One day I grew old *how your purpose keeps you alive against all odds

I don’t know what happened but suddenly I was old. Something clicked off I imagine and the dark circles came and my hair got thinner and silver and my face wrinkled like a prune….seriously…like a prune.  I got a sad look from the bone density tech and my weight dropped off. I became brittle literally over night. My eyes are red most of the time with an eye disease my mother had when she was old. Only I am not really old in years yet.(or maybe denial is not a river in Eygypt). I just feel like I have been swimming in chlorine for hours. My ears ring and hiss and roar. My joints pop and crackle (sheesh I sound like a symphony) When I was young and healthy my body was quiet. As in no noise.  Now everything sounds either muffled or really loud. What? My Dad turned 90 this summer. He is vibrant and active and healthy. When I was driving and was seeing halo’s and stars around the lights coming at me I asked him if he saw those things too (he said No he just saw the lights)  Great..I’m older than my dad. I was seriously worried about that until I removed my glasses and found that without my glasses I didn’t see the halo’s or the stars either. (Scratched lenses) Hahaha!

I also have hair that grows in the strangest places and hair that is falling into shower drains and on black sweaters and jackets at an alarming rate. My goodness what happened to the long-haired girl with the big hazel eyes and the toned muscles and the smooth skin? Where the heck did she go? I miss her. She was a beauty by some people’s estimation. A face for Hertz, a body for Club Med.  There were travel brochures with her big eyes looking over her tanned shoulder holding a tennis racket. Now I look in the mirror and I see my mother. Some days I see a really old person, who’s sick and hurting with pain. It’s not easy. Truth be told I am NOT liking this. Not at all Not one bit.

I was reminded today by my therapist (yes I have a therapist) that my legacy will be something much greater than my looks. That if I get to live 20 more years (that would be some feat as I was sent home to die at 24) and I continue to do the work of funding the water wells (we are on our 19th) that for every child who lived and went on to have children, my legacy, my divine purpose will be revealed in heaven when thousands of people come to me to tell me they had life because I lived. I realized that as long as I have purpose I have a reason to live. The orphans and their suffering has been my purpose. That purpose has carried me through years where I gasped for breath with the pain of living. That purpose has reminded me when I saw no hope, that those precious people for whom I give my heart and life are in worse conditions than I am, suffering. Knowing that has prompted me to rise from my sick-bed and fight. For them and for me I fought back from a pesticide poisoning that caused my stomach to shred like I had swallowed glass. Bent over for months I pushed myself to get up, go to a chair, say a prayer, dream a dream, try to eat whole foods again (everything I ate was pureed like baby food). Those orphans, with their big eyes and their protruding stomachs and their skin and bones needed me. I could help them. It pushed me to live again. I fought back from cancer (twice) and I continued to write about those orphans. I wanted the world to remember them, even as they seemed to forget me. Those orphans reminded me of their courage and their laughter in the face of extreme poverty and sickness. I took great strength from their stories. I took great courage from their ability to be thankful with so little when I truly had been given so much. Through no fault of their own they were born in Africa, not America. Through no cause of my own I was born in the land of plenty. To NOT help them is unthinkable to me.

So yes, I am older. I am weaker, skinnier, wrinkling and by American standards of youth and beauty declining. But I am reminded that as long as I have breath I have purpose. I have God in me, I have a few dear ones who support me and my cause, I will carry that purpose to my grave and one day perhaps in heaven a man will come and hug me because the water saved him as a baby and he went on to a long life, fulfilling his purpose to help his people live. It’s a beautiful gift purpose. It changes the world It carries you home.

Wish to help?

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Liberia June 2006 Day 1 Disk 1After the poisoning


Last Night

Some nights are darker than others. By that I mean the circumstances cloak our confidence and cover us in questions to a benevolent God. I believe it is often called “The dark night of the soul.” A place of bewildering fears and perplexing symptoms. If you have missed the fun, good for you (not sure why some of us are having more fun than others.) As for me,  life is what happens when your making other plans and that can drag a person down.

I have recently realized that most people live in a blissful place of denial and indifference. They can actually NOT be overcome with grief and anger while watching the evening news. They can drive past a dying animal on a highway and not feel led to help. They can avoid thinking about the brown clouds and the acid rain and the species growing extinct. They don’t give any of it a second thought.  I am not trying to toot my own horn, I am simply using this as an example. For many years I have been trying to raise awareness and funding for little orphans kid’s (I call them sparrows) so they can live, grow up and not be so deathly ill by contaminated water that they can’t change anything for their fellows. I was turned on to the needs of orphans by a former friend and Playboy playmate Susie Kraubacher who was doing amazing work in Haiti. I helped her for a while and then I felt led to find my own little corner of the world.  I actually thought most people would care if I showed them the need. Wow was I wrong about that! What has happened more often than not is the indifference. They cant get past their own little need in the luxury of living here, with running water and toilets. They can’t (or won’t) put themselves in someone else’s shoes and walk for a minute. They “have their own charities they give to or they don’t know if their money will actually go there.” If I post that I am close to funding another water well, they “like” it but they never take the next step. Just click on the button and donate…$10…think how great it would be if everybody gave just $10. I am not trying to shame you here, but I am asking you to think. What is holding you back? Why won’t you help those little sparrows? I think it’s great if you actually do give to other charities. I hope it is monthly and generously. I just want Americans and the well to do in the world to give a s&*%. Wake up to your blessings and be willing to share just a tiny part of your blessings with others. Do I sound angry or tired? I am. I have been deathly ill off and on these past three years and I don’t know if I have much more time and I am really wanting to help as many little sparrows as I can. I am tired of the elite having it all without gratitude and a heart of compassion and love for others. It can cause me to question everything good in my fellows.  So last night was a dark night of my soul. A lonely journey into darkness (both literally and figuratively) that had me wondering if I was dying. After a night of prayer and extreme sickness and then awakening after a few hours of sleep in my cushy, warm bedroom, it suddenly hit me just how many people around the globe have those nights and they are alone and without clothing and bedding and fresh water to drink and food to nourish them. It hurts like hell even under the best of conditions (like mine) and they have to suffer without hope. It breaks my heart to type that last sentence because without hope you will perish and they do…by the millions every year around the world. 

