Overcoming grief, illness, fitness challenge…

Do you ever feel like a tiny Lego man trying to climb up a hanging plant? Will this ever end???
Do you ever feel like a tiny Lego man trying to climb up a hanging plant? Will this ever end??? Will I ever reach the top???

This last week as kind of hard for me, but that’s just because I got really sick after a long string of hard things.

This little guy was throwing up so often, I had to keep a ton of towels under/around him...but he was still so happy!
This little guy was throwing up so often, I had to keep a ton of towels under/around him…but he was still so happy!

Monday, February 2nd, I started my fitness challenge…the day I woke up really sick. Thinking it was just a common cold, I continued to work out, but struggled to find the energy to keep eating, let alone take care of household chores.

For the last few months – going back to the week before Christmas – my entire family has been dealing with the grief of sick/hospitalized family.  My mother’s parents have not been doing well and since December my aunt Gail or Uncle Kevin (with occasional help from Mom or Uncle Keith) have been dedicating their time and energy to caring for and helping my grandparents for the transition that comes from failing health.

Stay focused and eat healthy!
Stay focused and eat healthy! I don’t take photos of all our meals, like last night, Salmon and broccoli over rice (I don’t care too much for rice, but Danny likes it! Maybe I can get him to start eating Quinoa instead…)

The only thing that the rest of us can do from far away is send our encouragement, or offer advice via group texting or by mail (My sister Kelsey mailed a family photobook she created from our reunion at Christmas and I believe my other Aunts mail treats too…), but we can’t be there physically to help.

My two year old got sick during the family reunion in Tulsa and after he started to get better, the baby got sick…never getting better, which resulted in the little guy taking antibiotics last week. Tuesday I started antibiotics. I am just now feeling better and more rested.

All the while, feeling grief over the inevitable loss of my grandparents, who are more like my second parents.  Now, for all I know, they could end up living another 5 or 10 years…but I’ve been struggling with their loss for awhile now.  As a deeply spiritual and believing person, I am confident I will see them in the afterlife. But, losing loved ones is never a simple thing.

Right now, I’m finding comfort in my family life. I am so happy with the blessings I have in my husband and children.

My husband took some aerial photos of campus. Jesse Hall under construction.
My husband took some aerial photos of campus. Jesse Hall, of Mizzou, under construction.

Danny has been helpful when he isn’t busy with school/studying. He has cheered me up immensely with the interesting things he is doing (one being aerial photography).

See the Pillars? After a fire many years ago, the pillars, alone, where still standing.
See the Pillars? After a fire many years ago, the pillars, alone, where still standing.

At the beginning of this semester Danny was officially accepted into the mechanical engineering program with an emphasis to study aerospace (hence the aerial photos).

Snow day.
Snow day. “Our house, in the middle of the”…photo.

Even with a supportive husband, I’m alone a lot, especially lately – with all the sickness in our house – I’ve not been able to go out.

Danny, on the other hand, likes some pancake with his syrup. I grind my own wheat, throw in one or two bananas and some blueberries...mmmm.
Danny, on the other hand, likes some pancake with his syrup. I grind my own wheat, throw in one or two bananas and some blueberries…mmmm.

So, although it may seem as if this was a bad time to start a fitness challenge, I really believe it was the perfect time.  Exercise has been just what I needed to help boost me emotionally, physically and spiritually…it has kept me going and helped me to stay on track with eating healthy too.

Thank you Aunt Gail and Uncle Kevin for taking such good care of my Grandparents.  I wish I could be there with you all.  I know what you are doing is very difficult too – so continue to make time to recharge your personal batteries! I love you very much.

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