I recently interviewed two women living with Multiple Sclerosis for a Grand Edits guest feature. When I asked them to speak about the life they envisioned as young women compared to the reality of their lives today, they both agreed that though they never dreamed they’d have MS and surely don’t want MS, the diagnosis has allowed them to connect with and help others who are facing the same illness, or working through other life struggles.
I think about this often – the way our circumstances create opportunities to help others who are suffering.
In my days of volunteering as a client advocate at a pregnancy resource center, a young woman came to an appointment in distress because her baby (still in utero) had been diagnosed with renal hydronephrosis. This malformation causes dilation in the kidney pelvis and can mean surgical correction shortly after birth.
My client and I had a long conversation that day about the what-ifs. It’s hard for a momma to be faced with the possibility of her newborn baby being whisked off to surgery in his or her first days in the world. We talked a lot about fear that day. About vulnerability.
I told her I understood how she was feeling, and I really meant it. My own son had been diagnosed with renal hydronephrosis less than two years prior to the conversation. I remembered the diagnosis, the scans, the machines. I remembered the fear.
In her freshman year of high school, Brandi Matonich was a happy, busy, normal teenager. She held a part-time job at a local coffee shop, and played the clarinet in the high school band and Jazz Band. She looked forward to school each day. Continue reading →
In November, I shared the Sternhagen family’s journey through a sad and bewildering time as their infant son Blake was diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy, a condition that could dramatically shorten a child’s life (full story here). Continue reading →
As I watched the Always #LikeAGirl commercial during Superbowl XLIX, scenes from decades past flooded my mind; scenes that shaped my self-image and defined what it meant for me to act like a girl, to live like a girl– scenes revealing why that definition changed over the course of my life. Continue reading →
As a child, Bob Coombs knew he would one day become famous. He loved performing and singing, and imagined living a vibrant life in New York or Los Angeles, pursuing his artistic dreams. In high school, Bob participated in chorus and drama, and reveled in being on a stage under the spotlights. Continue reading →
There’s a colossal, well-meaning push in modern family and parenting culture to be intentional, mindful, present and attuned to every moment of every day. Writers, authors, speakers are reminding us that little things matter a ton. The mundane is SACRED, people! Ordinary is beautiful — it’s HOLY! Continue reading →