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Tuesday, October 12, 2010


i've been told it is typical. but i think that makes me even more sad.
there are people who are close to me, people who i would have considered someone i could lean on in a hard time, who act like this whole situation doesn't exist.
oh, some of them ask how i am. but they ask in a way that tells me "i'm asking you, but really- please don't answer honestly." and what they don't know is, the honest answer isn't half bad.
so i think that saddens me more than facing what i'm facing. now i have to face it with people who would rather remain at a distance. it's easier for them to pretend it's not happening. they can protect themselves and their smooth flowing world.
it causes me to think on my past. have i done the same?
if it's typical, it must have been done to them when they were going through a tough time.
i'm probably not making any sense. this post is mostly for my own benefit and maybe for those who are experiencing the very same thing and can't put it into words either.
fr. kevin said that when he went through military classes on how to prevent suicide the bottom line was "give a care". that's a cleaned up version of what they really taught but it's true.
i'm not suicidal. i'm not even close. and the number of people who are reaching out dwarf the few people who aren't. but i think in this case i feel sorry for the people who choose not to reach out. i'm carrying on. i'm changing. i'm growing into a new person.
and those people who haven't kept up- they don't know me anymore. due to their self-preserving stance, they have missed out and when they decide to resume their relationship with me, it'll be different, because i am.


  1. I hope and pray I'm not in the catagory....I think about you all every single day...I wish I were closer and I would be at your HOUSE driving you nuts :) I have to admit as long as I have known you I sometimes do not even know what to say. At first I felt as if you pulled away so I just left you alone....but I hope you know I did try to reach out...
    I have learned thru this deployment, though VERY different than what you are suffering. That I have learned who my true friends are. And they are FEW and far between. I wonder at times is it me or is it just that people are at a loss for words or are jsut so busy in there world they do not have time. But I know this TIME is precious...the gift of TIME to one another, being there to listen, to hug and just BE THERE and BE STILL. I LOVE you Liz as I hope you know...
    I read this recently "Faith without WORKS is DEAD"
    I have "friends" tell me all the time they are praying for us....or Im praying for such and such...but I have learned we have to act on it too...prayers are awesome but someone being there too and bringing dinner, or cleaning your house is such an hidden answer to prayers at times...

    God Bless you!

  2. lisa- you are not in the category.
    you know that you've reached out. i know i distanced myself at first- but i was really going internal and trying to figure out what i felt about it myself.
    i really hope this blog post doesn't make people feel guilty. i'd argue that most the people that know me, pray for me, and keep updated on jedi are the ones reaching out.

  3. Elisabeth,
    While I don't talk to you often, I think of you everyday - I check the blog everyday. From the moment that I knew Jedi Joe was special, I have had absolute admiration for the way that you, Chris and Jedi Joe's siblings have chosen to celebrate his life, no matter how long or short it is. I commend you for being such a gifted writer and being able to express how you are dealing with everything that goes with this. As an outsider looking in on your family, your entire family is amazing - the care and support you get from your siblings to the way that you will always to the "right" thing for your children and your husband. God knew exactly what he was doing when he gave you Jedi Joe.


  4. Elizabeth we know exactly what you are saying! You have those that will disappear for the duration, you have those that ask but don't really want to hear the truth, some will dare try to make it all about them, you have those who ignore the whole situation....we have those that just ignore Braedon. I know who is who. I know those who couldn't even tell you the name of Braedon's disease or whats wrong and I can tell you those who do. Can't even tell you how many parents find out Braedon is sick and all the sudden their kids aren't allowed to play w/Martha....might cause some uncomfortable conversations that would have to be had....

    But I am thankful. I am thankful they were in my life and now are gone. I am thankful bc they showed me how I would never want to act to someone in need. They showed me that it is so NOT what Jesus would do. They have caused some great conversations in our house! They answer to God not to me. Bc we have those....those few people who stepped up and no matter how uncomfortable, no matter how many times they fight back tears, no matter how sad it makes them they are there for US. Because those people are friends and they are your forever friends.
    God gave us emotion and this is a sad situation....but He choose you and Chris to be Jedidiah's parents bc He knew you both would find the love and beauty in him and his life no matter how long or short.

    Shame on them! Shame on all these people for missing out on such a witness of Christ! Shame on them for backing away in such a time of need....but good for you for moving forward! They may never have the chance again to witness so much of God's love and grace! But again they have to answer to God not to us.

    We are all living God's plan and this is a part of it! I am proud. I am proud of my family and the way we have embraced the gift that God gave us...some ppl can't handle that either they think we should be breaking down every chance we get. But there was no Resurrection w/o the Crucifixion!!!
    You know God brought us together so many months ago bc He knew Jedidiah was coming and we could lean on each other!! Now that is some amazing work! I am so grateful for you and your friendship. I am so grateful to hear you going thru the same things Scott and I have for the past 3 years. I am so grateful for all the lives Jedidiah has changed!
    Hang in there Elizabeth. As the birth comes closer and the events of Jedidiah are unknown you will probably feel more ppl changing their status with you as they don't know how to handle it.
    Personally, I pray for them still. No matter what.

