Can I share a touching experience with you?

Discussion in 'Spirituality/Worship' started by pepper, Feb 16, 2007.

  1. pepper

    pepper New Member

    As a person with invisible and much misunderstood illnesses, I am used to people not understanding my limitations. I have learned to accept over the years that that is just the way it is and as long as my DH understands, I won’t worry about what other people think.

    My BIL died this week. I have not been able to participate in all the activities surrounding his illness and death. My DH knows that I did what I could so I am not worried about others.

    Another BIL is staying with us and witnessed my struggle to get ready to go to the funeral today, popping the pain killers, putting on the pain patches and watching how exhausted I was and the pain I experienced getting into the car. I did not realize that he noticed anything. (He’s a guy first of all and most people don’t have a clue what I am faced with even though they are right here.)

    I left the reception after the funeral early due to exhaustion and pain and was driven home. My DH and his brother stayed until the end. When they came home, my BIL came up to me, held my face in his hands, and with tears in his eyes told me that I was his hero. I had no idea what he was talking about. That is when he told me that he had witnessed my struggle before the funeral. He told me that going to the funeral was optional for me and if I was to do what was right for me I should have gone right back to bed and stayed there. (He’s right!) He said that he would have gone back to bed as would almost everyone he knew.

    The fact that I went impressed him so much. He recognized that going to the funeral was no big deal for 99% of the people there and no one knew how hard it was for me to be there. He said that he looked around the chapel and thought how little anyone, even his own brothers and sisters who were there, knew about my struggle to do what to them are the simplest things. He just wanted me to know that he knew it and he admires me so much for it. He had tears in his eyes when he said this and I was very touched. No one except my hubby has ever told me that.

    I have struggled with CFS/FM for 14 yrs and don’t expect people to understand. His comments brought tears to my eyes and I wanted to share it with you. Those of you who also struggle on a daily basis are really heroes just by getting through the day. Most of the time no one notices. It is heartwarming when someone does.

    Just wanted to share this with all of you heroes.
    Love, Pepper
    [This Message was Edited on 02/17/2007]
  2. Asatrump

    Asatrump New Member

    Some good out of something tragic. Blessings.
  3. pepper

    pepper New Member

    Asa, something wonderful out of something tragic. There were actually a number of gifts that came from the death of this brother. This very large family that really has lost touch in a lot of ways has recognized the importance of family and since Cam fell ill I have watched this closeness grow. There has been much discussion of Cam's priorities of family first and the rest doesn't matter much. This experience has changed this family in profound ways and they recognize it.

    Thank you, prickles. This brother is a wonderful man. I have come to know him much better in the past year because he has stayed with us to visit his sister when she was dying and his brother when he was so ill. I have come to love his kind and caring soul. We are coping with their brother's death as well as can be expected. He is in a better place. He was suffering terribly and is at peace now. He resolved a lot of issues before he died and we are all thankful for that.

    Love, Pepper
  4. pepper

    pepper New Member

    We just want to be validated and it happens so rarely. If we just had a cast on every part of our bodies that hurt, people might get it. Or if the fatigue level could be displayed on our foreheads perhaps others might understand.

    This BIL also told me that his family just did not "get it" but he now did. I am well aware of that since I have been given a hard time by some of the family members, my DD's just ignored by the rest of them.

    Their mom "got it" since she lived here and saw the horrendous change in me once I became ill. The rest don't live close enough to know what I was really like before the illness and how my life now is so not what I would want.

    Their sister who died in October told me a few months before she died that she finally understood what being totally exhausted really meant. (She had been hard on me in the past.) She said she couldn't believe that she wouldn't be able to do what she wanted to do in a day simply because she was too exhausted! Duh! But I appreciated her apology even though it was years in coming.

    I am so thankful that my BIL shared this with me last night. It did mean so much to me. He even thanked me for sharing that part of me with him. I was so darn tired I didn't even know that I was doing that! I do think that his perspective on disabilities will have changed - especially since I look so "well" to the outside world. One never knows what is really going on for so many people.

    I am glad that you have experienced this validation too, Pam. It really does mean a lot to us, doesn't it, since it is so rare?

    Love, Pepper
  5. bandwoman

    bandwoman New Member

    Your experience brings tears to my eyes. I am struggling so much right now and you know I can identify with your battles. Yes, it is a rare thing that anyone notices.

    I had a hair apt today and went to this place I go for breakfast on Sat. and one of the bus boys who doesn't speak much English came up to me and in his best attempt at putting together a sentence was was trying to say you looked so tired today. So I think I can identify that feeling of wow someone actually noticed.

