This blog is my record of my journey with my son who had a rare, and eventually fatal metabolic illness. It is the story of the last year and a half of his life, his death, and after. I have shared this journey this in the hopes that is will not only help me come to terms with the realities, but also that someone along the way may find it helpful, as they face a similar journey.

This is my place to comment on events, blow off steam, encourage myself (and maybe you), share frustrations, show my love, grieve my losses, express my hopes, and if I am lucky, maybe figure out some of this crazy place we call life on earth.

The content might sometimes get a little heavy. As an understatement..


People who are grieving may write sad or difficult things and bring you down. This blog may not be for the faint of stomach or of heart. Read with caution and at your own risk.

If you are new to this blog, I suggest reading it from oldest to newest. It isn't necessary, as what I write is complete in itself. But this blog is sort of the result of the "journey" I'm going on, and I think it sort of "flows" better from oldest to newest.

I do hope that in the end you will find, in spite of all the difficult and heartbreaking things, things that are worth contemplating.

Welcome along!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


You'd think I'd have my hands full thinking about Joel, without bouts of obsessive introspection and major infections of massive insecurity. You'd think.

But bouts of insecurity are a life-long struggle for me. And when they hit, they hit hard.

It's partly a weakness of my personality. I like people. I want them to like me. Every single one of them on the planet. Thing is, Jesus was perfect, and everybody didn't like him. So I'm pretty sure it is unreasonable and completely unattainable for everyone to like me, being much less than perfect and all.

That doesn't stop me from worrying over it like a bone, though. Gnawing on it over and over in my mind. Are there people who don't like me? Who are they? What did I do to cause them not to like me? And then there is all the introspection. Or sometimes the introspection precedes the "bone gnawing." By which I mean that I start thinking "I think I'm too outspoken... was I too outspoken yesterday at ________? Did I offend anyone? How about ______? This is the second time in a week where I was outspoken in front of them! Do they even like me? Are they just being polite....? Oh my, maybe when I left the room, people exchanged LOOKS! Maybe they have even been saying how I keep jabbering on to each other when I'm not around....??!!"

Do you see what I mean? And pretty soon I'm feeling absolutely lousy and wondering if all my friends are secretly annoyed and fed up with me for some personal flaw and they are just keeping pleasant with me because they feel sorry for me because of Joel. Is this just my own brand of crazy, or does anyone else struggle with this?

I mean, it is just crazy, isn't it? You are not secretly agreeing with my personal assessment, are you? I mean, you are not just being polite when you read this, but really you think I'm an annoying flake and you can't stand me....??? (weak ironic laugh)

Truth is, I'm just so human that sometimes I wonder how anyone really can like me. By which I mean that I prefer to be called determined, but sometimes I'm just stubborn. I prefer to be called lively and high-spirited, friendly and talkative, but sometimes I'm just attention seeking, loud, and obnoxious. I wish to be knowledgeable, but sometimes I'm just opinionated. I prefer to be seen as keenly interested in things, having a love for learning and the truth. But sometimes I'm that annoying kid in school who had to raise her hand for every single answer. I want to be known as a warm and caring person, but sometimes I end up putting an oar in where it doesn't belong. I hope I'm spontaneous, but often I'm just impulsive. I want to be honest and open, but sometimes I just talk too much about myself. (like right now!)

Are you getting my drift? Truth is, all the stuff I've mentioned is stuff that is a part of my personal make up. And every facet of it can be used for good or for ill... The tricky part is surrendering it all over to God so that He can take the "me" out of my personality and make it something beautiful. And too often I grab hold of it myself (impulsive!) and try and make things go in my own fashion.

Even more confusing, though, is sitting down and trying to sort it all out, where did I screw up, and all that. It's better to just let go of it all, (of course, still apologize if needed) and just stop worrying about myself and whether everyone likes me and just get on with the job of what ever God has put in front of me to do. Stop worrying about me and worry about someone else.

Because feeling bad about myself and how I might not be like able or how everyone doesn't think I'm the greatest, or maybe even a passable example of a human life form, all that sort of internal stuff is really just a form of narcissism. Oh, it's not the FUN version of it. Obsessive insecurity surely isn't enjoyable, at least to me. But it is narcissism all the same. (great, add to that big list narcissism!)

So, my friends, I'm going to try to keep speaking to my God about it all. I do hope that none of my personal failings and weaknesses have made you want to file me under "G." And for those of you who love me despite myself, thank you. And now I'm going to go get on with my day, speak to God, and remember that more important than the number of people we manage to get to love us, is the number of people that we are able to show love to.


  1. That is how I have spent most of my life,worrying about what others think of me. It is self centered and narcissistic but old habits die hard. Giving this over to God each and every day is the only way I know to handle it. You are not alone and I read every blog as soon as I am able because your words resonate in my life more than you realize. Love you Aunt dot

  2. Karen,
    I have always found you to be so refreshingly honest and believe it or not, that is what this world needs more of. To be fully human, with all our complexities, weaknesses and strengths, just makes us all the more lovable in God's eyes.
    Your vulnerability, and transparency is a light to all. There are many people who struggle with many things in their lives and are not able to experience inward growth, because they are not honest with themselves. They will remain "stuck" in a sense.
    Your story is poignant and all that you feel in your journey really matters. I really appreciate you Karen! Keep being so honest, even at the risk of "appearing" something else to people. Sometimes the most critical voice comes from within ourselves. God is FULL of grace and His love and mercy is NEW everyday, every moment, every second of our life.
    Hugs to you my dear friend!!

  3. I still like you ;) Ya know what's funny--I'm so insecure that I just assume that nobody likes me. (insert my weak ironic laugh here)
    Lately I've been living by the "expect the worst and you're never disappointed" motto. So, assuming no one likes me and then finding out that they actually do totally makes my day :)

    I know, I'm still residing in crazy-land.