  5. I have been reflecting on this post and the comments. Sometimes I think it is that people are afraid. They are afraid to step too deeply into your pain for fear of what it may stir in them or for fear of what they imagine they may be required to do. For some of them, maybe they have actually never experienced enough tragedy/difficulty to be able to relate and the whole thing is so foreign to them that they really don't know what to do (I know someone like this). For some, perhaps, it is too much work as far as being hard to step out of their own comfort zone. However, there are sometimes when there are other factors going on that we just cannot see. Over the summer, it seemed that tragedy reined all around me -- so many friends whose family members died or almost died or started treatment for cancer, etc. I was in the middle of my own circumstances including a grueling schedule that I could not change or alter in any way while still trying to run the house and family affairs and my husband (due to trips and other things) was often unavailable for any help. I felt so helpless to do anything physically helpful for them. The best I could do was an email message and novenas in my home. They probably do not know how much I thought of them or that they were even really in my heart or prayers, but they were.
    Sometimes tragedies or hardships are not being shared or seen. Perhaps some of them are bearing their own hardships and although it might be better to share them with each other and hold each other up, that doesn't always happen. Perhaps some of them are witholding themselves not because they don't care about you, but because they don't want to burden you with their own problems and they don't know how to step away from them enough to (are are too wounded right now) to open up and hold another person. Again, it seems that sharing would be better, because then you could help each other, but maybe they are too wrapped up in it to see that, or maybe they are too broken to have the strength to begin that.
    I also think what you said about someone doing the same thing to them probably is very true. We learn about what to do and how to help others when we have been helped ourselves. I knew that making a meal for a mother with a new baby was a nice thing. And I tried to do it whenever I could, but not until I was the recipient of that process of regular meals organized for our benefit did I REALLY understand what it was all about. That happened for me the first time after my last child was born, and now I understand that it is so much more than a nice little break from making dinner for a night -- it's about the outpouring of love and support that is showered on you and your whole family, and it really is more than just a little break from dinner - especially when you have some regular meals coming. It was AMAZING! I certainly am willing to go WAY out of my way now to make a meal whereas before I was more careful of my own time.
    So how many of these people have born hardships alone? And don't know how to help another person because they were not helped that way themselves?
    It seems to me no matter what the motivation -- selfishness, shallowness, hidden hardships, or ignorance -- these people definitely need prayers themselves.
    And I do see also that, no matter what the motivation, their pulling away hurts. The grief over the loss of companionship and grief for what the friendship could be hurts.
    .....And God is sooooo good, that we can offer the pain of that very grief for the healing of the friendship and the friend! How cool is that!

  6. "The spirit God has given us is no cowardly spirit, but rather one that makes us strong, loving and wise.". 2 Timothy 1:7

    I read this and thought of you. This is why God gave you such a gift He knows how amazing your spirit is and how you can handle all of this!!!
    Always great to see you!!

  7. “The most terrible poverty is loneliness and the feeling of being unloved.”—Mother Teresa

    Im also an outsider looking in. And I can too understand that those we rely on most will back off in the most distressful times of our lives.

    I think for most of us its natural to back-off those hard things in life- it might make it easier in the short term- but in the long term, sooner or later the guilt sets in and your eyes are opened wide. Its perhaps a lack of trusting ourselves to do the right thing or say the right thing. Instead, we should be trusting in God and the Holy Spirit to help us find the right words and to do the right thing. No matter how hard it is for us.

    I am a complete stranger- connected only by your journaling. Know that you ,Jedi and your family have been in my prayers. While you may not think or feel remarkable, you and Jedi have made an impact on many many many lives by your witness to life, love and faith. Keep trusting in God's grace and his infinite power to continue to guide you on your journey.

    Ad majorem Dei gloriam!!!

    Yvonne ;-)

  8. I don't get a chance to read your blog as much as I'd like to, but I do think of you often. You say this: "if it's typical, it must have been done to them when they were going through a tough time." Truly, most people have never been through anything like what you are going through. Maybe one day they will and maybe they won't. But your strength and courage is probably affecting them from afar whether they know it or not. The person you have become is truly even more beautiful and strong than before. I hope they get to know the new you.

  9. Perhaps our Lord is refining you for sainthood, Elizabeth.

    Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Atlanta has relics (gloves) of St. Gianna Molla all weekend. After masses all are invited to venerate them. I will pray for you and sweet Jedi Joe (love that nickname).

  10. I can completely relate to what you are saying. I went through this exact feeling last year with Our Matthew. So many people reached out to us, and yet some just seemed to disappear... or even were there for the time, and then the next -gone.. as if nothing happened. I am with you on this walk called Calvary. Please remember I am a phone call away. I've been there and in a way still clinging to my own cross. God Bless you and know that you are so very loved. Waiting anxiously to hear the news of Jedi's arrival and birth date!!

  11. Elizabeth,

    I was thinking about something in this vein just last night. I was thinking about how before prenatal testing existed, there was a PLACE IN SOCIETY for parents who had a baby born with disability or who would die very quickly. Those babies still existed, parents didn't know about it until the birth, and then they were embraced by everyone in society as bereaved parents, parents who had experienced a tragedy, a funeral was held, casseroles were brought over, the parents were expected to remain grieving for a time. But now that we have prenatal tests, it truly feels to me like there is no place in society for these parents. Frankly, most of the world expects that the parents will "do the responsible thing" and "take care of it." It's almost like it seems like a burden the parents are placing on the rest of us by leaving us all in this uncomfortable place, living with the knowledge, living with the grieving for months. I had an incident happen last night that had me thinking and thinking about this, how beautiful parents like you don't have a place in society right now and I hate that and I think it is wrong.

    I'm not close to you, emotionally or geographically, but I am praying for you.


  12. Even sadder: those who are solicitous in the beginning, but in the long haul just drop out of sight, or worse. We had so much support and encouragement for the first 6 months or so after Arif's accident, then as time goes on, we got less and less, until it became a matter of those who purport to 'help' offer 'suggestions' which come off more as criticism than anything that can really support or make any difference.


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