Family life, Paleo-ish eating and Coping with Chronic Illness

Posts tagged ‘Illness’

A Note to my Friends who Just Aren’t Feelin’ It.

It’s Christmas Eve.  I have been up since 4:19 this morning.  That’s about an hour too early.  I could have stayed in bed, pretending my body has a bit of common sense.  That’s futile, in my experience.

I might be too excited to sleep. It’s Christmas Eve, you know.  We’ve got chestnuts to roast, and popcorn to string. Well, maybe I would rather read my book and play some ping pong, but still.  It’s a day to enjoy.

I have this buzz in my head.  It’s persistent.  I stopped this morning to acknowledge the buzz; I’ve been hearing it for a week or so now.   I asked God if He’d translate what I’m hearing.   I hope He answered.

I have been thinking hard about my friends and family carrying grief this Holiday Season.  If that is you, then I think the translation of this buzz is meant for you to hear.

I think I’m supposed to say two things:

  1. Tomorrow won’t look like today.
  2. You’re sad, and it’s okay.

My sister, Gail, posted a picture this week of a past Christmas.  She said it was one of her best Christmases.  That Christmas, Gail’s beautiful son, Ryan, was alive.  Ryan was a fun maker.  He was full of joy.

Gail said that she remembers laughing so hard it hurt that Christmas; she has a picture as evidence.  I enjoyed my family too that year.  But, I look at that picture, and I have a different memory.  That  was another Christmas when I faked it.   There have been more Christmases than I want to count when I generally faked having fun, and faked being present.  Grief and sadness keep your mind occupied.

christmas sisters

That Christmas, like so many others, I was wrestling with thoughts of Eddie’s future; trying to make peace with his health that seemed to be in an eternal downward spiral.

One year, on Christmas, Eddie was too sick to take the trip to Iowa to see Scott’s family.  Scott and I made what felt to us like an excruciating decision.  We left Eddie home with my parents for the day while we made a lightening quick trip to drop off presents, hug Scott’s family, and then turned around to come back home.

This decision felt traumatic for Scott and me.  We just had a hard time accepting that this was our son’s life; missing life, really.  It felt like a grave omen.  As we were getting ready to leave for Iowa, I heard Scott sobbing in a corner of the basement.  Scott was grief stricken too. Those were sad days.

That was yesterday.  That isn’t today.  I thank my precious Savior in heaven for showering mercy on this family of mine, and restoring Eddie’s health.  All good things come from HIM.

The fact that our deepest wounds have been healed, does NOT put me in a position of authority to talk about dealing with grief at Christmas.  You may rightfully be thinking, “You don’t know how I feel, Miki.  Your problem is solved.”

You’re right.

That doesn’t change the fact that my heart feels pain for others who have to fake it this Christmas, or any Christmas.  And, I feel compelled to tell you it is okay. YOU are okay.

I want you to know that you are NOT alone.  You are not forgotten.  I prayed for you this morning.  I care about you.  But, I also want to tell you that the God of the universe cares for you too.  I’m not preaching to you.  I’m not interested in converting you.  I just want you to know today, that if you are sad, and you feel hopeless, there is a supernatural hope that can be found through faith.  My faith in Jesus is not my religion.  This faith I have is practical and supernatural., and sustained me  when grief gripped my heart.  This faith of mine yields hope, and that’s what I know you  need.  Hope.  We all need hope.

Hope that a better outcome is ahead.  Hope that we can survive the present.


Romans 5:2-6

2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. 6 You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 



I want you to have hope.   Today is not tomorrow.  You are not stuck here.

If you’re faking it today, it’s okay.  It’s really okay.  I want to tell you that you are brave.  You got up today.  You showed up.  That is enough.

Be kind to yourself.  Thank yourself for moving along.  That’s all you need to do. You just have to take the next step.

I will keep praying for you today.  I will pray that you know you are not alone.  I will pray that you find supernatural hope.  I will pray that you just take the next step, and congratulate yourself when you do.

You are loved.  This is your time and place on this Earth, and your life has meaning.  I pray you feel God’s love for you this Christmas.

Merry Christmas, my friend.








