Monday, January 23, 2017


We have started receiving thank you letters that I'm sure most folks hope they never get—the ones from the recipients of our son's organs.

There is the man with the new liver. He tells us he was really sick, and now he can go back to work and support his family.

Another letter is from a mom thanking us on behalf of her son, who's future revolved around soccer. He thought he was done forever. With his new ACL he can play again.

Someone else has a new kidney, and is released from the bondage of dialysis.

Bittersweet thoughts push my tears out as I try to imagine Jarrod's organs, pink and living inside of someone else.

I think of how athletic and alive Jarrod was, right up until the day he died. He could leap forward and do a full flip in the air, landing on his feet. I like the idea of some part of him energizing someone else.

We had never discussed organ donation with our son. How many parents broach that subject with a twenty one year old? We made our decision based how he lived. He had a servant's heart.

When his sister was going through tough times Jarrod often took her out and treated her to dinner and the movies. He hung out with her and made her laugh with his silly impersonations. When other men in his sister's life had let her down he was always there for her, sometimes buying groceries, putting gas in her car, or crawling around on the floor with his nieces clinging to his back.

When Rob and I were putting change in a jar for our trip to Hawaii we noticed one day how quickly it had filled up. Rob caught Jarrod walking by the bureau one day with a sly smile on his face. He had been tossing in the coins from his job waiting tables.

One of Jarrod's last acts of kindness was a fish fry for the homeless. He and his friend had caught more fish than they could eat so they grabbed a portable grill and headed down to the local homeless camp. I'll never forget the joy in his eyes when he asked his dad to recommend which seasoning to buy.

So it really wasn't hard to imagine what Jarrod would want to do with his organs.

I am so proud of our son. Like Christ himself Jarrod offered his body up for others. He knew he'd get a new one anyway. 

2 Corinthians 5: 1-2: For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down (that is, when we die and leave this earthly body), we will have a house in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands. We grow weary in our present bodies, and we long to put on our heavenly bodies like new clothing.

I wish all of Jarrod's recipients many healthy years. May that precious spark of life inside you somehow bring you closer to knowing the Lord like our Jarrod did.

So someday all of you will have a heavenly reunion in your new, perfect bodies.

Monday, January 16, 2017


Back in 1997 when our ten year old son was diagnosed with cancer our world changed forever. Our routines changed. Out dreams were altered. New fears entered our lives.

Until that point in time we had always been the ones who gave at the office, not the ones who needed help. When cancer came into our lives we were embraced by our community, and I was humbled by the many acts of kindness. There were meals, fundraisers, babysitting offers, and a comfortable place to stay during our many trips to the hospital.

Galatians 6:2 : "Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ."

At the time I was a fourth grade teacher, and Chris was a fourth grade student. The principal at our school allowed me to choose my substitute teacher, who became a close friend. This enabled me to keep the medical benefits, and the class ran smoothly while I was out for Chris's treatments.

Now it is many years later, and I thought I was retired from full time teaching. But God has other plans. 

I had been dividing my time between substitute teaching and writing, hoping to publish more books, earning a little money in the meantime.

Last year my husband became sick, and our finances suffered. It became necessary to work more hours.

Then came the call. A principal at one of the schools where I substitute asked me to take over a class. The teacher's ten year old son has cancer.

So I have come full cycle. I pass on the legacy of love that was handed to me. I strive each day to be a Galatians 6:2 light to those children and a source of comfort to their teacher, knowing her class is in good hands.

I am reading my children's book, "The Bald-Headed Princess" (Click here.) to the class. The main character is an eleven year old dealing with cancer. The class is learning what their teacher's family is going through, and hopefully, they are becoming  more compassionate human beings in the process.

This is a temporary assignment, and I don't know what next year will bring. I pray that the teacher's son will survive, and that they won't experience a loss like ours.

In the meantime my teaching  skills and my writing, birthed out of tragedy, have been divinely appointed for this particular assignment.

Saturday, January 7, 2017


This week I am deviating somewhat from my usual type of post. I am sharing a humorous article that I wrote last year. A relative of mine was frustrated because she felt unsupported by her spouse when it came to parenting.

Perhaps you live in a blended family, or you or your spouse are new in recovery and haven't been around for your kids in a while. For those of you fortunate enough to live in a two parent household please make the most of it!

 The bible tells us that when we marry "the two will become one flesh"(Ephesians 5:22-23).

If you don't feel at one with your spouse perhaps the article below will generate some positive discussion!


After struggling for many months with lack of support from her family Frieda Frazzle, 39, has staged a walk-out. Reliable sources report that Frazzle has been accused of abusive behavior such as requiring her children to mow the lawn and make polite conversation at the dinner table.

“Honestly," commented one witness who wished to remain anonymous, "Why should I stop playing video games just because the grass is three feet tall? She just doesn’t get me.”

Another anonymous witness, who bore a slight brotherly resemblance to the first witness, declined to comment, but was reportedly making very close contact with his mattress.

“Everyone has to work together to run a household,” Frazzle told this reporter, “But when one person has to constantly enforce the rules it becomes emotionally exhausting. I feel like a single parent. So I have decided to go on strike for a few days.”

The Herald reached out to Frazzle’s husband, Joe, but he was unavailable for comment. He was out having his lips serviced.

Frazzle has reportedly retreated to a local hotel where she will not be cooking an unappreciated dinner. She will not be listening to complaints. She will, however, still be working hard all day to pay bills to keep the house that no one else wants to run.

The Mean Mom On Strike movement seems to be picking up momentum across the country. Mary Meanie of Wimpville Wisconsin went on strike for 2 weeks in September when her teenage daughter, Narcissa, spent all day Saturday at a friend’s house  then refused to do her chores when she got home.

 When Meanie asked her husband to step in and assist he defended his daughter’s behavior by stating that she was depressed and her aura was out of alignment. Shortly after, Mr. Meanie’s teeth were out of alignment and Mrs. Meanie is enjoying an extended retreat at The Wimpville Correctional center.

“This is exactly what I am hoping to avoid,” Frazzle commented. “I have to admit that when I read about Mrs. Meanie’s actions I let out a little fist pump, but I realize that violence is not the answer. Although, when I do the math, the bridgework for my husband would probably be a lot cheaper than the thousands of dollars I’ve spent on family therapy.”

Ima Feddup, of Trembling Hills, PA, a compounding pharmacist, came up with a unique solution to her family issues. She has created an herbal supplement she calls “Growballs” that she has been quietly slipping into her husband’s daily orange juice. 

 “The results have been astounding,” Feddup reports. Instead of avoiding confrontation at all costs my husband looks the kids in the eye and says, “What part of your mother’s request don’t you get?” Feddup is awaiting FDA approval and already has 14 million requests for orders from striking moms across the country.

“I’m not quite ready to resort to drastic measures just yet,” Frazzle concludes, “Perhaps a short hiatus will convince my kids that we need to work together and remind my husband that we need to be a united front.”

In the meantime, Frazzle is in an undisclosed location, having a pedicure and enjoying a drama-free day.

Contact me and share your experience. Are you ready to go on strike?  Or, have you learned to co-parent successfully?