My Husband, I Think I’ll Keep Him

I want to take this opportunity to brag on my husband a little bit… or maybe a lot. For the most part, he is the kindest, most gentle man I know. You  might think that most women would say that about their husbands, but mine has a proven track record.

As most of you know, I have had my struggles with bipolar disorder. I’m not ashamed of it. It’s part of me, but it definately does not define me. However, there was a time when I was really a pretty sick little chick. I heard voices, I was mean, I was afraid, I was another person. My husband did his best to help others understand I was not myself, that something had happened down the way and I was not the girl he married. Even when I divorced him, he stood by me. I moved to Granger, Texas to live my life separate from him. I had a boyfriend (who no one but me liked), but I went home each and every  weekend I could. Stephen let me stay at the house, took me places, fed me, helped me. I ended up divorcing him anyway. It wasn’t I was a mean and ugly person, I was sick and lost.

When I moved back to Dallas, my husband let me move into our house. I gave him checks for rent, which he didn’t always cash, and I was grateful for being there. He had worked in the mental health industry when he lived in England long years ago. He knew how to help me, how to comfort me when I was afraid.

Many people told him he should just let me go, he should divorce me, move on and find someone else, but he was adamant that the person I was , was not the person he married. He prayed, and prayed some more, he hung in there with me and he loved me despite myself. Then, on Valentines Day, 2000, he asked our children for their permission to remarry me. We remarried on April 22, 2000. I was still not 100% whole, but I was getting there. And he stayed with me during times when my own mother didn’t know who I was. Not too many husbands would stand by their wives when they are not mentally there. My husband did and I’m so grateful he did.

So, this blog post is for him as is all my love. If you have a relative who has a mental illness, hang in there with them, pray for them and love them. They will appreciate you more than you will know.

Thank you , Stephen for hanging with me. It’s been quite the ride and I know it will continue to be for lots of years to come! I love you!11060902_10205518916603978_4508978859742893733_o

Okay Rain, Come on Back Now!

The rain came and stayed and stayed and overstayed it’s welcome. Now, at 92 degrees, I’m ready for the rain to come back. Maybe not in droves as it did in May. Maybe just a bit at a time in order to bring the temperature down a  bit.

See, when it gets hot outside, I tend to cut my hair.  Alot. It’s pretty short now and I like it okay, but I’m not in love with it. I liked my long hair-I really did. It’s just something about  hot weather and the sweating that takes place during said heat. Well, it’s just hair, it’ll grow back, I guess.

I have a few goals for this week. The first  one is to stay as cool as I can as often as I can. The other is finish my new book The Conservative Congregant. I am this close to finishing it. I know where I want it to go and how I want it to end. The second goal is to get with my niece, Shannon Beaty, who is my new illustrator for the rest of the Jack books. Shannon is very talented and we are hoping to get two books out by September-the actual goal is August, since school will be starting at the end of August. So, I want to see where she is with the illustrations. She has sent me some via text message and they are so so cute! I can’t wait for you all to see them.

So, if you don’t hear from me much this week, I’m just trying to achieve goals!

me with longish hair
me with longish hair

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Above All, He was Human

I have really been struggling this past week after learning of the death of my former pastor and friend, Phil Lineberger. I think all of us who knew him have. Phil was, for the most part, a happy, go-lucky kind of guy when I knew him, when he was at our church in the 80’s. He baptized my husband and married us in the church after Sunday evening church because we’d only been married at city hall. After my husband was baptized, we wanted a church wedding, but it was not practical to have a regular church wedding. Phil was more than happy to do it for us. It meant everything to us. He meant so much to our family.He meant so much to so many families.

This particular death was difficult for many because, you see, Phil struggled with depression and took his own life. I don’t know how long he struggled with it, but I have been in the throes of depression myself and I know how devastating it can be. Phil stated depression had it’s own language in a eulogy for one of his pastor friends who also died at his own hand. It does have it’s own language and it is the language of “you are worthless, hopeless, helpless.” Those messages along with others we hear when we are depressed are devastating to the soul and our self esteem, our pleasure in doing things, in living is diminished to the point of exhaustion.

At first, I couldn’t imagine a pastor, a man of God, with God-light in his face, his eyes taking his own life. My question was “if a pastor has no hope, is there hope?” The answer is yes. There is still hope. Pastors, priests, rabbis, all of them are human above all. They are not immune from mental illness, depression. Mental illness doesn’t pick and choose who it touches. It doesn’t pass over one because they do this or that for a living. I am sad that Phil is gone from this earth, but he is  not and will not be forgotten by those who love him, respect him . I am sad that he was caught in the evil arms of depression and that he could not wriggle free.

I am so sorry for Brenda, Becky, Amy and Kathy-the Linebergers and their families. No one should have to go through this. But instead of the blame game, we should say , “Above all, He was Human.

We love you Phil.

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