Only 6 days remain until we walk to support Grandma Betty in the Walk to Defeat ALS. Today was filled with time to spend thinking about everything that has happened and is happening in my grandma's life since the first signs of ALS. This morning, my mom, Salem, and I took a trip to the Portland Farmer's Market at Pioneer Courthouse Square to stop by Lisa Clark's stand (Petunia's Pies & Pastries) to get something delicious and chat about the walk this Sunday. Lisa lost her mom to ALS when she was 12 years old. My family and I have joined her team this year, with thoughts of creating our own team next year. We shared stories and experiences of watching the struggle to endure the progression of this horrible disease. Lisa was very understanding of our feelings and heartache. She welcomed us into her circle of friends and family who has walked for 4 years now in memory of her mother. After leaving the market, we headed to my grandma's apartment to clean it while she and my uncle were out shopping and having lunch. It was a whole lot of work-- we were there for 5 hours and we didn't even get done everything we wanted to accomplish. We tried to be as considerate as we could be to helping reorganize things a bit better, hoping to make important items and areas more easily accessible to her, but it was difficult. It's hard to know whether you're really helping someone in such a situation, or just reminding them of how drastically their life has changed. When she returned, she was grateful, but quiet. I can't even imagine what she is going through right now. She can no longer deny what is happening to her and it's really hard to watch her coming to terms with it. At the end of the day (a long, draining day), all I can think to reflect upon is how important I feel it is for us to join together and "carry one another's burdens" Galations 6:2. For all of us who love Betty Culp, I think the best way we can do that right now is coming together this Sunday at noon at the World Trade Center in Portland, Oregon and walking the 3 miles to defeat ALS. We walk to find a cure, to provide care for those who desperately need it, to cry together, to love each other, to remember those we have lost, and to honor those who are fighting for their lives.
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