To Be Loved - An MS Story
by Robert L. Sterling

"The love I have for them doesn’t allow what I do to be tough or hard, but… I do have my days."

Trebor King should be enjoying midlife with a good woman at his side and his independent grown children and grandchildren surrounding them both. Instead, following a complicated divorce, he's been single for years. Still, his ex-wife did give him two children. He holds the elder, Tamara, particularly dear. When a cheap motel room is all that separates them from homelessness, it could be worse since they're in this together—couldn't it? Their accommodation isn't the only uncertainty in their lives. How will they cope with Tamara's multiple sclerosis, the reason for her eviction from her last residence? She can't work to support her five-year-old son. A disabled veteran, Trebor is both the exclusive breadwinner and sole care provider for his family. In his search for help, Trebor meets a social worker named Christine who also has MS. As he works with her, he soon falls for the enchanting woman.

Altering his characters' names, Sterling provides a candid autobiographical account of his role as caregiver to his wife and daughter as they experienced multiple sclerosis simultaneously. He describes their symptoms as a keen observer. As it always does, the relentless degenerative disease eventually takes both their lives. Refreshingly, Sterling simply recounts the grief of twice losing a loved one who was a wonderful person irrespective of her condition. In contrast, many narratives describe a sense of relief on the caregiver's part when the arduous duties of caregiving end with the recipient's death. This book also emphasizes the complete womanhood and potential desirability of adult females with disabilities. Trebor fully appreciates how having a mother with physical challenges hastens the maturing of Cervando, his grandson. Those with this disease, their care providers, and members of racial minority groups who face any disability may find comfort in this brief but poignant memoir.

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