someone waking me up, I heard a noise that sounded like something fell from the ceiling in the corner of my bathroom. I looked and didn’t see anything. Coincidence? Or was someone saying, yea, that’s what happened!
Over the years, people have commented and wondered why Stephen Hawking never used his status as a well-known scientist living with Motor Neuron Disease (ALS) to help raise awareness of the disease, and perhaps help to find a cure. Call me crazy, but I truly believe that at least part of the reason Stephen Hawking lived for so long, was because he chose not to focus on his MND. He was in college and just beginning to make some wonderful discoveries about science and the way the world works, when he was diagnosed. He ignored his disease as much as possible, and went on to live his life to the fullest. If he had focused all his attention on his disease, he may not have had the focus necessary to make the scientific discoveries that he made. I think a disease, any disease, can quite easily become the focus of your life, and take over your life. He certainly is proof that nothing, not even ALS /MND can stop you from living a wonderful life. Even from the great beyond, he will always remain an inspiration to many.