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A side profile of a woman reflecting on the past as a younger version of herself is dancing and twirling happily to music on an old record.

My Mind Serenades Me with Memories of Life Before MS

“…Memories light the corners of my mind

Misty water, colored memories

For the way we were…”

Memories of a time before MS

I hear the melody in my head and then the lyrics follow, the lyrics my mind sings to me of yesteryear, of what ‘we’ – as in my body and I – used to be before multiple sclerosis began its melee in “our” life. Memories which light the corner of my mind of the time prior to living with a chronic, debilitating disease. Memories of living without fatigue, sensory issues, temperature sensitivity, extremely impacted fine and gross motor skills, a lack of independence, etc. My mind’s antics reel me into a reflective mode as it melodiously reminds me of the drastic change from my past to my present.

“…Scattered pictures

Of the smiles we left behind

Smiles we gave to one another

For the way we were …”

My daily routine 12 years ago

Reflecting on memories of 12+ years ago, my mind goes back to waking up to my daily alarm, prompting me to get up to prepare for work and get the children ready for school. Walking into my closet, stepping in and out of the shower, getting dressed, walking into the kitchen to grab breakfast and lunches and then walking to the bus stop to see the children off. Getting into the car – minus hand controls and folding assistive mobility devices to secure in the trunk or backseat – driving to work and trotting to my office to perform a job that I loved so much.

A household running like clockwork

With the workday complete, I’d leave to drive home, get the children and head to the kitchen to begin preparing dinner- always a meat, starch, and vegetable. I’d help with homework, listen to school shenanigans from the day, watch a little television, get the children off to bed, and have some me-time before turning in myself. And I was happy to complete my routine the next day and the next.

Fond weekend memories

Then there was Saturday morning before the days planned activity when I completed a ‘good’ household cleaning – vacuuming, mopping, dusting, etc. – to the chosen music genre to sing along with to keep my momentum going. Once the household was spic and span and smelling lemon fresh, it was time to select outfits for the day, get the children ready and head out to my car – minus hand controls and folding assistive mobility devices to secure in the trunk or backseat – and head to the fun spot for the day such as the mall, park, carnival that may be visiting, family’s home, etc. Ahhh and Sundays! Donned in our Sunday best, we’d go to church and Sunday dinners at my parents oftentimes and effortlessly get inside.

“…Could it be that it was all so simple then

Or has time rewritten every line?

If we had the chance to do it all again

Tell me, would we? Could we?…”

I took so much for granted

I subconsciously took so much for granted. Living didn’t seem easy or difficult – it just ‘was’. I definitely had no thought or care to things like an extreme loss of energy after the most minute activity like utilizing my digits to, for example, give a thumbs up or down, throw up a peace sign, or in annoyance, erect my middle finger (I’m just saying if I were so inclined… I stress if!). I had no concerns about my ability to write (literally), answer my own front door, run in the store, cook, or go to bed (literally). No worries about a building’s structure, accessibility, bathroom location..stuff like that. Should I venture into those years again and knowing what I know now? Ohhh, how I’d relish them!

“…Memories can be beautiful

Beautiful and yet, and yet, and yet

What is too painful to remember

Could be, we simply choose to forget

So it’s the laughter

We will remember. …”

Creating beautiful new memories

My mind serenades me of yesteryear and even if it may not sound like it, not totally melodramatically. No, fortunately, I also have harmonious recollections – pre and post-MS. For instance, my first child birthed prior to MS and our life without it and the memories of my second child birthed shortly prior to my diagnosis and our life – getting in what we can while we can – as we collectively learned to manage our new normal. With a chuckle, a smile, and sometimes a sigh, I choose to focus on moving forward creating beautiful new memories and grooving to the euphonious song of the fond remembrances that whichever region of my brain affords me.

(Quoted song: The Way We Were by Barbara Streisand)

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The MultipleSclerosis.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Comments

  • ladyjeff00
    3 days ago

    What a beautiful sentiment. Thank you for sharing your journey thus far. With all its challenges MS ha made me more appreciative of things most people deem mundane. I’m sending healing vibes your way.

