Monday, December 5, 2016

Life Goes on After Separation

There was a recliner here!
Separation and divorce are hard topics for practicing Catholics to discuss.  My husband left me and our boys 7 weeks ago yesterday.  I was at my youngest son's football game in Raleigh several hours away while he had a friend helping him load a truck with a trailer. The following day, I went to Mass with my middle son in the evening, who then ended up in the ER.  While we were gone, my husband was removing more items from our home with his friend. I took my son back to college several hours away and returned at 2:30am to piles of my stuff sitting on the floor because furniture had been removed.

Missing: Flatscreen TV
It is still surreal. I was supposed to go to a wedding while he attended the football game with my son that fateful Saturday in October. That first day, however, he told me that he needed to work on my car, so I changed my plans. Not thinking anything of his needing to fix the car.....we drive old clunkers.
My stuff piled on the floor

Before leaving, he gave me three bags of candy that I really love, bought special cheese at the Amish market that I absolutely adore.... but then there was the accidental text he meant to send to a friend that gave me pause, "Pattie just told me she will be leaving around 2. Plan on just after."  When I questioned him about the text, he said it was meant for my middle son and never replied when I asked why he would call me 'Pattie' to one of our kids. I gave him the benefit of doubt, because I always thought him to be a gentleman and never thought him capable of what he did next.

I headed to Raleigh with the candy. When I returned home, furniture was missing. The large flatscreen TV, stand and Lazy Boy..... then came the text, "Just so you know I have started to move out........" Then he called one of my friends to tell they could come over.  The next day, I found out he had already told our neighbors across the street before moving out!

Piles of my stuff 
Adding insult to injury, this was planned. He didn't pay bills in my name the month before he left or the month he left--in order to have money for the deposit on his 1k/month apartment he rented. My credit is now ruined, he drained the bank account, left me with a 16 year old car that randomly dies and has a plethora of other issues---ALL before I even received my first check from my new part-time job. Just a few weeks after my foot surgery, too! I called USAA to see about getting a $2,000 car loan and can't even get that because of the delinquent accounts--- yes, already showing up from nonpayment in September.

I'm not posting this to get into how our marriage got to this point. It takes two- even if he says it's all me!  It's been a rough 7 weeks. No matter our problems, no one should ever end a relationship via text message or leave a dependent wife who stayed home for 23 1/2 years raising kids, homeschooling for 17 years and taking care of chronically ill children for over 20 of those years (or any dependent wife, really-- ) I have never been he perfect wife and mother, but I tried my best and tried to live my Catholic Faith. We lost 19 pregnancies together, as many of my readers may remember..... we've had many trials, just as any marriage does.

I'm still wearing my rings....I'm still trying to live my Catholic Faith, as imperfect as I am. Please pray for me and for our boys.

I posted the following on Facebook because so many people can't understand WHY I am still wearing my wedding (and engagement) ring 7 weeks later.  As Carla from Cheers said, "Catholicism ain't a religion for wimps." ....... I thought I would share this on my blog as I 'come out of the closet" to say: My husband left me and I'm still trying to live a Catholic Life!

"As a practicing Catholic, I will wear my wedding ring because separation and/or civil divorce do not end a marriage. 
Unless a pronouncement of nullity is made by a Church Tribunal, a man and a woman are still bound to the covenant made on their wedding day. Divorce is a civil proceeding which only separates the spouses (civilly/legally), divides property, and sets spousal support requirements. It has no power to determine the sacramental validity of a marriage.
Relationships (dating, remarriage) with the opposite sex outside of marriage = adultery. Period. So I won't be dating (ahem, cheating on) my spouse. 
I don't care what he is or is not doing with his wedding ring. It would be all too easy for me to toss the ring aside and forget. So, it also serves as a reminder to me that, while the world may see me as 'single', I am not. I am married. Suffering exists in the world- separation and/or divorce are lonely situations and, IMO, pretending to be 'single' will only make the suffering worse. 
I'm posting this because I cannot even count on both hands and feet the number of people who have asked me why I still have my wedding ring on (and/or told me to take it off). I am not asking anyone to believe what I believe or to practice what I believe. I'm not delusional, I am just practicing my faith and offering it up. 
Be bold. Be Courageous. Love Jesus and live your Faith. #BoldCatholic
I may feel differently tomorrow, next week or next year.....but without an annulment, highly unlikely."

I am blessed with great friends. On the day of his departure, I was only 2 1/2 weeks post-op from foot surgery --technically, I should have never started the part-time job to begin with.....but I did and have continued to work. It will eventually turn into full-time.  Friends came over and moved his leftover stuff to the basement for safe keeping and out of my sight... they helped me create a guest bedroom for friends to stay over, too.

I had a cyst removed a few weeks later and the stitches removed the day before Thanksgiving! Trying to fit everything I need done in before I am dropped from insurance. However, right now, my first priority is getting a better car.  I know that if I have reliable transportation, I can work. If I can work, we will survive.

2 Thessalonians 3:10 -He who is unwilling to work shall not eat.

After 7 weeks, I decided I would blog about my journey through separation and hopefully draw strength from sharing.  Pray for me to continue to be a faithful Catholic during this trial and beyond.

*****warning***** *graphic surgery photos below*****

Having two boys who have ben under over 85 times, surgery and medical pictures don't bother me a bit.  The pin sticking out of my toe you see below was removed 2 weeks after my husband left. The cyst on that same leg that was removed was benign and is still healing after having stitches removed the day before Thanksgiving.


It was benign!

