Love and Pride 


When I was at university in the late eighties there was a band named King. I liked their music and saw them live. One of their hits was ‘Love and Pride’. I still like the song and the video (on YouTube) is hilarious.

I feel so much love and pride for my daughter, Valentina. So many reasons. Here’s one. Last September she switched violin teacher. In advance we were discussing practice with a cellist we know. She pointed out two routes; irregular practice would lead to mediocrity, while just twenty minutes every day would bring good progress. Valentina chose Option Two. I now hear the result of that decision because the practice is done next to my room before school. I hear the odd curse, the repeated bars, the lovely sound. Love and pride.

Michael, my Physio, grabs me by the belt, sticks are left behind  and I walk around the house. He’s there for every misplaced foot. It feels great. It strengthens my core and helps with balance. In the evening I feel tired (and a little sorry for myself); Jane reminds me of the times in Monza Park when I ran as she rollerbladed, the holiday in the Dolomites, where I carried Sebastian on a backpack up and down some big old trails. I still have strength.

Funny how I can now take pleasure from feeling the fresh air on my face. I know I cannot walk let alone run. The air feels good. Maybe heightened senses.

Joints can seize up with ALS so now I wear hand splints at night and also for times in the day. I get dressed and showered by someone from a care agency tomorrow; it’s just a body! Jane goes away for a much-needed break. Caring for me, plus being a mum and everything else is relentless. Thank you to everyone who is supporting our family.

‘The Power of Now’, mindfulness all teach the importance of being in the moment. Neither thinking about the past nor contemplating the future help me one bit. Yes, it’s a good idea to be in the now.

Do you know any fifteen year old girls who play golf for hours with a nine-year old boy? I know one. Great to watch. This photo tells it all.

Sometimes I see my reflection in a shop window or in a car. Is that me in that powered chair? They’re the type people have when something is seriously wrong. Yes, it is me.

Misty optic. Heard that today for the first time. Means an unclear future. Great phrase. 

Our lounge is converted into a practice ground for ping pong trick shots (see YouTube again). Sebastian lets out how he feels to his class teacher; how wonderful and important. It’s Thursday; Sebastian’s friend, Thomas, carries the gravy (his job) to accompany the roast chicken. Thank you.

The Kindle Fire arrives from Miami (I forgot it). Time to start devouring Dave’s library. John Stott first.

Through a meeting on the Common, a Facebook post and meeting at the Alpha Course, we are being supported by two marvellous people. Odd jobs done around the house, Valentina has baked, is quilting, eating dinner and playing with their dog. Have faith in the goodness of people, folks.

I am proud of our family and I feel the community is on our side. Do listen to ‘Love and Pride’.

Author: Andrew Knowlman

I am a 50-year old father of two children, married to Jane. I live in Hertfordshire, UK. I was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis in April 2015.

One thought on “Love and Pride ”

  1. I loved Love and Pride, and even remembered when Paul King was a VJ back in the day when MTV played videos.

    Your daughter sounds amazing, in fact you all are.

    X Anniken

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