When I Was Poor as a Church Mouse


I just want to have a little kidding time here and throw some advice back towards all the ones who feel its necessary to give those who grieve some advice with having never experienced grief before.  99% of the advice thrown our way comes from either good intent  or fear.  People try, and we really do have to at least give them some credit.  After all, we WERE them at one time.

Anyway, I want to throw some experienced advice backacha.  And not out of bitterness, but only from good intent.  I would have loved to have known then how amazing those days were when we were poor as church mice.  My husband and I started off small but mighty.  We both had real potential in the corporate world.  But early on, we decided family was what was most important.  So I quit my job in the pharmaceutical industry and stayed home to be with my young son.  We cut back and bought a little townhouse outside the city.  I shopped at Goodwill for our clothes.  We drove one car, so I took my husband back and forth to work every day so we wouldn’t have an extra car payment.  And our family trips were to see relatives and family.  These were the very best moments of our lives, me and Jordon.  We were very much in love and planning and parenting and enjoying everything that young marriage has to offer.  It was awesome.

And so was being a mother for the first time.  Oh my goodness, it was a dream.  I never thought of having children before I met my husband because I was entirely career driven.  But this man and this baby stopped me in my tracks and I finally found my calling.  My family.  I stayed with being a stay at home mom for 2 years and then finally needed to go back to work and my son needed to see someone else’s face besides mine, so I went back.

From there our careers flourished and so did my son having all the attention and love poured out to him.  We kept climbing and we finally found ourselves at the top of our games on many, many levels.  I had built a career in pharma sales and was calling on world-renown thought leaders in medicine at prestigious teaching hospitals.  (Psychiatric medicines I might add..)  And my husband was running the Canadian operations for his company from where he had started as a CAD designer at the age of 22.  So this was us.  Happy.  Healthy.  And loving our lives.

In July of 2006, Jordon called me while I was at a business meeting in Chicago to tell me he had cancer.  And thats when our reality stopped.  And another one started. For another 8 years.  Treatments and pain, worry and depression. Anticipatory Grief. And then the phone call in 2014, you have metastatic cancer, and he passed away 6 weeks later at the age of 41.

SO….my advice to all y’all who have never jumped over this fence before is to savor those moments.  It’s not about the car.  It is about who’s along for the ride. So take opportunities to make moments and experiences memorable.

Life is about learning and growing. No one is promised a perfect ride. Everyone experiences grief unless you are the first to go. . You can have it all and lose it all.  You can also lose everything and gain much too!! It is about experiences, really good ones and bad ones.

And now we are starting Grief Anonymous.  Two years later. And so much more is to come.  Just know you are not alone.  No one is going to hold back the truth here and we will be here for you when this happens to you. Oh yea….  and we even talk about the signs we receive from above. 🙂 Notice and believe.

7 thoughts on “When I Was Poor as a Church Mouse

  1. Karen, I just wrote a response to you and it disappeared. Don’t know if you got it. Please letme know if you did.

    I sent you my phone number also.


  2. My husband has been ill for the last 14 years. The past 9 months or so he has been either in the hospital, Transitional care or a nursing home more than he has been home. His prognosis is grim but he is a fighter. Unless you are or have experienced it I don’t think anyone can quite understand or appreciate the work & stress involved. For the past two weeks he has been in a hospital that is an hour from our home. Two weeks before that he was in a hospital that is about an hour and a half away from home. I am not old enough to retire so I try to juggle work, home and his needs. There is something so wrong with our society that there aren’t better alternatives than nursing homes. I can’t afford to just stay home on FMLA without money coming in. I also need to keep our health insurance. My spouse also is not of retirement age but due to end stage renal disease he is able to receive disability & medicare (which we do pay for) as a secondary insurance. He has lost his eye sight & has many physical problems. He needs full-time care and I think his needs are best served being cared for at home. Some of his problems have been caused by poor care in a rehab facility & he was only there for 2 1/2 weeks. What do people do? I am at a loss. I have contacted different state agencies but so far they just say they are sorry there really isn’t anything they can offer. I suppose if you could afford to pay someone to come into your home that would be one solution but that’s not an option for us. When I saw one of the articles about anticipatory grief – I had never heard of such a thing in my life but I now have a “name” for exactly how I feel.


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