Saturday, March 26, 2016

It is Finished

It's Good Friday and this is what I did in my journaling Bible today:

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Faith to Not be Healed

A friend (in real life) and fellow rare disease mom wrote a blog post yesterday titled "Faith to Not be Healed". You can read her blog entry here. It was such a timely blog post about her reaction to a clip she'd heard and her daughter's recent diagnosis. This week, I have been asking God why He has chosen to allow our family to deal with three rare diseases (Shwachman-Diamond Syndrome, Mitochondrial Disease and Eosinophilic Esophagitis) and asked Him why He would give my boys these diseases and also allow some of the treatments not to work for them.  We found out Monday that my son's scope looks to be unchanged from his previous two. Meaning the new medication he started back in December isn't working.

So, reading Kathy's post really hit home today. Do we have the faith to not be healed? We know that God doesn't heal everyone. Even when Jesus walked this earth, He did not heal everyone, so why would we expect everyone to be healed now?  So often over the years, people have said to us, "If you have faith, they will be healed," and we even had one lady say, "You don't need to bring them to the doctor, it is God's will that they be healed." It's amazing what people say.

How do we react when it just isn't God's will that we or our children are healed? I believe God uses healing just as much as He uses suffering in the absence of His healing. Do we see God suffering? This week being Holy Week, I have been meditating on the Lord's Passion. A lot.

We've been dealing with rare, chronic illnesses for almost twenty years. While we pray for healing daily, we are confronted with reality when tests reveal that healing hasn't taken place. Or has it?  I think healing comes in many forms. Maybe God has chosen to heal us spiritually instead of healing our children (or us) physically. I think over the course of twenty years, God HAS healed us spiritually. His grace gets us through the rough times and the crazy illnesses that pop up due to the rare diseases my children battle daily. God uses our suffering to encourage others. Paul says the following:

2 Cor 1:5-7- "For as Christ's sufferings overflow to us, so through Christ does our encouragement also overflow. If we are afflicted, it is for your encouragement and salvation; if we are encouraged, it is for your encouragement, which enables you to endure the same sufferings that we suffer. Our hope for you is firm, for we know that as you share in the sufferings, you also share in the encouragement."

Sometimes, I can easily accept God's will. Other times, I am tired, cranky and fight acceptance. I'm human! Prayer helps, but I can't say that I always accept His will, if I am being honest with myself.  I understand redemptive suffering and scripture is replete with examples of suffering with Christ and accepting our sufferings patiently.  1 Peter 4:13 reminds us, "But rejoice to the extent that you share in the sufferings of Christ; so that when his glory is revealed you may also rejoice exultantly."

It's just not always easy to rejoice in our sufferings, is it?  My middle son was hospitalized the week before Christmas last year because his uvula was nicked during a routine upper GI scope and it became infected. Who has ever heard of an infected uvula? I'm here to tell you that it happens. It was difficult to say, "Wow, Jesus, I'm sure glad you allowed this odd infection to set in after we've already spent the week at the hospital, I'm going to rejoice in this." It doesn't come naturally for anyone. Many a saint has worked a lifetime to gain acceptance of his suffering. While I hope to one day be counted among the saints in heaven, I've got a long way to go.

God also gives us the grace to laugh at some of these odd trials we manage to overcome with His help. In my opinion, laughter IS grace.

Name the appendage and my people have had an infection on it. I could do a stand up comedy routine just on the unusual and rare infections. If I had a penny for every time I'd heard, "We've never seen anything like this."  Sometimes, people who haven't faced the medical trials that we have faced look in horror because we are laughing.  We can laugh or cry. We choose to laugh. With the help of God's grace, of course. Sometimes we can't even begin to laugh until we cried.

It's Holy Thursday and I'm doing what I've done many a Holy Week in the past.....waiting on the final biopsy reports and test results. Slowly, we are accepting that the scope on Monday doesn't look any better than the previous scopes in December and October. It's difficult to accept that medications don't  knock the disease out. The biopsy results will tells us if the medications are working AT ALL.  We pray for healing, we pray for a cure and we keep working at accepting God's will in all of this. We pray for the grace to patiently accept the suffering we encountered for the grace to be able to unite our sufferings to His.

Tomorrow is Good Friday and I am always reminded that every Good Friday brings an Easter Sunday, a  Resurrection Sunday. This week, as I have pondered Christ's passion, I've also been reminded of what Paul says in 1 Colossians 1:24, "Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ on behalf of His body, which is the church."

Somewhere in all of this, we find the faith to not be healed. God is good.

Win a Smith & Wesson M&P Shield 9mm Handgun

I'm raffling off a Smith & Wesson a $20 donation to my campaign gives you once chance to win. You can donate to enter the drawing here.  <--you a="" actual="" also="" at="" can="" chance="" gun="" have="" link.="" ll="" of="" picture="" see="" span="" that="" the="" to="" win="" you="">

Win a Smith & Wesson M&P SHIELD 9mm!

Only 500 entries will be sold! Enter at $20 per entry with no entry limits. Show your support for Pattie Curran!
1st PRIZE: Smith & Wesson M&P SHIELD 9mm (7 round magazine)
2nd PRIZE: Concealed Carry Class
3rd PRIZE: Concealed Carry Class
Must be 21 or older to be eligible. California residents are not eligible. Must pass a background check to receive and pick up 1st prize (Smith & Wesson M&P SHIELD 9mm). 1st prize may be shipped out of state to a gun dealer of the winner’s choice. Concealed carry classes have been donated by Larry Holder of First Shot Personal Protection in Walkertown, NC. Classes must be taken in Walkertown, NC. Only 500 tickets will be sold. The drawing will occur on May 1, 2016, or when the 500th entry is sold – whichever comes first.