|Patti and The Caregiver, Christmas 2014 at Waters Edge Church.|
You know that old woman who lived in a shoe? Yeah, that's me. We're trying to raise 7 kids without going crazy or killing each other. Number 4 just graduated from high school, so now there's 4 in college. So far, so good.
7 kids, you say?
No, I didn't birth them all. Can you guess which ones? Because of their birthdays, I logically could have been pregnant with all of them. But I was only pregnant with 5 of them.
I was a widow with 4 kids (ages 9, 7, 4 and 20 months). My husband, Mike, died from esophageal cancer. We were married 10 years when I became a young widow at 33.
I was taking our kids to a children's grief support group, Kidz 'n Grief, where I met a man whose wife had died from breast cancer. He was a widower with 2 kids (ages 5 and 2). His wife died a few months before Mike had died. So he knew what it was like to have a birthday, a holiday, etc. without his spouse. I didn't.
Our kids became friends and before long we were hanging out as families. Before too long, he asked my kids for permission to marry him.
"I can't replace your dad, and I don't want to. I just hope I can have a space in your heart, in your mother's heart, next to his."
We were married and had a daughter together. Little H is the one thing everyone in the family has in common. She intellectually disabled and struggles, quite a lot, actually. She's a 12-year-old with the mind of a 5 year old.
Oh, and my new husband, the Caregiver? Yeah, his name is Mike, too.
God's funny like that.
In 2013 we found out I have a rare form of leukemia. Chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) is a painful and life-long disease. I will have to take Super Dangerous but Absolutely Necessary chemotherapy pills every day. For the rest of my life.
I also have something called Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS). It's a connective tissue disorder that causes awful pain in my muscles and joints.
I'm a journalist by trade but haven't worked in a "real" setting since 1994. I have been a contract/freelance writer and editor since then and have published several stories and articles. I also spend time volunteering at my kids' school and our awesome church, Waters Edge Church.
|Which kids did I bring to the marriage? Bet you can't tell.|