Tuesday, March 31, 2009

At least we know...

Well sadly my news is mixed for today.  We found out (after a long morning) that Bradley has Pneumonia.  About 1/2 of his left lung is full of junk.  He was a real trooper through the Dr. appointment, blood work, x-ray, and return to the Dr. for shots and to pick up a prescription.  Thankfully we know what it is and hopefully he'll be on the mend soon.  There are a lot of what-ifs that we'll have to be careful to watch for, but we'll be praying that things will work out as they should.  Luckily it is NOT contagious so at least we don't have the added worry of wondering who we might have passed it on to.

It's been a long and tiring last few days, but again, at least we know what's wrong with him and I was thinking about it last night, at least we have 2 beautiful boys to worry about.  The Lord has truly blessed us.

Oh, and our sweet Bradley has so much faith.  Early this morning (oh, around 4:30 am) as Bradley was lying in the tub when we were trying to bring Bradley's WAY TOO HIGH (somewhere over 107) fever down he said, "I think you need to give me a blessing, Dad, so I can feel all better."  What faith.  Again, we truly are blessed! 

Monday, March 30, 2009

Ray of Light

Okay, so I'm REALLY trying to stay positive here.  BLAH!  Bradley has been really sick this weekend (i.e. fever that spikes up to about 106.4 degrees and that's while on Ibuprofen & Tylenol!).  Needless to say it's been a long weekend.  And to add to it, Braeden had a fever before Bradley so I thought Bradley had just picked up what Braeden had, but now Braeden has a fever again.  Pullin' my hair out here!

Anyway, my "Ray of Light" is that we actually have medications to help keep the fevers down.  I honestly think if this had been many years ago Bradley may not be with us anymore.

This will go away...this will go away...this will go away...my boys will eventually stop being TOTALLY cranky...eventually...RIGHT?! 

Friday, March 27, 2009

Thank You, Ryan

Thank you Ryan for bringing tears to my eyes. Tears of gratitude, tears of pain, tears of love, tears of hope, tears of understand, and tears of SO much more.  I have wanted you to express your perspective for SO long and reading your eloquent words has proved to be worth every moment of nagging you to write them.

Intellectually I knew that "we" had depression, but emotionally I was, and am, so often in a shroud of darkness that I was blind to the pain of those around me. The best I can do is to imagine what I would be feeling if I was watching Ryan struggle in the way I am. It would definitely be "we" and not just "him."

I have SO often told others that I have a tremendous husband. Even just last night I told my sweet neighbor that the Lord OBVIOUSLY knew who I needed as a husband. Thank you for being the love of my life. Thank you for "[following me] into greater lights."

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Beginning of Ryan's Perspective

This is Ryan writing. For some time now, I have been meaning to make some contributions to Marianne's blog. She would like to have my perspective and my experiences represented here, as well. This is a daunting task for me, as I believe the depression in our lives has provided me with challenges different than-- but in some ways seemingly equal to-- the ones that Marianne has faced. She has depression in her body, but we have depression in our family and in our relationship. Just as it has taken time, effort, prayers, and much more for her to figure out how to do things with her depression, it has done the same for me. She has depression, therefore we have depression. 

Can you imagine what it is like to love someone more than anything else and want that person to be happy only to have your best efforts fall short because there have been times when the depression keeps her from feeling happiness... or almost anything? That is our story: the story of two people who love each other trying to work through the haze and the darkness the depression can bring to create happiness for each other and for our children. It has taken courage and faith. There have been moments of light and moments of near despair. But through it all, we are together. I think, perhaps, because of our experience with the depression, I have come to treasure those moments of unimpeded happiness even more. Perhaps that is the gift of the depression.

I have more to say than I could ever hope to communicate in a single post, but perhaps a good place to start is to share the lyrics of a song that spoke to me in one of our darker times. To me, it rang true in its ability to express my dedication to Marianne as we journey "through never ending shadows" in our shared faith that in the end, and along the way, we will find "greater light."

