From a distance my life appears to be a Song of Grief with more verses than a human heart can hold. But up close I would tell you that the opposite is true. It is actually a Song of Hope with an entire choir helping me to sing it out with joy. The soloists who bring this song meaning and inspiration are; my husband of 26 years, and my 3 beautiful children. There is also a special singer who now shares her voice from up in heaven, my mother, Donna. These are the people who have helped me to shape these events of sadness into a lifetime now filled with wonder and love. Not a small task, as you will see as you navigate through this sites. I seldom share my whole story with people simply because it is the stuff of horror novels if you hear it in one sitting. So please pace yourself and only read the sections of this website that apply to you first. As my goal in sharing this piece by piece is so that you can zero in on the area that would help in your own healing.
I believe that we are each here on earth to help others; through support, love, sharing, kindness, compassion and grace. Through the years I have felt a deep down calling to share my story. I know that the many challenges which have been presented to me were meant for one reason: for me to seek and find hope in the midst of horror and to SHARE it.
When traveling the road of grief you have two paths to choose: one of hate or one of hope. Each day you make a choice. When anger comes and it always will, you can overcome it or let it overcome you. You can reach in, reach out or reach up. You can listen to the self-talk inside your head and stuff the pain and forget..a sure road to loneliness and anger or you can take the harder path: reach for healing. Navigate through the pain to hope.
As I write to you now I am a mother of 3 (one child in heaven), I have a wonderful husband, of 26 years, who holds my hand each day through this journey and we have a wonderful network of friends, many strong partnerships with caring physicians who help us on our journey and a professional background with years of experience lecturing general medicine, serving as the Dean of a College, and presenting to countless groups about loss, disability awareness, coping with unexpected outcomes, and compassionate healing.
However in order to relay the story, we need to go back to when I was a young graduate student married 5 years and desperately trying to begin a family. My husband and I are very goal orientated (still are) but we often leap into life. On the day we met, Todd told me we were going to spend the rest of our lives together. I was eighteen and it was my first day of college. I thought he was crazy. He told me that I was the first person that made me believe there was truly love in the world. Todd proved to be right is his conviction. We married just a few months later. Since we married young we knew that we wanted to be very intentional about how we spent those first few years before we even considered beginning a family. We made a list of goals that we wanted to achieve individually and as a couple before we started a family. This list included things like: we both wanted to complete our undergraduate degrees and I wanted to begin med school, we wanted to have a dog, own a home, drive a convertible, and travel to Europe. Four years into our marriage when most of our list was completed or well underway we decided to try to start a family.
And so the transformational journey of parenthood began…