With all of the horrible things I was experiencing, I was also covered in blessings.  First and foremost, my three kids are all healthy.  I know many mothers (and fathers) that are struggling with their children having severe illnesses or cancer.  Years ago, I had to have a frontal sinus drill out at the University of Colorado hospital in Denver.  As my husband and I pulled up to the hospital, the building next to it was the Children’s hospital.  It had a huge bright sign and balloons on the side of the building.  The false happiness of the outside of the building was gut wrenching to me.  I told my husband that I will go through being sick and do it every single day for the rest of my life…I just never wanted to have to take my child to that kind of hospital.

Today my kids are 17, 18 and 20.  Basically adults.  I still feel the same way, I never want to see them hurt or in pain.  I feel a very deep need to try and support these parents that are dealing with sick kids.  They are always in my prayers and the resilience of children is so amazing.  They always fight, they don’t know how to give up.  They are simply amazing.

My marriage…I have always loved my husband and love him more every day we are married, but being sick has been a glue that has stuck us together in a way I never imagined.  We rarely fight, we joke about morbid things like dying, we joke about and talk about everything.  With all that we have been through we have totally bared our souls to each other.  We have seen each other at our absolute worst and at the absolute best.  We know that each day, each moment is a very precious gift.  I believe that we would have a great marriage despite this, but we both feel that all of the trials have made us stronger.

My kids…my greatest blessings ever.  I cannot explain the deep feelings of guilt that I have for what my kids have been through.  I have caused them pain, deprived them of activities, and scared them so much.  My youngest does not ever remember me being healthy which is heartbreaking for me.  It has caused all of them to suffer from depression or anxiety at some point.  We have always tried to be honest and upfront with them.  In ways even the bad has blessings…my kids know how to go without.  They know that bad times don’t last, they get better and worse, life is never constant.  At ages when a lot of kids argue with their siblings they learned that the only other people that knew how they felt was each other.  Don’t get me wrong, they have fought like cats and dogs but also pull together and support each other without hesitation.  They have learned that it’s OK to not always be OK.  They have learned to give to others as we were given to in times of need.  Whether it is helping someone move, mow, taking a meal, giving a gas card, or just asking what someone needs.   It makes my heart happy to see their giving hearts.

I have been sick off and on now since late 2004.  Almost 13 years.  The biggest blessing is my faith has grown and continues to grow.  I have and continue to try and use my trials for good.  To try and support others struggles and help them learn that happiness is truly an individual choice.  No person, no thing can make you happy until you are first happy with yourself.  Yes, I have bad days and mad days, but overall my attitude stays pretty positive.  Even in the worst of times their is always a reason to keep fighting and keep believing that life is worth living.

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