Saturday, June 8, 2013

Love Connects Us

Epcot Perry
Scavenger Hunt
Logan and Dad at Concert
Raising a child with chronic illness has taught us much.  We have learned how to reflect on our family strengths and weaknesses.  Ironically, I have learned that my biggest weakness is also my strength.  Sometimes I “care” too much.  Caring leaves me vulnerable, but it also makes me human. 

I care about all children, all families, people, my family, my children…  Caring has made me who I am and who I will become.  I am thankful that I care, but caring means we open ourselves up to multiple emotions and that can include not only joy and love, but also hurt and sadness. 

Recently, I have been deeply hurt.  I have learned that there are some, who we thought cared about our brave children, but have acted with cruelty.  A small group has been bullying and making fun of parents and their children with JA.  The sadder realization was to learn they too have children with JA.  I have to admit, this really shocked me and it absolutely choked me up as I held back tears…tears for every family and for the poor mom who witnessed meanness against her own child.  My instant reaction was to break away from all social media and groups and focus only on myself, my husband, and my children.  For several weeks I couldn’t even post, blog, or communicate with others about this because I “care”…I have always cared what others think, feel.

I choose to be open to my emotions…feelings drive me forward and push me to be determined to overcome.  The depth of my emotions continue to teach me many lessons:  judgment is inevitable; challenges present themselves; and we will fall, but we can pick ourselves up.  As I ponder these lessons and as our family faces our challenges, we allow ourselves to feel and then let go…moving through these emotions brings a sense of peace.  Our peace fills us with strength and our love propels us forward.  And as long as we act with love in our heart, it may leave us vulnerable, but at least we are being true.

Because our family cares so much, we are given the amazing and powerful gift of love.  We love each other dearly, but this love also connects us to others.  It is with others that we can battle this incredibly beastly disease and still enjoy life.  We are so incredibly thankful to the many that have rallied around our family. 
Gaming with Troy during weekly infusioon
I will admit, the beast of JA does try to stop us…and it can feel relentless at times.  But after we move through the appointments, tests, treatments, and therapies we try to insert a little fun.  Sometimes that fun is within the walls of our own home…other times we make an outing of it. We treasure these moments with each other, family, and friends.

I am happy to report that Parker’s labs are much better and overall his strength is getting better and pain is less many days.  We are slowly decreasing some of his meds and increasing his activity level.  We are still battling pulmonary issues and we do have a few set-backs from time-to-time but overall there is improvement and we will continue to support him as he takes baby steps forward so he can begin to run circles again.  He has a goal to go back to school full time next year, as he enters the ninth grade. 

Logan went to the orthopedic doctor and he does have mild scoliosis.  We will monitor it and he is starting PT next week.  Logan has just completed 10th grade and on Monday he will be a freshman at the community college.  He has chosen to take 2 classes this summer and will continue to be dually enrolled for the rest of high school.  This is something he really wanted to do and he is so thrilled that he went down to the campus today to check it out and find where his class will be.
You are my master,
 I love you so!
We are grateful to experience the love we have.  Love is such a gift.  It strengthens us and fuels our dreams and hopes. Love connects us.   I really do believe that together we are better! 


  1. together we are better...wise words my big sis. you are so caring and loving and there are days when I really am amazed by your strength, commitment, and LOVE.
    I am so happy Parker is doing better and Logan is happy with his dual enrollment choices. AWESOME!!

  2. As always, we just love you and your family so much. I have always been so intimidated by most other people. I am usually shy, but less so when I can feel a person's heart. That is just one of the reasons that I love you! I have also pretty much withdrawn from everything, too. I find I have a bit more free time in my day! We have simply been loving on the puppies, giving them all of our love. It is so wonderful to have them, and avoid the drama. Outside of a select few of you, I don't know who to trust anymore either.

    I am SO glad to know that Parker is doing better!!! YEAH! Thank God for that!!! So awesome! Your family will always continue to be in my thoughts & prayers, doing well or horribly.

  3. Rochelle, Parker and family, my heart and prayers are going out to all of you. I just heard about Parker. I am so sorry. Praying everything gets better soon. Hugs to all of you <3 Donna Calkins and family