Good Monday Morning to you!!!!!

Well, the school year here in Midland, MI is FINALLY almost over. I must admit that with an abnormally rainy and cool spring combined with the latest ‘final day of school’ I can remember in a long time . . . it truly has felt like summer would never get here. Alas! Two more days of school and let the fun begin!

All three kids will be swimming this summer. Abbi, of course, is my Olympic bound swimmer. Well, not yet! She is working her tail off to get her times down a few seconds so that she can try out for the swim team at the college she is considering. Noah has decided he would like to try swimming again and possibly go out for swim at Midland High next year. And Micah? Well, he and I have been in negotiations. Micah has really bad back and neck issues – apparently his bones have grown faster than his muscles can keep up with and he is in constant pain. So, his therapist and I have negotiated that he will swim 3 days/week. That way I get my money’s worth and he gets good exercise that will help with his back issues.

My older two are going to Atlanta on a mission trip in July, Micah is attending several camps, Abbi is going to see her beloved One Direction and in August I am taking all three kids to see Phillip Phillips (American Idol winner) and John Mayer! Praise God for lawn seating (ie . . . cheap!!!!) Oh! And . . . Abbi has her first ‘real’ job as a lifeguard and helping teach little ones how to swim! She is very excited and is considering a career as a swim coach. Not sure what degree you get for that . . . but it is great to see her passion come to life!

I am really looking forward to this time with my kids. I do believe that when you have faced the things in life that we have faced, that you really treasure and value time. Time is such a gift. Time TOGETHER is such a gift. I truly thank God for the time I have with my babies.

I am going to be coming fast and furious with my journal entries. I would love to get all caught up, date-wise. I have hesitated because . . . well, I guess sometimes I just wonder if anyone cares. And, I also struggle with the depth of the despair I feel in the writings.

One of the things I need you all to know before I get too far in is that there was an additional evil lurking in my life in the months I am about to post from my journal – one that none of us knew about. It was an evil that made my ‘coping’ so much harder and one that took me completely by surprise. It was my health. What we did not know was that the stress of Chad’s death had begun to take its toll on my health but we could not see it.

The journals I am about to post are from March, April, and beginning into May and at some point in May I found out that I was severely anemic and had almost NO iron in my blood. The roll of iron in your blood is to carry oxygen to all the organs and systems of your body. I was functioning, or trying to, on almost half the blood supply I should have been AND on very little oxygen. Think about that! Oxygen is vital to our bodies functioning well . . . our organs, our brain, our heart, our lungs . . . our emotions!

I was bleeding internally and would fight this fight for several years until I finally had surgery to correct it. It has taken my physical body YEARS to heal from the toll that the emotional strain of losing Chad took on it. And one thing that will be evidenced for the rest of my life is the GRAY hair on my head! It will cost me a LOT of money to cover that for the rest of my life! Ug! Thanks Chad!

So, as we deal with the strains of grief head-on over the next few weeks . . . please know that lying beneath the emotional pain of what you read was an evil much larger than that which was seen and one that made coping almost impossible.

Blessings to you all!

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