I recently finished watching ‘You’re Not You’ with Hilary Swank. It is about a woman who gets ALS and her caretaker. Watching her slowly lose her ability to move may leave you feeling stunned.
ALS stands for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis which is also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. You probably have heard of it before. You also may know of it from the ice bucket challenge that went viral last summer. However, do you really comprehend what it is? I didn’t until I saw this movie.
To watch someone slowly lose all the abilities most of us take for granted every day is unimaginable. How quickly your whole life can change. In a blink of an eye your whole world can be turned upside down.
Then I watched ‘The Theory of Everything’ which is about Stephen Hawking’s life story. This is another amazing movie about ALS that may leave you admiring not only Stephen Hawking but also his wife Jane. She stood by his side through it all until he left her. She shows what it truly means to be in a committed marriage. They worked through all the obstacles that came their way.
ALS is a rapidly progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord that are responsible for controlling voluntary muscles. The neurons deteriorate and die which stops sending messages to the muscles. The muscles then weaken and deteriorate. Those with ALS lose the ability to move, eat, speak and eventually breathe. Many people with ALS die from respiratory failure. The average life span from the onset of symptoms is 3 to 5 years but some live much longer.
ALS has gotten more attention in recent years but there is still a long way to go with research. For more information please visit;
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Strokes
copyright 2015 Sheila M Scarpulla. All rights reserved. No reproduction without written consent.
Last night I watched this movie along with woman of all different ages and it had an impact on all of us. I highly recommend this movie. It is about a woman who searches to find her long lost son. She got pregnant as a teenager and was sent to live at a convent. At the convent they took her son from her. I found myself feeling angry and ashamed of the Catholic Church. However, after it was over I really got thinking about a lot. For me to be ashamed and angry is for me to be judging someone or something else. Is it my place to do that? If Philomena wasn’t angry or ashamed then how can I be?
Through it all Philomena never turned her back on her Church. She was a ‘true’ Catholic or who I feel we should all strive to be like. She represented the person Jesus wanted all of us to become, a loving, non-judgmental, forgiving person. At night we found her on her knees praying. What was she praying for? Was she just praying for her lost son or was she praying for those who kept him from her?
This story is like so many other stories that many of us do not know about. After we finished watching the movie we sat around talking about what we just saw. We all spoke of how glad we are that things have changed and how heart wrenching it was for all those young girls. I am sure those girls thought things would never get better or would never change. For many, many years there wasn’t any change but what appeared to be the ‘norm’ is now no longer. Now it’s more likely that a young mother has hope and support.
However, while things have changed in America there are plenty of places that I am sure haven’t changed. They could still use the prayers for change.
This is just another example of something that many of us don’t agree with happening within the Catholic Church. Instead of being angry and ashamed we need to come together and fight for change. Philomena spent 50 years thinking she was sinner for what she did and never spoke up. However, we are all sinners. Those nuns were all sinners. We can’t judge another sinner when we are not perfect and we will never be perfect. While we can’t judge we can love and pray for those who need it.
The Catholic Church was started by Jesus so many years ago and his vision was a beautiful one. We can make his vision a reality if we listen to his words of wisdom “Love One Another”. We need to support our Church and when things aren’t being done right we need to encourage and ask for change. Together miracles can and do happen!!!
copyright 2014 Sheila M Scarpulla . All rights reserved. No reproduction without written consent
I just got done watching the movie Kill The Messenger and I was so bothered by it. This poor man Gray Webb who fought to uncover the truth died. Shot in the head twice but ruled a suicide. He left behind a family and was only 49. He was just trying to tell the people the truth, to be honest.
I am a girl who loves fairytale endings and wishes everyone did the right thing. I was raised to trust authority and follow the rules. However, seeing movies like this breaks my heart. Learning from this movie that my government could have or may have played a part in drug trafficking in America saddens me. I hope that with this up and coming Presidential election or any election for office that enough of us have prayed for good, honest, caring, and just people to win (I know they are out there) and that the good can overcome the evil.
This movie was about the rise of Crack Cocaine in the 90’s but what about today? What about the rise of Heroin use?
I have written a previous post on the Heroin epidemic we are currently facing and this movie just brought it up again for me. Who is supplying the dealers with this drug? Who is allowing it to continue? Why are we not coming together as a nation to fight this epidemic? Can our prayers bring about a change?
The fight against it can start in every household. All prescription drugs should only be taken by those it is prescribed to and should be kept far out of reach of children. Maybe doctors need to take a second look at whether or not someone really needs those drugs. It scares the crap out of me. I have personally known too many affected by drugs to the point that I have already had the conversation about it with my 8 and 9 year old boys. When we pray at night we pray for all those who have issues now with drugs, all those who have passed on and their families left behind. My kids have seen the tears in my eyes from the sadness drugs have caused.
I hope they hear me. I hope they are never tempted but if they are I hope they have the courage to just say no.
A friend of mine also approached me with the idea of letters of hope. What if we all send letters to those who are in rehab or half-way houses who may feel alone and afraid. Letters of encouragement and support, so that they know they are being prayed for.
I just keep the faith and hope that the good will prevail and triumph. Yet, I do believe we need to come together as a country and take care of our own. We need to protect our own and support our own. Other countries may need our help but do we not see how much our own country needs us too.
copyright 2014 Sheila M Scarpulla. All rights reserved. No reproduction without written consent