    I am so glad that you have made it through this ordeal. I know it is just the beginning of another journey of grief for your family. I am so glad your hubby has been understanding in all of this and that he understood when you needed to go home and go to bed.

    We are tough women eh? We have to be.

    Love,
    Nancy
  6. Busyknitter2

    Busyknitter2 New Member

    You are so blessed to have such a kind BIL as well as an understanding hubby. It was so wonderful for your BIL to notice you struggles when he was dealing with his own grief.

    God bless; Pam
  7. pepper

    pepper New Member

    Nancy, I think that my BIL's response to what I did yesterday really does illustrate how tough we all are. We get up and we do what we have to do no matter how we feel and don't think that it is anything special. But it is! I have got used to doing that over the years without complaining because what is the point in complaining? It doesn't help and just makes everyone around us miserable.

    We really don't want much but a little recognition of our struggle and we are all surprised when it actually happens, like the bus boy when you were having breakfast. Most people are just too busy with their own "stuff" to notice. It is very special that this young man noticed that you were having a tough time. Even nicer that he mentioned it.

    I just want you to know that when I was struggling to stay upright yesterday during the funeral and reception, I remembered your saying "You can do it". I repeated that over and over to myself and it kept me going until I was forced to leave. Thank you for your encouragement. It really helped.

    Yes, Pam, my BIL is consumed with grief at losing his "baby brother" so it was doubly wonderful that he noticed how difficult the day was for me. My hubby is always understanding of my limitations but I was worried that he might expect more of me during this difficult time. But he didn't and thanked me for all I did. "All I did" would appear to be very little to the outside world. But he knows (as you all would know) the supreme effort it took for me to do what I managed to do.

    Thank you, Diane. It is wonderful to know that some people out there really do "get it", isn't it?

    Love, Pepper

  8. bandwoman

    bandwoman New Member

    I am glad those few words were an encouragement to you. It is funny because I have had such a struggle in the mornings lately. I look in my mirror and I tell myself "you can do this".

    The thing is we both can "do this" when we have the Lord's strength in us. That is what is allowing us to "do this".

    My continued prayers with you and your family. As I have asked before any other single BIL's left over? LOL

    I know, the good ones are always taken. Oh well.

    Love,
    Nancy
  9. caffey

    caffey New Member

    Hi Judy: What a high honor. In the midst of all you have been through he noticed Jesus shining through you. What a privelege. It just shows that people are always watching us and our reactions even if they haven't a clue what is happening to us. Last year when I was camped out in emerg for a week. The most common thing I heard was I remember you from when you were in before and you are a nice lady. That is what it is all about. People seeing us being real and letting Jesus shine through. If you really knew you would be amazed at who honors and respects you. Bless you my friend.

    I was reading from a book my girlfriend gave me at Christmas. The reading this morning was on grieving. I just wanted to give you a quote as I thought of you when I read it. It is based on John 11 when Lazarus died.
    " Where is God when we are grieving? The same place He was for Mary and Martha: with us, by the silent tomb, weeping. Then why doesn't He say something? Why doesn't He attempt to explain our loss or lesson the pain? Perhaps because God is a truly healing friend who knows thay no words can banish our grief. As our hearts break, God comes close, He is not absent. Respecting our pain, He is emotionally compassionate, not verbally clumsy.While we grieve, God offers His silent, faithful, near Presence. Like a wise, good, truly healing friend, He is simply and profoundly with us. And though we cannot see or feel them, His tears mingle with ours as we weep." I hope that brings you comfort today. Please share this with your dh. I am praying for you and still sitting here. It is my birthday this week and while I am sitting I am eating leftover snickers cake. WOW!! sugar high!!! lol. Anyways love ya. Keep us posted. Blessings.
    Cath
  10. pepper

    pepper New Member

    Sorry, no single brothers left except this one who would talk you into an insane asylum. He is obviously a wonderful person and I love him to pieces but he sure does wear me out.

    I was thinking today how four simple words can be so effective. These are four words that I am going to keep in reserve. Words can be powerful.

    As I have told you before, I do not know how you do what you do every day. I hope that my prayers and the prayers of all the others on this board give you the strength to keep it up.

    Love, Pepper
  11. pepper

    pepper New Member

    21 again?? Is there really such a thing as a Snickers cake? That would be my downfall for sure.

    I am still stunned at my BIL's comments last night. I guess we never do know who is watching and listening. And how they are putting it all together. I am sure that you are a very nice lady but it is wonderful that people remembered and were open enough to say so.

    The sermon at the funeral yesterday was based on John 11. I will copy this and give it to my DH. He became very choked up during the sermon and nearly lost it - but didn't.

