was furious with daddy. She watched with a heavy heart as my small head
disappeared beneath the murky depths of Lake Kemp. Mama was not a
swimmer—neither was her baby girl. Daddy just looked at mama, laughing, a bit
puzzled over her hysteria. ‘She will be fine!’ he called to her. And after a
few moments, I bobbed up above the water line, spitting and giggling."
were supposed to be fishing. In fact, mama had agreed to this lake trip because
fishing was safe. Anybody can stand on the bank and throw a line in the water. Daddy, however, had decided it was time I learned how to swim. So when he suddenly threw me into the water, all mama knew was her baby
was being pitched into the darkness, into the unknown, and she could only hope I would surface again.
This is how life is for most of us. Just when you think everything is safe and you have
control over your life, something (sometimes, someone) comes along and pitches you into the unknown. This has certainly been true throughout my life.
Life has been good. Life has been bad. Life
has been joyous, beautiful, wonderful, trying, terrible, tearful, enriching, exuberant, and often downright disappointing and frustrating. But
somehow, through the grace of God, we get through it. Life, we learn, is an ongoing saga of being
pitched into ever-deeper waters, as our resolve and faith are tested time and again. We have to dig deep within our soul, spitting and kicking to cope with
these challenges, and yes, even try to find the humor in them as we fight to
resurface one more time.
When my oldest daughter, Melissa, became ill at age thirteen, I had no idea we were about to be plunged into very dark waters. Thinking she had the flu, I expected she would be well in a matter of days. Little did I know then, fourteen agonizing years would pass before we would resurface.
daughter’s fight with adhesion-related disorder, also known simply as
adhesions, was the most difficult test of her life-and mine. While Melissa battled illness, I battled for an answer. I could not accept my daughter's life (health) had suddenly changed so dramatically-to be told a disease (Crohn's) had taken hold of her body-I never believed it. Something had gone awry.
As I struggled to understand
how to help my daughter deal with her pain and symptoms, I came to realize the medical world does not appreciate a parent who questions...and questions. Sadly, not only did I face a fight for my daughter's very life, I later realized I had battled a political fight with a nationwide medical establishment that has largely turned a deaf ear to
adhesions sufferers like my daughter.
Fortunately, in life's trials, God provides us with coaches and instructors. We have people who support us, who fight for us. Those brave souls stand waiting, arms outstretched on the bank, encouraging us to bravely fight the deep water that could easily swallow us up. These people rejoice in our successes. (Thanks to my daddy for the confidence to toss me as a little child and the knowing he had within that I would...swim!) Thanks also to my mama, who feared I would surely die, as she too taught me how to swim! Thanks to all my family and friends.
Lastly, deep within, we have our own spirit. The God-given desire and strength to push upward, above the trials of life, above the darkness that threatens to overtake us. Each time we break the surface, we move one step closer to the path that God has for our life. We gradually begin to see that we were indeed created for a purpose.
I believe one purpose of my life is to communicate my daughter's experience with adhesion related disorder and fight to spread awareness of this crippling illness. In my own way, I hope to serve as a coach, just as others have done for me in the past. This has been the motivation for my life’s work and this website.