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Paula Kinsey.jpg

Paula and Drew

"I will live, and see, and do as much as I can as quickly as I can. Which in the end may be a blessing you’ve bestowed. I just may do more in my life because of you, MS... but I'll never thank you."

Paula gave off the “got it all” vibe at first- young, attractive suburban mother, activist and teacher, two polite and charming sons. But when I showed up in the deep green of Michigan at 1am, I met a woman whose orderly life is complicated by one of the most powerful and invisible symptoms of MS- doubt. Paula is insightful about the rollercoaster nature of this, juggling the effects of MS on her marriage, her kids, her job and her sense of control.  Although Paula channels the anxiety and fear well, she’s scared.  Of putting faith in medicine she has no reason to trust, of knowing this road trip with her boys might be her last.  She is hurrying through life to get in as much as possible in case the disease wins the battle- to Paula, MS is a ticking time bomb, with no clear method for defusing. I spent a long, wonderful weekend with barbeques, rainy days and people I now consider true friends. I also got insight into the life of a woman with deep struggles- to retain power over her body, her relationships and her future. Here, as Paula and Drew sat quietly on a bench outside a Rockford ice cream parlor, I found her as beautiful, tough and enduring as a Dorothea Lange mother.