    The family (except me) and close friends went back to Cam's house after the funeral. Cam's 21 yr old daughter has a beautiful singing voice and in her eulogy said that every time she would sing "Memories", her Dad's favourite song, she would sing it for him. Well, guess what she chose to sing for her first song. My DH and BIL said that their whole family just fell apart.

    I suggested that it was a good thing since they were all "holding it all together" for so long, for months while Cam was sick and during the preparations and the wake and the funeral. I think that song allowed them to finally pop their corks and release a lot of that pent-up pressure.

    Today the two of them are doing some male bonding watching three hockey games in a row. Guys. They need each other right now so I am glad that they have each other to lean on before BIL has to leave tomorrow.

    Thanks for being there, Cath.
    Hope you had a happy birthday.
    Love, Pepper

  12. kgangel

    kgangel New Member

    ooooooohhhhhh pepper!! That is beautiful!!

    It must have made you feel sooooo good to finally be understood by someone.

    He was obviously glad that it meant so much to you to go when you felt so bad. I am sure he is very proud to call you a family member.

    If only this would happen for other sufferers as well.

    God Bless you Pepper, I am with you as long as my hubby and family understand I don't worry about anyone else

    hugs

    kgangel
  13. pepper

    pepper New Member

    My one wish for all sufferers of invisible illnesses would be that those around them - all of them - understand that life is more of a challenge than it appears. It would make such a difference in all of our lives.

    But we will take the understanding when we get it and I am so happy to be understood by this one member of my DH's family.

    When I read on the main board of so many spouses just not getting it, it makes me appreciate the fact that my hubby gets it really special. I am glad that yours does too.

    Love, Pepper
  14. caffey

    caffey New Member

    Thanks for your post and update. You are such an inspiration to me. I am praying that you are getting some rest. To clarify it is my 21st birhtday and desperatly clinging lol. It is Wed. So you have to get feeling better. My son just bought a 2003 Jag. I don't drive a standard. Do you? I was thinking he is away on 2 business trips in the next month . If I can get the keys can you drive it and we could go and see Bandwoman.lol. Only problem one of the trips is Chicago so we would have to be careful where we go.lol. Let me know. lol. Hope I made you smile and feel better soon. Let the guys do their hockey thing and you just veg. Blessings. Talk to you soon. You are special. Still sitting. Can't move after the snickers cake and Tuckers Marketplace for lunch after church.
    Love ya
    Cath
  15. kgangel

    kgangel New Member

    Yes Pepper

    I agree with you too

    That would be and is a very good wish

    God Bless you

    kgangel
  16. morningsonshine

    morningsonshine New Member

    Wow!! That was a once in a lifetime moment! We all wish our family members would do something like that.

    Yes, it brought tears to my eyes too. Treasure it always.
    That's a special man.

    Hugs,
    Misty
  17. MamaR

    MamaR New Member

    Hi dear lady....I know you all thought that I had passed away! It has been rough time for a long time. I am sorry to not be back sooner.

    Your story touched me so much! Yes, you are truly a hero! You showed how unselfish that you are by pushing to be there for the family even though your body was telling you "NO". God will bless you.

    I can truly relate to your feelings because
    we just recently lost my dear cousin-in-law, Sonny. I have asked prayer for him on here before. His wife's name is Mable. Sonny fought a good fight, but couldn't go any longer. He died February 13th, after about two weeks of suffering in the hospital.

    We all had to be strong for Mable. She was totally exhausted mentally and physically from being at the hospital with Sonny. I overdid it... and I am paying for it now. But, I had to do all that I could for Mable and the family. I may hurt in my body terribly, but I feel good in my soul. I know that is the way that you feel too.

    I hope to be back her more often. I think of you all so often and ask God to help you all.

    Love.....Mari
  18. pepper

    pepper New Member

    Yes, Misty, I will treasure that experience always. I am trying to compose an email to tell him how much his words meant to me. I doubt that he has any idea of the impact that his understanding had on me - and would have on any one of us. He is a very special person. I hope that I can word it properly.

    It is wonderful to hear from you, Mari. Sonny died on the same day as my BIL, Cam. Cam had been sick since Sept, dx with terminal cancer in Dec. and he was only 52. It is so sad.

    I feel good in my soul that I was here to support my DH as much as I could. I know that others expected more of me but I have to remember that I know that I did all I could do, my DH knows that I did all I could do and God knows that I did all that I could do. In the end that's all that matters, right? I hope that you recover soon from the after-effects of it all. It does take a toll on our bodies.

    Love, Pepper