Monthly Archives: September 2013

My Staples Are Out


Last night the 26 staples I received after falling down two weeks ago were finally taken out. The wall is still broken but the dent is a great reminder for me to slow down.


Thank you Ashley, Bryan, Dee and Dr. Kaye for keeping me entertained while the staples were being removed and to Mark for not leaving my side since the night it happened.

Reality Check


I was feeling a little sad this week after Mark and I picked up a handicap placard hanger for our car. We’re heading to San Francisco in October and we thought it might be a good idea to have just in case we need it. I really didn’t think getting a piece of plastic would bother me so much, but it hit me pretty hard so I took a nap. Naps seem to solve a lot of my problems. They always have, even before I was sick.

Later that evening my friend Teresa LaVigne stopped by to visit. She hadn’t seen me in a while so I was a little nervous about her reaction because I’ve gotten considerably weaker since we last saw one another. I was just waking up from my nap when she arrived so she saw Mark help me out of bed and put on my tennis shoes and jacket but she didn’t flinch a bit. She accepted my weakness and helped me walk like it was the natural thing to do. All three of us headed out to Snug Harbor for a hike and they each took my arm and we walked arm in arm through the woods.

Teresa is naturally funny and such a genuine friend. By the time we had dinner later that night I had forgotten all about my troubles and my night ended beautifully with a great, understanding friend.

The next morning I was invited to breakfast by my sister Joan and our friend Suzie DeYoung. They both work in a nursing home and also care for friends and relatives when they’re not at work. Joan and Suzie were telling me stories of residents that never have a visitor, let alone a friend or family member to brighten their day.


After they left I thought to myself, ‘Really, what do I have to complain about? I’m surrounded by so much love and care that I don’t even know how to handle it sometimes.’

I wish I could share some of it with people who feel lonely.

The Chairiot Fundraiser


When Chip VanderWier gets an idea, he runs with it.

While driving home from the emergency room last Thursday, Kelly was checking Facebook and asked if we knew anything about Chip raising money for something called The Chairiot Project. Mark and I both looked at each other not knowing what to say.

Chip’s wife Colleen was at school when a colleague said she saw Chip’s Chairiot Project online. Colleen didn’t know anything about the fundraiser either.

On Friday, all of us asked Chip the same question: “What would you have done if we were upset about the fundraiser?”

Chip’s response was, “How can you be upset with people wanting to help?”

Our family would like to thank all of our relatives, friends and anonymous donors for the overwhelming amount of money that was raised. Our hearts are so filled by everything everyone is doing for us. Thank you.

I can assure you that your donations will not be wasted. Chip said he low-balled the cost of the chair so it may take a few more dollars to build than what was expected. Even though this isn’t my decision, my wish for any leftover dollars is to either build or buy another chair for my beautiful friend Heidi. Heidi and I both love nature, so maybe we can be hiking buddies even if we can’t walk through the trails on our own.


After I am no longer able to use my Chairiot, with the help of the VanderWier’s and my family, we will make sure it is donated to someone who loves the trails as much as I do.

Enjoy The View


Because I’ve always been pretty social, I’ve always overbooked our schedule. Ask Mark. Sometimes I would pray to God to slow me down so that I would have more time to read, learn and grow. I prayed I would slow down so I’d have time to sit and stare out the window at Muskegon Lake and truly enjoy the beauty right in front of my eyes because I was usually too busy planning for my next adventure with family and friends.

Well, I never did slow down but through listening and learning from my family and friends, I grew and thoroughly enjoyed the view.