Jul 27 2011. Comments (1)Since 2003 six members of my family have lost their jobs including me. I knew my job was going to be outsourced, but because I was writing my book, I stayed. On the last day of my job, when I returned home feeling blue, there was a phone call that the publisher had accepted my manuscript. See why I believe in angels? I believe God sent me in another direction. Some who have lost their job didn’t see it coming. Losing a job turns your life upside down. Conscientious and hard-working, a good employee can find it hard to find joy when stress, worry and tears hit when they are “let go.” Happiness seems hard to grasp. Living with kidney disease combines some of the same desperate feelings as you go about life. One of the things I admire most about my two sisters and my mom, my aunts and uncles, who all live or lived with kidney disease, is and was their amazing cheerfulness and zest for life. My mother told me she made up her mind to be happy. At her funeral so many people told me was how much fun she was! My sisters are the same. Joyful despite their burdens! Nathanial Hawthorne: Happiness is as a butterfly, which, when pursued, is always beyond our grasp, but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you.
Jul 11 2011. Comments (1)Today is the feast day of St. Benedict – the patron saint of kidney disease. Many of you know after reading my book, that I was raised Irish Catholic on the South Side of Chicago. The Saints and their Feast Days were a part of my faith and upbringing. What I loved when I learned about the saints is that many of the saints were not always saints! What made them become saints? Each saint has a fascinating story. Sometimes I scratch my head in wonder with questions and astonishment trying to understand. Life is hard. All of us deal with day to day issues that are difficult. Life doesn’t always bring out the best in us. The saints were just like us. St. Benedict was known for the monasteries he formed – his system was admired and respected. It is now known as the Benedictine way and is held in high esteem. When St. Benedict was asked to help form another monastery in the Middle Ages, he did so in the same way he always had. His system had humility at its core and also had rules to deal with issues. My research shows the monks rebelled at his system and tried to poison his drink. Whether the poison was to try to cause his kidneys to fail, I don’t know. When St. Benedict prayed over the drink, the cup shattered. He lived to build more monasteries and to serve others. I like to believe in miracles. Even if I am not a saint, the beauty of life is the way each new day gives us the opportunity to live the way God calls us to live. Today I said a prayer to St. Benedict to bless our kidneys and help us as we all fight kidney disease together.