Columns

Showing Up with Carpe Diem Intent

A week ago last Sunday, I spent a portion of the day, as I often do, going to church. Well, not quite “going.” Owing to the challenges of readying and transporting me, I participate in worship via a livestream of the service. The…

Translating the Talking Boxes at the Drive-thru

If you’ve ever used the drive-thru lane to order a meal, then you know that the experience can range from easy to downright annoying. My husband and I have suffered through fast-talking order-takers with squeaky voices, but when we encounter the dreaded malfunctioning speaker, we know that we’re in for…

The Art of Choosing a Family-friendly Movie

Spoiler alert: This column describes plotlines from the film “The Art of Racing in the Rain.”  Friday movie night has become our favorite pastime, as it’s something we can still enjoy as a family despite my husband Todd’s paralysis. We typically find a funny movie on Netflix or Amazon Prime.

Smooth Out a Rough Day with This Mental Game

My husband and I recently took a short trip out of town. On the morning we left, it dawned on me that I was going to have one of those days. You know the kind. A day when one thing after another gets in the way. The culminating moment happened…

The Clock Starts Ticking After an ALS Diagnosis

After my husband, Todd, was diagnosed with ALS, we went on what we thought would be our last family vacation. We flew into Los Angeles, visited friends, and toured some sites. I took a lot of pictures — our 5-year-old daughter meeting princesses at Disneyland, our…

Desperate Places Don’t Always Come with a Choice

After we got married, Todd and I bought an adorable, craftsman-style bungalow in a Milwaukee neighborhood. I believed living in the city would give me a better understanding of the issues faced by the families I served at an inner-city ministry, where I coordinated a tutoring program. Our next-door…

Want to Slow Down Your ALS? Try Smiling!

What does smiling have to do with ALS? Or happiness, contentment, or feeling positive? These expressions of our sense of well-being are important to those of us living with ALS. According to a study of 224 ALS patients, participants who had good emotional well-being experienced a slower progression…

Suffering Connects Us All

“So tell us your story,” we often ask people who come to help with Todd’s care. Those who show particularly deep compassion tend to have their own story of suffering, or they’ve loved and cared for someone who suffered. A stage IV cancer survivor. A disabled parent. A sibling who…