Lots of Love,
I have to say this is one of the most hurtful things anyone has said to me throughout this process. I began writing in order to share my story and keep people we love informed as well as reach out to those who are hurting and say It gets better. You will get stronger. There is love and help waiting for you and you don't have to give up.
With over 3,000 views to this blog, I believe I am reaching people. My mother in law Michelle who encouraged me to share my story told me this, "Just think if you help one person plus yourself you have succeeded in so many ways!"
This is what I say to those who will tell you to hide your struggles, to create a fake online life that looks pretty on the outside but feels terrible on the inside: Bravery is always better than hiding. Courage will conquer all. And when we reach out to each other amazing & beautiful things happen.
Three weeks ago we reached out for a surrogate and the response was overwhelming with love and support. We even had a family member come forward willing to help us with adoption so that our future child can have a sibling.
None of that would have been possible if I had hidden away and tried to bear these struggles on my own. As the Decemberists would say, "Don't carry it all, don't carry it all." Don't try to carry your burdens alone. This is why we create families and friendships and great work partnerships; because as humans, we aren't meant to carry these burdens alone.
When Nick spoke with his dad and said that we were so humbled by all the support we've received and scared that we could never pay it all back, his dad said wisely, "You don't pay it back now, you grow and become strong and one day down the road a family member or friend will be in need and you'll be there for them just like people were there for you. That's how life works." I believe that with all my heart.
Before I got sick, I lead a life of love and service to my loved ones, driving through the night to be at a loved one's bedside while she battled a brain aneurysm. Rearranging work schedules to be there for a loved one who needed a kidney transplant, offering my own kidneys before we found out I wasn't a good candidate due to my clotting disorder. Offering our home as shelter to two family members when one was going through heart troubles and needed long term housing in Portland, one of those very family members who today told me my work is embarrassing.
During that time I was also spending my career teaching, helping, and advocating for children and families. So when it came time for me to ask for help, we had a huge network of loving family, friends, coworkers, and neighbors who were ready to help. That's the way life works. Thank God for that. None of us has to be alone because we're all in this life together. That's the way it works, the only way it works.
I hope tonight you find the courage to be strong because it's so true, you never know who you are inspiring.
Lots of Love,
In fact, when my husband Nick read the email I received from a family member calling us "beggars" and telling me my writing was an embarrassment to herself and to her family, Nick's first reaction was just like that of Jim, he said, "Forget this, we're shutting it down."
But in a time of more peaceful reflection, we realized as a family, just like the Kelly's did, that this is greater than just one bully. That there may always be people so insecure about themselves that they feel they have to lash out at others but that's not what this is about. Blogging about illness, recovery, redemption, is about bravery, sharing out stories, bringing hope and healing to those still in the fight, and reaching out for the much needed love and support that gives us strength to keep fighting.
I was so inspired by their story that I've decided to share it here on my blog as well. I hope you find strength and peace from their strength and that this is a good reminder that bullying is never okay. We will rise above. We will find Peace and Survive.