"Greater Lights"
(performed by Charlotte Martin)

Keeping me
My steps have said
You must go through every door
Where you are led

Silences hangs
In my fear
Daylight fades
And I know you will be here
Melting our ground

In never ending shadows
I'll follow you to greater lights
Burn through me
Around me
I'll follow you to greater lights

Words will fly
Beyond us
Waking now
No longer numb to the sound
Of every voice

In never ending shadows
I'll follow you to greater lights
Burn through me
Around me
I'll follow you to greater lights
In never ending shadows
I'll follow you to greater heights
Burn through me
Around me
I'll follow you to greater lights
I'll follow you to greater lights
I'll follow you to greater lights
I'll follow you to greater heights
I'll follow you to greater lights

To hear the song, follow the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D50oR8tBVKI

Broken Things to Mend

I recently picked up a copy of Broken Things to Mend, a book written by Elder Holland.  I've wanted it for a while, but finally picked it up.  Even the quote from the back of the book has been so helpful.  It reads: 
"Just believing, just having a molecule of faith--that simple step, when focused on the Lord Jesus Christ, has ever been and always will be the first principle of His eternal gospel, the first step out of despair."
And as I read the dedication, I felt my eyes pool with tears:
"To all who feel that someone --or something--they love 
is irreparably broken or irretrievably lost.  
It is not."
So often I think that is how I feel.  I feel as if something "is irreparably broken or irretrievably lost."  It is such a dark place to be...so, so dark.  But then I read words like these and my eyes want to pool with tears of relief, thanks, and hope.  Here the Lord is speaking through one of His chosen servants straight to me.

With all my heart I believe that the Lord will speak to us individually, but how does that work when the receptors are broken.  How do you hear His call when in so many ways you are deaf to His words, paralyzed from His touch, and blind to His miracles.

I think for me, just purchasing and opening this book was my "molecule of faith."  So much else that I have been trying has fallen short of the mark.  So some little Ray of Light and inspiration from the Lord was able to peak through.  Able to break through the blinders of depression.  

The Savior has always said to "Come unto me," but so often I felt like, "Why would He even want me?  And am I even able to be fixed?"  
"Considering the incomprehensible cost of the Crucifixion and Atonement, I promise you He is not going to turn His back on us now.  When He says to the poor in spirit, "Come unto me, " He means He knows the way out and He knows the way up.  He knows it because He has walked it.  He knows the way because He is the way."
He truly is the way.  In so many ways my life is "irreparably broken or irretrievably lost," but there is hope.

The lyrics to one of the most moving pieces I have every performed with a choir seem to fit SO well here:

And What is it We Shall Hope For
From The Redeemer
by Robert Cundick

And what is it we shall hope for?
We have hope through the atonement of Christ
And the power of His resurrection,
To be raised unto life eternal.
We shall pray unto the Father with all the energy of our hearts,
That we may be filled with His love,
Which He has bestowed on us who are true followers of the Lord, Jesus Christ.
That we may become the sons and daughters of God;
That when He shall appear, we shall be like Him;
For we shall see Him as He is!
That we may have this hope,
That we may be purified even as He is pure.

Monday, March 16, 2009

The Power of the Ensign

I think I've mentioned this in a previous post, but since I'm not sure, so follow this link to find out about the Ensign magazine.

Last night as Ryan and I were saying our evening prayer, I had a moment of inspiration.  I literally popped my head up and said, "AH!  Bradley is the "Star of the Week" tomorrow!" Well the fact that he was the Star of the Week" at preschool this week wasn't such a bad thing...it's actually kind of cool, but the fact that I hadn't prepared ANYTHING for it was bad (the parent's of the "Star o the Week" are supposed to present a little tribute about their child's life)...especially since it was 11:00pm.  :(  We finished our prayer (yeah, I usually don't make a habit of blurting things out in the middle of the prayer, but it just kind of happened) and I dutifully got up telling Ryan, "I'll see you in 2 hours!"  (I would love to say it got done quicker than that, but nope, I dragged myself into bed at about 1:00am, but I had a pretty darn cute tribute done, if I do say so myself...sorry a bit of a bragging moment there.)

If you've read my other posts you'll know that getting enough sleep is a HUGE factor in equalling a decent next day.  Today did not fail my expectations in any way.  And I swear the boys could tell that I was extra tired because they were in "tip top" form...YEAH RIGHT!  

I'm seriously not sure how they can scream so loud.  Most people say girls scream, but my boys can DEFINITELY scream with the best of them.  They are seriously the most ear-piercing screams...if you've heard one, you know what I'm talking about.  Well there was TONS of that going on.  I think I would have wanted to go hide in bed even if I didn't have depression.  After sending one kid down to play Game Cube and blessing the DVR for having extra Sesame Street Episodes on it for the other, I gratefully found the couch and spent the pre-preschool hours of the morning there.  

Despite my best efforts, I slept through the "alarm" (a.k.a. kitchen timer) I'd set for myself, and so the "Star of the Week" arrived at preschool about 15 minutes late.  Oh, and just an FYI, his younger brother was literally screaming the entire way to and from preschool (thank heavens it is SUPER close) because I put him in the car without shoes!

