Debbie Petrovsky, a woman with ALS residing in Massachusetts, pens poetry to articulate her experience living with the disease. Her unique expression is unique to her experience yet offers insight for those looking to learn more about the challenges of ALS.
"During my February stay in Massachusetts, I met up with a longtime friend. Before parting, I reassured both of us that, 'I can still walk, about Two Blocks.' "
Two Block Walk
The train chimes, the church steeple soars as the warm sun rests upon my shoulders. The sky is a brilliant blue without one streak of a cloud's wisp. White is on the ground; two feet of freshly fallen snow. I know this scene. For 30 years I've experienced the change of seasons here on Walnut St.
I stand beneath the Magnolia Tree. Its buds furry and plump. There's a similar tree in my new neighborhood, but it's foreign to me. I know not its flowers, their color, or what to expect when spring comes around. Will I embrace that Magnolia Tree in my new neighborhood or yearn to stand beside this familiar one?
I have no roots in Maine. No footing. I could fall and tumble and no one would know it's me, except me.
Time to return home. I've gazed long enough and felt the consoling sun. Which home? Today it's Walnut Street where love, memories, and shared experiences surround and support me. Tomorrow I'll return to my new home; memories have yet to be made.
It's tough to start anew, I have no roots. I’m a tiny seed planted in fresh new soil, dormant, waiting to sprout.
- Debbie Petrovsky
Debbie Petrovsky is a resident of both Massachusetts and Maine where she is a wife, mother, daughter, sister, avid gardener, and dietitian. She received her diagnosis of ALS in August 2019.
Before her disease struck, Debbie led a busy, productive life; cooking healthful family meals, exercising, exploring nature, or instructing patients about healthful diets. She has to give up many of these former activities or adapt them. Writing has become a new source of pleasure.
Debbie you are such a great positive power of example to all who know your story and experience with ALS. This poetry is a magnificent self expression, it’s so heartfelt and inspiring. The light inside you always shines so bright even with ALS and the many changes that come with it and the move to Maine.
Love the metaphor of the seed in new soil waiting to sprout --- I actually think with your writing, Deb, you are beginning to sprout!
Debbie, what beautiful writing! I love that you are connected through the trees, flowers and sky around you. Those will never leave and can always lead you home.
To write, to be inspired to write, is to be fully alive.
Best wishes to you, my friend, Lynn
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