Good morning everybody! I’m taking a break from sweet things and shifting focus for just a bit. Today I’m donating to the Wounded Warrior Project, and I urge all of you to visit this site as well. I’ve put in a request for a fundraising page with a link from my blog to continue this effort, and you’ll be the first to know if it’s approved and when that is in place!!
I tend to keep my blogging world and my home life so separate–except when I’m checking email with my four-year old pulling on my arm–that it seems contrary to this community we share, you and me. Cuz you and me, we’re here together.
I’m pretty sure the reason for this divide between my bloglife and real life me is because my largest story is undoubtedly my twenty-year battle with severe illness. It feels so off-putting to share talk of disease with talk of cookies and marshmallows. Surely, you don’t want to hear about intestines and morphine when you visit me for icing. I spoke a little bit about my struggles with IVF HERE, and in that post I refer to THIS article in the Journal of General Internal Medicine that I wrote several years ago that gives a snapshot of my experience with illness, hospital stays, surgeries, death scares and ICU. But through all of these health struggles, I’ve squeezed a life in there, too. Grad school, cookie decorating, shooting pool. I met and married my husband, Greg, and I even had our beautiful miracle, Maeve. But it’s this history in part that gave me a specific sensitivity to others that endure life altering attacks on their bodies.
While I’m proud of my husband for many things–his support while I wrote my book, his patience as I stay up late working and get manic and stressed and snappy, and his guidance and comfort in dealing with my struggles generally–it’s my little secret that I love telling people “He’s in the army.” (That’s Greg below, in Iraq.)
It awes and humbles me to consider what character it takes to join the military. My husband, many of his and our dear friends, and so many in our family, his aunts and his cousins who have stories that bring a lump to my throat but are theirs to share, have that stunning character that compels them to risk sacrificing so much: Their comfort, their own choices, their families, even potentially their lives. In our household, we’ve been extraordinarily fortunate. My husband was deployed to Iraq shortly after we were married, but before we had Maeve, and aside from brief trips to the Middle East, he’s been in the States since, including the past year when he was mobilized. I rarely spoke of this mobilization, because to have your husband gone for a year and still come home most weekends doesn’t even register as a point of concern in comparison to what so many military families endure, all for the sake of the greater good.
Having experienced my own medical trauma that left me living daily with an altered body, I can’t fathom withstanding this agony in the presence of war and to such extremes. And anything we can do to mitigate that agony should be a necessity. While I’m admittedly composed of about 90 percent emotion and quick to cry, I embarrassingly well up every time I see any person in uniform. That camouflage has a certain charisma. It speaks to so much more than a pattern, it speaks to the character of the person wearing it.
Thank you to my husband Greg, his family, our friends and every single member of the Armed Services for all you accomplish and risk every day!!
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