Our Story

Do you remember when I told you that our Pastor asked our family to tell our story?  Well, I did tell you that.  And, we did tell our story.  Scott, Eddie and I met with our Pastor in  our living room in late summer.  He asked us about our struggles.  Our Pastor wants to know what happens when faith meets hardship.

When Pastor Bryan first asked us to do this thing, we were scared.  Being on camera is uncomfortable. But, we didn’t hesitate.  We said yes right away.

A long time ago, Scott and I  told God that He could use our lives as He sees fit.  We said, “God, if we have to endure this thing we don’t want to endure, could you please help us see the point?”

We’ve told God many times that we would be very grateful to have Eddie be healed.  We’ve also promised God that we would be willing participants in whatever He means for us to do, regardless of the outcome.

The thing about making promises to God is that He remembers.  You don’t want to back out on stuff like that.  I’m averse to hanging out in the belly of a whales, and stuff like that.  I would just as soon do as I’m told.   I seriously  doubt whales have wi-fi, and I just don’t even want to think about how bad that would be.

Others folks in our church will be asked to do this man-on-the-street type interview.  I love it.  Because, guess what?  God is relevant.  He isn’t an icon, or out of touch.  He’s real, and He’s in every day.

I’m excited to hear other people’s stories.  Here is ours:

You’ve Got Your Dog Lovers, and Your Dog Likers

Dog lover quote

We have more dog lovers in our house than dog likers. It’s 3 and 2. Zeke, Olivia and I love dogs. We believe Reggie is a card carrying member of the Smith family; he deserves all the love, rights and privileges due a member of our home. Scott and Eddie like Reggie. They show Reggie affection, but they think he is a pet.

Reggie has been having some health problems lately. The vet said Reggie’s problems are with his heart, and his problems might be serious. We don’t know yet. We’re still trying to figure out what is going on and why.

The anxiety this is causing the dog lovers in our house is pretty consuming. Zeke and I slept in the living room with Reggie the other night. I was on the couch, and Zeke was on the floor. We had tons of blankets laid out, because we wanted Reggie to have plenty of places where he could try to get comfortable. Olivia didn’t join us; she knew that kind of vigil would cause her unbearable stress. She was right. I was up almost the entire night. I felt like I did when I was hovering over one of our fragile newborns.


Eddie was not aware of the sleeping arrangements when he went to bed. He came out in the middle of the night for a drink of water; he got a good fright instead. It was quiet and dark. He walked to the sink and leaned under the faucet to drink some water. I popped my head above the couch and said, “Hi Eddie.” Eddie can jump really high.

Eddie asked us the next day why we think it’s necessary to have 12 people hovering over Reggie all night long. He exaggerates. It was only two people. And, yes, it is necessary.

Poor Olivia, Reggie is like part her little brother and part her baby boy. She’s been so anxious about Reggie’s illness, like any good mother would be. The other night she was having a hard time controlling her emotions. I told her she should just go to bed early, and try to get some rest. Then I told Scott to go say something to her to try to make her feel better. A few minutes later I heard Olivia crying and yelling, “Daaaaddddd!!!!”

Scott came into the kitchen, and had me to face. “What did you say to her?” I demanded to know.

He said, “What? I was trying to make her feel better. I told her to remember that all dogs go to heaven.”

I thanked him for taking the time to think back on all the things he ever learned from posters he’s read, and delivering that heart-warming and frightening piece of parental wisdom. Scott’s a dog liker, not a dog lover. It’s hard to explain the way it is to him.

While Olivia, Zeke and I have been evaluating Reggie’s every move and intake of oxygen, Eddie will come through the kitchen and give him a playful belly rub. Eddie will say, “Oh, he looks fine to me. He’s just tired.”

Forgive me if I seek a second opinion.

When Eddie and I were talking about Reggie’s illness and how strange he’s been acting, Eddie told me, “I think he’s fine. He just needs to get some rest. He slept all day today.” Eddie should know. He’s the one who is home with him most of the day.

I said, “Eddie, Reggie wasn’t even here today. He was at the animal hospital the entire day.”

Eddie said, “Oh.”

Dog likers, not dog lovers.


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