I am asking again (for them) do you want to help me to fund life?

#orphans #lonely #justdoit

What is, what has been and what will never be…making peace with my truth

My eyes will never see the great wall of China. I will never see the top of Kilimonjaro, nor the bottom of the ocean. I will miss Paris in the spring and the Nantucket Lobsters. I will never  see fireworks light up the sky in Sydney, Australia. I will never be a grandmother, nor birth a baby. I have no chance of going to swim with dolphins in the wild. I am a mostly home bound, chronically ill 60 year old woman. Many of my days are behind me now. I can’t see much without my glasses. I stumble a lot when I walk the trails. I have a lot of wrinkles and my hair, once thick and shiny is now stringy and thin. So thin I can see my scalp. I have survived two cancer go rounds and my breasts are scarred and useless. I hurt every day and parts of my body go to sleep if I lay or sit too long. I am always struggling, things that used to be easy are now really hard. My 88 year old Dad, says that he still doesn’t find it hard to do most things. I’m starting to know that I am older than my dad. He just returned from an 11 day trip to Alaska. I can barely go to the store down the road.

I share this because there comes a time in every ones life where we have to take life on life’s terms and say “Uncle” I didn’t think it would happen so soon but there it is… MS, chemical poisoning that nearly ended my life, accidents and deaths have taken their toll. Two time cancer survivor and septic infection comeback kid. 7 car accidents, struck by lightening through a phone and bit by a brown recluse spider in my bed while my husband slept beside me. Two rapes and an assault. Became pregnant in the rape. Lost the child to an auto-immune attack upon my body. Never had a baby in my arms to call my own. Rejected and despised, abused and beaten.

Do I want to write my truths? No I don’t. But this is who I am and this is what has made me. I can read off this litany of lists and understand broken. What amazes me is that I am still here. Fighting infections almost daily. Still trying to walk 10,000 steps a day. Still writing and trying to be a friend to others. Still learning to keep my mouth shut. Trying to be a wife and a friend and a daughter. Still trying to raise awareness for the bee’s and the babies. Still trying to care.

I have let a LOT of people go in my life. Those who were indifferent to my suffering, those who talked behind my back, who judge me harshly, who are not kind to me. DONE. Don’t have time to not be on my side any more. Life is short and I only have so much energy.

I have tried to make amends and to keep my side of the street cleaned up so to speak. I try to not be bitter or resentful. Some days that just creeps in like a dark cloud across the sun and I am learning to release it sooner than later. I try not to be jealous of those who are well and take it for granted every single day. I try not to be sad when I see the support and love some people get when they have  just one of the diseases I have had and they got to go on after a short rough patch in their lives. I have very little support and I can get pretty angry about that. Like what did I do? Why can’t I have what others have? A loving supportive community of real arms and helping hands to lift me when I’m really broken. I know this is sounding pathetic but it’s truth and it’s human and sometimes it isn’t pretty.

But you know what else is truth? I am still loved by a few people, very deeply. I have, with the help of a few beautiful people, raised up 14 water wells and have fed an estimated 4000 kids. There are people on this earth that I helped to be born. There are people on this earth who know more about Jesus and God because of who I am. There are people on this earth who would have died had they not come to me as my patient, I am a prayer warrior and people have been healed and delivered. Prisoners have known Christ. Homeless people have met the Lord. I have been used by GOD and that gives me hope that this pain wracked life has not been in vain. Songs that I have birthed have been sung and played at churches and funerals and weddings. I have won awards on this earth. I have written words that changed the shape of a heart and opened a mind. So my life has had some purpose and a lot of grace and love from the Lord Jesus Christ. I am held in his nail scarred hands. I am truly blessed in ways unspeakable. Mysteries have unfolded, glimpses of his glory, I have been transported into the very threshold of Gods presence. Changed without measure. I live as saints of Old, I am touched by angels and kissed by God and I have burned for it.

This is a crazy blog. Much like Paul in the book of Corinthians who bragged of his weakness and his walk with GOD and his love for the very ones by which he writes and in doing so he is encouraging himself. I am trying to encourage myself as I make myself fully known. I have long been told that I am not enough. In Christ I am more than enough. One of the strongest and bravest people I have ever known.  Because he loves me and lives in me..I don’t have to be perfect. He doesn’t look for perfection, he looks for our hearts. He wants us in his arms. He wants us in his sight.

After the poisoning

After the poisoning


A month before I was poisoned


Me at the age of 30


4 years before the poisoning


Some of my babies


Finding peace