  • Bkboo
    6 days ago

    Right!

  • Dianne Scott moderator author
    7 days ago

    Hello, @maxie, and thank you so much for your very kind words as well as sharing your thoughts and personal experience relative to the article’s subject – in which I thoroughly enjoyed reading. Thank you for being a part of the community and, please, feel free to submit your story here also.
    Best wishes,
    Dianne♡

  • Bkboo
    1 week ago

    I don’t know if any one can forget the good times of the past. Especially the good times before MS….Loved the article and I can relate. Even though I did not have children…I look at my past as a very ACTIVE woman with an abundant amount of energy. and I mean aabbuundant amount! I danced, received a 4th degree black belt, etc… ahhhhh the good ole days. I am trying to form new memories….still trying..trying trying…did I say trying!

  • Dianne Scott moderator author
    7 days ago

    @bkboo,

    I am pleased to hear that you enjoyed the article and that it resonated with you. I am happy to hear that you’re trying (trying, trying, …) to create new memories – because that means you’ve not given up. That means you have not SUCcumbed to MS, but instead have chosen to OVERcome. It cannot have EVERYthing, right?

    Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts..

    Warmly,
    Dianne ♡

  • Yoshitail9
    1 week ago

    It’s been 40 years now and I have trouble remembering life without MS. Your writing is Excellent !

  • Dianne Scott moderator author
    7 days ago

    Hi @yoshitail9,
    Oh, I can understand that.. I think, at least at this juncture for me, the memories surrounding my children – particularly my first – and so very many photographs from the past help me.
    Thanks so much for reading as well as complimenting my writing – I am immensely appreciative of both!
    Warmly,
    Dianne ♡

  • vvxjr9
    1 week ago

    LizD – I loved that song from the “Way We Were,” but Robert Redford looked very good

  • Dianne Scott moderator author
    7 days ago

    @vvxjr9
    I am certain that Mr. Redford would find your comment extremely complimentary! As for me, thanks for reading and liking the article’s choice of song theme! ☺ Take care –
    Dianne ♡

  • LizD
    1 week ago

    Wonderful , resonating article. Many congrats and warm wishes. Love that Barbara Streisand song too

  • Dianne Scott moderator author
    7 days ago

    @lizd
    I am so happy that you not only read, but enjoyed the article and I truly appreciate your kind feedback! Thanks so much.. Reciprocating your warm wishes –
    Dianne♡

  • vvxjr9
    1 week ago

    Thank you Dianne for your article. It really hit home with me. I, unfortunately, spend too much time thinking of life before my MS.

  • vvxjr9
    1 week ago

    Ah, the memories of before MS. I was so active, had so much hope, had plans, and also wanted to travel more. But, then MS happened. Why me? I resent it, it makes me mad, it just seems so unfair. I try to forge ahead, not able to do as much as I’d like, don’t like giving up my independence, and try to make new memories. But then, my mind wanders, not to the future, put to the past, and what could have been

  • Dianne Scott moderator author
    1 week ago

    Hi @vvxjr9,

    I understand.. You’re definitely not alone. Sending hugs and encouragement your way.

    Thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts. Hang in there, my friend.

    Warmly,
    Dianne ♡

  • maxie
    1 week ago

    I have often read articles on this wonderful website but yours has resonated with me more than most. A truly beautiful song of Barbara Streisand and oh, so true, to remember the way it was before we would ever think it would be any different.
    I also remember sending my (older than yours kids) off to school, getting ready for work, working all day and enjoying it, rushing home to make dinner, listening and commiserating with my teenage children about their friends, drama with boyfriends/girlfriends, school dances, rehearsals for plays, homework, then some TV, and blissful sleep.
    I am fortunate that I have a loving husband, 2 married children and 4 granddaughters and a great life considering the constrains of MS but I do often think about “the way it was”. Thanks for being so eloquent in describing it as well as you did. Best of luck to you.

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