The Important Reason Why I Write About Living With Chronic Illness

This may be one of my most emotional, soul-bearing posts to date, but also one of my most important. I keep writing and rewriting the beginning, striving for my words to truly captivate and convey all that sits in my heart. What I’ve realized, is that I am just going to rely on the beauty that sits in this story to tell itself.

In December of 2015, my life had fallen apart. I was heinously sick from Fibromyaglia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. I had chronic, powerful migraines, severe gastrointestinal issues, was wracked with hideous all over body pain and struggled with a constant, overwhelming exhaustion. My weight had dropped to a mere 87 pounds and I had difficulty walking, or doing anything, unassisted. We were completely broke and struggling to pay bills; when just a few years before, we had been making plenty of money for a very comfortable life. I had become estranged from my family and my once full life now consisted of sleeping, crying, pain pills and Doctors. I was more miserable than I had ever been and in my once full heart, now resided anger, rage and resentment.

One day in December, my family and I were putting up our Christmas tree with the tiny amount of energy I had mustered. We were still trying to have a joyous holiday season, but the truth was, for the first time ever, I just wanted Christmas and all that went with it to be over. It was during our tree decorating that I received my first email from an eBay buyer.

I had listed multiple items on eBay, trying to raise money to buy our kids presents, when a buyer emailed me her first question. I responded and assumed that would be the end of it. Instead, numerous emails followed, with a buyer asking me a hundred questions about a doll I had listed for sale.

Now, not to sound like a horrible human being, but I have already described my physical state and mindset. So to say I was lacking in patience during this time, is a massive understatement. Normally, I would have become annoyed with someone asking a hundred questions over a $30 doll, but this time; this time was different. Numerous emails went back and forth, all the while we decorated. She asked a hundred different questions, in ten different ways and when she was finally satisfied, she purchased that $30 doll. After her purchase, she thanked me for being so accommodating and explained that she was struggling and had no Christmas in her heart this year. She went on to explain that her Daughter in Law had just been brutally murdered, three months before and that she had no interest in Christmas, this year, but was pushing on for the sake of her 3 year old Granddaughter that had been left behind.

In that moment, my heart broke. She had never said anything in her previous 100 emails. With the help of my kids, we packaged up her doll, but also included doll outfits, a stuffed dog for her doll and a matching umbrella hat, just to be silly. We swiftly packed it up and sent it on it’s way.

When the package was received, the buyer quickly emailed me to say that a horrible mistake had been made and that I must have inadvertently included someone else’s purchase. To which I explained that the presents were from my family and that I would be thinking of them during the upcoming holiday season.

But this woman and her Granddaughter and the woman’s Son weighed on my mind and hurt my heart. I couldn’t get them out of my mind and so I now emailed her. I asked her if I could make a doll for her Granddaughter that would resemble the girl’s Mother. It was certainly the least I could do in such a macabre time for these poor people. She sent me photos of the most beautiful young woman, gone too soon and worked with me to ensure that her tribute had the same eyes and hair as the woman in the pictures. Finished just in time, or so we thought, I overnighted the package and prayed it would reach them in time for Christmas; the doll dressed as an Angel. As luck would have it, the package was lost and arrived a few days after Christmas. When received, she quickly emailed me and told me the doll was perfect and looked exactly like her Daughter in Law. She cried and thanked me for such a beautiful act. At that time, I could never have foreseen what this magical introduction would actually come to mean.

The buyer’s name turned out to be Scottie. And what I thought would be a fleeting exchange blossomed into a really beautiful friendship. Scottie and I swapped over to texting and swiftly became good friends. It was unlike anything I had ever encountered before with an eBay buyer-almost preposterous. And as days turned to weeks, our friendship only grew.

Over the coming months, Scottie became one of my closest and dearest friends. We mourned together, laughed together, cried and got angry together. I had never met anyone so caring, loving and compassionate as this woman who literally fell into my life; aside from my beautiful best friend, Sue. For the first time, in years, I had someone to talk to that understood my pain, my rage, my resentment. But instead of floundering into all of those emotions, the love of this new found friend, instead slowly began to heal all of those wounds.

We talked about everything and anything. My kids, her Granddaughter, her family and husband, my Husband, cooking, cleaning and everything in between. It was as if, during that now sacred Christmas holiday, that God knew just what Scottie and I both needed; each other.

I had never met anyone like her. Twenty years her junior, Scottie became like a Mother to me. I had never experienced such unconditional love and support like what she bestowed. She cheered me on, advised me, held my hand and gave me back my will to live.

We talked about meeting, but with a seven hour drive in between us, we knew it was something we would have to wait on until I felt better. But we had plenty of time.

