Fortunately for you all we have had some good response to my plea to help w/ the blog and now you will be able to hear more from competent, sane folks and less from me. There are great stories out there and starting w/ today’s post you’ll get to hear them. Those of you who are thinking about contributing hopefully in the next few days you’ll hear what is shared and you’ll stop thinking and start doing.
This first offering is from Charlie’s Aunt Marilee who lives in lives in “The Volunteer State” and was up here this summer and had a chance to see Charlie for the first time live. She has been a frequent commentor on the blog and I always appreciate her wit and humor. Marilee is no stranger to the angst of full-time care as a few years back her husband David suffered a stroke and she has since served the mission of a selfless caregiver. Thanks for the submission.
My Charlie Story
To quote Rob “We’d love to hear how Charlie has influenced you, whether big, small or not at all.” You asked for it—you got it.
I first heard of Charlie’s illness and blog through an email from Susie. What a terrible thing for Charlie, a child I had never met or held or seen. But my heart was also broken for the people I did know: my precious nephew and his wife and his grandma, my sister, who has always put her family above all else. Day after day—no, hour after hour, I checked the blog for some word that Charlie would be okay. Alas, that was not to be. But then something else happened. I found my family again.
By following the progress, the ups and downs, the gains and losses I gained what I had thought I had lost; an everyday connection with my sisters, brothers, cousins, nieces and nephews. Is that selfish? There lies a sick child, a gift from heavenly father, suffering and struggling and I’m glad that there is a blog to give me a way to connect with the sorrow and pain of my family.
And, whoa, there were pictures. There, standing by Charlie, was my family. My sisters and brothers, children I remembered as babies--grown, and some, like Charlie, I saw for the first time.
Then, as word of the blog spread, there came many more. These were people who were inspired to comment and share their thoughts, as well as prayers, for a child they did not know. But for one reason or another, they could empathize with Charlie and his family’s plight. As I read their stories, along with Charlie’s, I was amazed at the faith and resilience of the human experience. Now, I had always understood that in theory, but there it was, in the comments of families of other children who had suffered in illness or accident.
I have not always been strong and I didn’t expect to spend my golden years as a caregiver, but reading the excellent adventures of Charlie and his family have given me the great blessing of –hey, my life ain’t so bad!