So by the time I got home, I REALLY wanted to crawl into bad and pretend today hadn't happened.  I desperately wanted to talk to Ryan, but unless I wanted to call his work, have them send the back-up truck to find him, then have him call me by satellite phone, that just wasn't going to happen. (I'm sure his boss would have loved me for that!)  And my sweet neighbor that has offered to watch my kids in the past, was in bed sick herself, with a house full of sick kids...yeah that wasn't going to happen either.  Oh, and not that this is exactly applicable to the story, but it goes to add to my emotional state, despite my ANAL efforts in following the South Beach Diet, I gained 2 pounds in the last few days...I SWEAR my body wants to hold on to EVERY pound it can...I promise Body, we're not in times of famine yet!

Needless to say I was a mess.  After snugly tying my 2 year old's shoes (yes, we're home by now, but that didn't matter...he wanted those shoes on dang it!) and gratefully praising the invention of the DVD, I sat down on the couch.  Right beside my couch, nicely squished into the corner is my "coffee table" (not quite sure why I still call it a "coffee table" since I don't drink coffee...tradition I guess...but I digress!) piled with copies of various magazines...most importantly the past several months of the Ensign Magazine.  I figured, "What's it gonna hurt?  I'll be sure to steer clear of home organization articles and the like, so it should be fine."  But it  was more than fine.

I flipped open the magazine to the "Latter-day Saint Voices" section.  This section typically shares spiritual stories from other members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints The first 2 I read, "My Prayer in a Stockyard" and "Exactly What I Needed" were exactly what I needed.  I finished reading through the other 2 entries in the section and by the time I was done I felt the peace of the Lord with me.  Sure, the idea of crawling into bed hadn't gone away (sadly that idea pretty much always sounds good), but I didn't feel the crazed desperation for reprieve any more.  I knew that I could "do" the rest of today.  I didn't have an assurance that things would be perfect or that my children would do exactly what I'd want them to do (boy would that be nice!), but I knew that the Lord was with me and that I'd be okay.  The message on just a few thin sheets of paper gave me hope to go on.

I know that the Lord is watching over me, and each one of us.  Look at your own life and as you make an effort to see the Lord's hand, you will.  He is there for each and every one of us, with or without depression.  I leave my testimony that He knows what we need, and if we'll just look and listen we will know that too.  I say this in Jesus name, Amen.

Friday, March 13, 2009


The last few weeks have been a real roller coaster, like always, but even amidst it all, I've still noticed levels of improvement.  For example:

*This past week I have been SO tired (I wish I could explain how tired I was, but that's not the point), but this exhaustion was different from the normal "depressed exhaustion."  Yes, I was still so tired I didn't feel like doing anything, but it wasn't because I was feeling low or down.  I never thought being totally exhausted would make me happy.

*Or the other day I came down to get Braeden out of bed after his nap.  The first thing I saw was bring orange (or should I say "sunset orange"...thank you Crayola) lines all of over his once white pillow case and sheets.  He was proudly holding up a crayon.  I really could have flipped out at him, but instead I asked, "Oh, did you have a crayon in your pocket?"  He excitedly answered, "Yes!"  In that moment I realized, we'd never told him not to write on his bedding.  So I replied that, "We'll have to show Daddy when he gets home."

I'm really not trying to pat myself on my back, but point out a time where I feel like I was able to think rationally instead of "depression induced."  I guess in some ways I feel like my true self is starting to come out.  Do I think I'm "over it,"  definitely not, but it's nice to see those moments of improvement.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Pay it Forward...Blog Style

I saw the following on friend Kim's blog :

I've seen this on a lot of blogs lately and LOVE the idea, here’s how it works: the first 3 people to leave a comment on this post will receive, at some point during the year, some homemade goodies from me. What it will be and when it will arrive is a total surprise! The catch is that you must participate as well. Before you leave your comment, write up a pay it forward post on your blog to keep the fun going (or copy and paste like I did). Then come back, let me know you’re going to play and sit back and anticipate the arrival of your goodies! Please submit in an e-mail or on the comment, your address, if I don’t have it already. Remember that only the first 3 comments will receive a gift from me, so be quick! Have fun!

I think it's a really fun idea, plus I like anything that makes you stop and think about someone else for a moment.  As I try to do as often as my currently volatile emotional state will allow, I like to look around me a think of how I've been blessed, and blogging has truly saved my life in many ways.  I know many of you that know me might be scratching your head right about now, but although "traditional" blogging, as I call it, (i.e. write about all the cute things you and your family are doing) stresses me out to NO end (I just don't feel like I can keep up), being about to have an outlet for my feelings has been so cathartic for me and so I thank all of you that have been willing to hang in there with me.  I thank you for your comments.  I thank you for checking back even when there's been a LARGE gap in posts.  I thank you for just plain being there.