Then, one day in December of 2017, I got a text from Scottie saying she had been hospitalized with a blood clot. I was struggling that day, we had contractors replacing windows and I had a hairdresser coming. We didn’t text much that day, as I figured she needed her rest and I was caught up in my own entanglement of stress and anxiety over the window installers. By that afternoon, however, we caught back up and she confided in me that she was frightened. I reassured her and told her I would pray for her.

And then, as so very many times in the past two years, I told her I loved her. I thanked Scottie for saving my life and being one of my most beloved best friends.

The next morning, I came down to check my phone, anxious to see how she was feeling. Instead, what awaited me was a message from her Husband telling me Scottie had died.

I remember throwing my phone and screaming. I screamed endlessly and sobbed. It just couldn’t be. I kept reading and rereading the message and screaming even more. How? How could Scottie be dead? How could this person I relied upon for absolutely everything be gone? I NEEDED HER. I couldn’t live without her. Not now. Not sick like this. Scottie’s death has easily been one of the most profoundly painful experiences of my life. And as I screamed endlessly, wracking pain emanated from my soul. At 66, Scottie was dead. And ALL of that love, support, encouragement along with it.

Or so I thought.

I sat in my living room, curled into the fetal position sobbing, incosolable, when someone knocked at my door. Instinctually, before my Husband ever even got to the door to open it, I knew. Bri returned with a box. Just as I knew, it was a box from David and Harry and I recognized it immediately. It was the same box I had gotten the previous Christmas from Scottie. And in my Husband’s hands sat this year’s present from Scottie. It arrived precisely one hour after that life altering text. I knew in that moment, that Scottie was in Heaven and was okay. She was reunited with her Daughter in Law and her pain was now over.

So why am I telling you all of this? Because after our two years of texting, Scottie had pushed me to start writing. One month before that heartbreaking day, with Scottie’s encouragement, convincing and endlessly loving support, I started this Blog.

Our Blessed friendship had been one predicated on texting alone. I would tell her about my day or some typical fiasco, that always seem to accompany my life and she would laugh and tell me I was born to write. As time went on, she pushed me more and more and with her cheering me on, I decided to put myself out there.

I wrote precisely two posts, one of which Scottie quickly commented on and praised me endlessly. See, it wasn’t for me that she had finally convinced me to write. It was that she very strongly felt that I could help others suffering too, by writing about my illnesses. Despite the pain Scottie lived in, she was *always* considering others. Finally fraught with purpose and Scottie’s cheering me on, I decided that she always, always knew best.

In the gut wrenching months after her death, I told my Therapist that I was destroying the Blog. My heart couldn’t bear to write without Scottie. Thankfully, she talked me out of it and convinced me not to. You see, it wasn’t just the Blog that would have been destroyed, but that one and only comment from Scottie, on that post, that also would have been lost forever. Unconvinced, I half-heartedly agreed and completely ignored the Blog for a year.

See Scottie’s one comment here: https://fightingwithfibro.com/2017/11/13/blog-name-defined/

In the months and now year after losing Scottie, there is a deep, never healing abyss in my heart; a hole that will never be healed. I miss Scottie twenty times a day and have to stop myself, endlessly, from going to text her about one thing or another. I think about her endlessly and miss her with such furious longing and pain that I don’t think I will ever recover from it. However, Scottie gave me the gift of life back and that resonates equally as powerfully as that pain.

In the months that went by, after she died, I could never predict that her Husband would become one of my dearest and closest friends. My pain was only rivaled by his and I could hear Scottie begging me to hold his hand and take care of him. For her Husband was the grand love of her life. I made her the promise that I would always take care of him and her Granddaughter and I’m confident that I have kept that promise. The friendship of her Husband saved both of us in those ensuing months; our loss and the struggle to live again in a world without Scottie bound us. This time, though; I call him and we did drive the seven hours for her funeral.

I sometimes reflect, with heartbreak, that I never got to hear her musical voice or give her a hug that encapsulated all of the intense love I had for her. I lament the choices made that prevented me from doing so. But it’s hard to ever have any regrets about our friendship. In a time when we were both at our very weakest and desperate, we cultivated the perfect friendship that we both deeply treasured. It was exactly what we both needed at the time.

These days, I write not for me. I write for Scottie. I write for the people she assured me, needed to read my words. And I write for my 91 year old Godmother and Mentor, who struggles with her failing health and loss of independence. Scottie convinced me that there has to be a purpose to getting sick and I believe that purpose is in using what I have learned to help others.

At my lowest time, God gave me the most perfect, beautiful Angel to convince me to want to live again. He bestowed Scottie’s friendship upon me because getting sick is not the end all, be all, I once felt it was. Through the purest of love, Scottie gave me back my hope. The most priceless gift of all.

So every time I write, it is for her and it is for you. With every wonderful, heartfelt comment I read from you all, Scottie’s truth persists. No matter how sick I am, I still have a gift to give through my words. She taught me that if we have to live with the most impossible of situations, then you have to look for the good within them. Our suffering *can* have a deeper, more important purpose: to help one another.

