I am the wordsmith daughter of a gunsmith with five children and a story. My life has been punctuated by the birth my third son, Jack. He was born with a broken heart and after his first open heart surgery at only two months old he developed Pulmonary Vein Stenosis. After one more surgery he was placed on hospice. by God’s providence we were able to find hope through a clinical trial program at Boston Children’s Hospital. With the help of years of chemotherapy and heart procedures, he is still alive today. Five years ago, he was born and for five years we have reordered our lives, uprooting it in the most literal and figurative way to keep him alive. We sold our things, quit jobs, and said goodbye to our California and have been trying to make it here in good old Massachusetts every since. And because of this we know God a little better and we do hard things.
I like to think of myself as a modern day Jo March with a house full of huge ideas and very rowdy boys. Four boys, to be precise, and I think that some of them should count as more because they are so much person packed into one man-child body. If you saw me in my home (unannounced) you would see the Bearded Wonder (my husband who is, in fact, endowed with a tremendous great red beard) and my boys being their wonderfully wild selves. The scene may conjure images from the movie Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. Bless our beautiful hides.
Recently, God gave us a little girl too. I was pretty convinced that I couldn’t make those but here she is. Lady Anna, we call her, or just Princess. She is destined to a life of sitting on pee splashed toilet seats and seeing the wild rumpus of whirring noice and smell that is a life of boys. I hope she joins in the fun.
We homeschool. Because of so many reasons but the biggest one is that our idealism is just too big and eccentric to be housed in the walls of a traditional school. But also, because none of us like to wear pants before 10 am.
It is my dearest wish that I can offer you a little window into our lives to see things from our view. We love hard because our little Jack has taught us to fight for life and then to live it very, very well. I also hope that if your child has a tough diagnosis you can breath in and breath back out again, knowing that you are blessed in the middle of your pain. That you are seen and loved by the Father of lights. And that you are not alone.
This is how we do life.
“Depart from here and turn eastward and hide yourself by the brook Cherith, which is east of the Jordan. You shall drink from the brook, and I have commanded the ravens to feed you there.”
1 Kings 17:3,4
God sent his prophet Elijah to the wilderness to wait out a drought and the wrath of a king. He had no way to provide for himself but to wait for God’s providence brought by the claws of ravens. That’s what our life is like. We never know if Jack will be okay, what news we will get, or how in the world we can financially and emotionally make it through the day.
And it is well.