Joyful Sorrow - a Column by Kristin Neva

patients, strength, bittersweet

Kristin Neva is an author, mother of two, and caregiver for her husband, Todd, who was diagnosed with ALS in 2010 when he was 39 years old. Knowing they would need family support, they moved to Upper Michigan and built an accessible home on property next to Kristin’s childhood home. Kristin enjoys spending time outdoors, especially on the shore of Lake Superior in the summer. Todd no longer has use of his limbs, but he stays active working on projects on his computer using adaptive technology. They try to find joy in the midst of sorrow as Todd’s health declines.

Our Date Night Movie Hit Too Close to Home

Last weekend, my husband, Todd, and I watched the movie “The Electrical Life of Louis Wain,” about an eccentric artist in Victorian England. Wain’s comical and endearing illustrations of cats changed people’s perceptions of them and led to them being more accepted as household pets. From the description,…

How I’m Finding Solace in Creative Work

On my daily walk, I take a detour from the field and into the woods because I’m on the hunt for birch bark and pine cones. It’s the season for collecting natural accents to use on my Christmas wreaths, which I’ll start making in a month. I sell them…

How Caregiving for a Spouse With ALS Has Aged Me

Last week at Walgreens, the cashier asked me if I got the senior discount. I’ve never been asked that before, but perhaps the stress of caring for my disabled husband has finally caught up to me. “How old do you need to be to be considered a senior?” I asked.