Wednesday, July 27, 2011


Song of the Day: Monsters - Band of Horses

About two years ago Grace went through a phase where she believed that there were monsters in her room.

Not just under the bed, not just in the closet or behind her door.

No, she believed that they came in through the night, from where we don’t know, but she believed in them and we let her and we took the necessary precautions to make her feel confident that the monsters wouldn’t be welcome in her room.

We made a sign.

She couldn’t write or read at this point but she knew what it said:

No Monsters Allowed.

She decorated it and we hung it up on her door so that at night, when it was closed, the monsters knew to turn around and go back from where ever it was that they came.

And it stayed there.

It didn’t come down during showings on the house.

It didn’t come down until moving day morning and only then to be re-hung on the door to her new bedroom.

She still believes that monsters are a threat to her sound sleep. To her security. And although she’s never seen a monster, she knows that the risk is far too great to not hang a sign.

It’s astounding how much adults underestimate the intuition of a child.

It’s no secret that I do not have a spiritual, mystical or religious system of beliefs and that I am an agnostic.

But there is something, somewhere deep inside me, that believes that sometimes things are more than coincidence.

Not more than six months after hanging that sign, I, Gracie’s Mum, was diagnosed with MS.

And, it is in fact a monster.

It goes unseen, unheard, unfelt, for months. But you know it’s there.

And it was.

And it is.

And we live with this monster, the three of us, every day.

It lurks behind doors, at the top of stairs, at the bottom of hills.

It laughs as I get in and out of the tub, daring me to slip and fall.

It nags me and taunts me whenever I walk from a smooth surface to rough waiting for me to lose my footing.

It waits patiently in the dark for the last minute before spoiling a long planned family outing with unexplainable  fatigue or dizziness or lack of balance or all of the above mixed together in a toxic cocktail that can only be cured by a few days in bed.

And in spite of all the signs, or ropes of garlic, or crucifixes, séances or exorcisms, this monster, although not allowed, not invited, will still come through every and any open door in our lives.

It’s the in between times that matter.

The time between visits from this monster that matter the most.

Also, the comfort in knowing we are not the only family being plagued by such a terrifying monster sometimes does more than any sign could.

Knowing there are others out there, like us, going about their business, planting gardens, planning trips, getting ready to shop for back to school stuff, all the while looking over their shoulder, under beds, behind doors and in closets, is often enough to get though the paranoid induced moments in our lives.

MS is a monster in our lives, and in the lives of many others.

MS is a monster in Jeff and Sarah's life. And they have a team fighting this monster. And that team raised thousands and thousands of dollars to pay him to get the hell out of their lives.

And our life.

But, we are not hiding him under a bed.


We will continue to show him off and talk about him, and write about him and lure him out of his hiding and take him for a long walk raising thousands of dollars to show him how much we hate his guts.

And if that doesn’t work, then there is always Gracie’s sign.

Happy Hump Day and don’t forget to look under your bed tonight before turning off the light!

Last weekend was the Rona MS Bike Tour and Sarah gave an amazing speech to the riders. Please have a look here.


  1. We told our daughter that monsters slept at night.

  2. I saw this on the Carnival, and your writing grabbed me instantly! Such great storytelling, and you approach this disease in a way my wife, Jennifer, and I can totally relate to! Stay strong in your fight, and we look forward to adding your blog to our home page! Dan

  3. I Love the sign! We can really use it in our battle with MS too.

  4. Oh man, I need one of these signs. LOL. Nice post and yes, plenty of us out there going on about life. I catch myself saying "in case I get sick again". Not knowing what may be around the corner.
    Love and light ,