Just Because It’s Broken Doesn’t Mean It Isn’t Beautiful

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by Jamie Hughes |

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I recently did a little research to write an article reflecting on a photograph of the Library of Celsus. This marvelous piece of architecture was commissioned by a Roman consul named Gaius Julius Aquila as a funerary monument for his father. It was once home to as many as 12,000 scrolls and was the third-largest library in the ancient world, behind Alexandria and Pergamum.

However, much of that collection was lost in 262 A.D. when many scholars believe an earthquake struck the city and the building caught fire. Whatever survived was likely destroyed later that same year when the city was sacked by Goths. Talk about a one-two punch. Yowza!

Only the facade of this amazing structure is left, along with a few of its columns, statues, and scrollwork. So we can only make an educated guess as to how beautiful it was in its heyday. But what remains is still striking and worthy of study and preservation.

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That’s how I feel about being a multiple sclerosis (MS) patient sometimes. Sure, I can’t do the things I used to do. Sometimes, my symptoms get in the way of what I want to accomplish. The disease has taken a toll on my body as well as my spirit. But I’m still here.

As the speaker in Langston Hughes’ poem “Mother to Son” says encouragingly, “For I’se still goin’, honey, / I’se still climbin’, / And life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.”

Despite all the challenges, losses, and sacrifices I’ve experienced in my almost 18 years of living with this disease, I’m still a whole person. And for that simple fact alone, I deserve to be loved and cherished, to be valued for who I am as well as what I can do. I’m still beautiful despite it all. And so are you, dear reader. So are you.

We can’t lose sight of that fact in all the hectic craziness of life. Managing MS can sometimes be all-consuming, but we shouldn’t let its demands keep us from remembering that we’re so much more than our symptoms and our diagnosis. If we ever lose sight of that, our humanity will be reduced. We’ll be a little dimmer, a little less ourselves. And that is the real loss. But thankfully, it’s one we can all prevent if we remain mindful of what MS is and who we are, both because and in spite of it.

Note: Multiple Sclerosis News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Multiple Sclerosis News Today or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to multiple sclerosis.




i agree with you so much and that is what i try to tell people and some do agree but there are some that say i am only dreaming ...they have so many problems ...i do to but i just won't let it stop me ...i still have to push myself to get things done that i want to do and times i could give in but i won't for if you start doing that i figure you will keep giving in on other things ...i am still the same person and i refuse to stop being that person just because i have MS in side of me and it will not stop me until the day i die and that is a long ways off ....i am 69 going on 70 this year ,i was told in 04 that this was what wrong with me and had to start dealing with it ...i do but it will not own me or stop me ....we all have the fighter in us ,some just need to turn it on ...we change as we age anyway but for some reason i guess they just don't want to fight it ....love and much happiness to all out there that are fighting this monster the doctors call MS....thank you for your story .....loved it ...

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Jamie Hughes

Thank you so much, Madeline! You sound like an absolute dynamo, and I am so proud of your fighting spirit. Keep going, girl! Keep on keeping on. I'm cheering for you!


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