I may never recover from the profound loss of Scottie, but I can always feel her, I can always hear her. She left me with the most beautiful gift she had to offer, a piece of herself.

So, as the title says, I don’t write for me. I write to carry on the memory of Scottie and I write for you. With each word that I type, a piece of Scottie comes shining through, in the hopes that I may one day give that same gift to someone else: The gift of hope and love.

Written in loving memory of my dearest friend, Scottie. Thank you for your unconditional love, friendship and the gift of everlasting hope. I will always love you. May I someday become just a shadow of the woman you were. ❤

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Fighting with Fibro and Living With Purpose. Mom, Wife, Blogger and animal lover. Fighting with Chronic Illness on a minute by minute basis; sometimes winning.

42 thoughts on “The Important Reason Why I Write About Living With Chronic Illness

  1. What a beautiful story. My husband lost his mentor of over 30 years 12/20/18. They met when hunting with other people. Gradually they left those other friends and it became the two of them. The joke was that they weren’t really hunting, just getting away from their wives, though they did manage to bring a buck home every few years. We did not socialize as couples. They are about 10-12 years older than we are, we were all working, we were still raising kids, then we finally met. His friend said at the restaurant where we met for breakfast, “you are pretty nice! I would have met you sooner if I knew how nice you were going to be”. It was typical Mike. Saying exactly what he meant. I am so grateful for him, even though it was always my husband who was their friend, not really me. We did not go on to socialize, but I would see them occasionally. Then when Mike was diagnosed with cancer, my husband spent more and more time away from me. I understood. I never complained. I knew what was coming, probably more than they did. My husband was with Mike when he died, he was spending the night, his first night home on Hospice. His wife needed to sleep, she had been staying at the hospital. So it was my husband who was with him, who had to go wake his wife up. I don’t begrudge the time he still spends with the widow, though I make an effort to also spend time with her. They really made my husband the man he is today, more so than his father or brothers.

    I have a group of friends whom I have been friends with for about 15 years (maybe more actually). We met on line and I have only met two of them in person. One when I drove cross country in 2012 alone with my dog, stopping in Kansas City on the way home from South Carolina back to California. The other friend lives in Spokane and spent the night here when traveling to Las Vegas to visit her daughter. Yes we were out of the way, but she was visiting cousins on the coast of Oregon too on this trip. I have been toying with the idea of driving up to visit her since she has MS and doesn’t get around great. They truly are my friends this group of women, who know the most intimate details of my life. It’s really a mystery what draws people to each other, but I know it’s a special gift when you find someone like your Scottie.

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    1. What a beautiful testament of friendship between your Husband and Mike. I’m so sorry for the loss of Mike. I’ve often told my kids it only takes one close friend to make life better and I truly believe that. For me, I have a true blue best friend, since I was 9 years old. Without her, I would have been lost in this world. So to then also have Scottie and her love was just an incredible bonus. How neat you have internet only friends too-Scottie was my only friend that came about that way and when she died, everyone was marveled we had never spoken or met. It’s ironic, I loved our friendship so much, it never dawned on me to be sad we didn’t talk on the phone. It was perfect just the way it was. In hindsight, I would never make that choice again, but in so very many ways, our friendship was contrived and governed by a higher power. It’s great to know that you have such a great support system and group of friends. I’m happy for you. Thank you so very much for reading my post and for your thoughtful comments. I appreciate it more than you know. ❤ Stace

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  2. You were blessed with unconditional love of a friend. Many never have the opportunity to learn the lessons and love you did. She is watching over you and sends blessings your way. She can help you thru the rought times and celebrate the good. Glad you had the chance open your heart to strangers, it was meant to be.

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    1. Oh Melinda, thank you so much. What beautiful comments. ❤
      You are so very right. I had Scottie and her unconditional love; which is much more than some people ever have. She and her spirit and love transformed my life and will continue on through me. There is no greater tribute to her than to continue life the way she lived.

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      1. I finally put my Facebook page back up, I have know idea what I’m doing. I was accepted to Chronic Illness Bloggers Network and want to be active. If your on FaceBook you’ll have to tell me how to find you to follow. I’m focusing only on blogging ang, the causes I care for and the groups I’m in. I added some photos. I’m not using as a friend and family page. 🙂

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      2. Yep, you can either follow or like my page. The same goes for most pages. Groups will have you request to join, so they work a little differently. I’ll look for you on FB. As for the Chronic Illness Bloggers site, once they add you to the group, you will be able to post from their FB page.

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  3. Dear Stace, I have been sitting here for over ten minutes after reading your beautiful, heartfelt, emotion-filled story and I have no idea how to respond in an even remotely adequate way. I want to offer you comfort for your profound loss. I want to offer you admiration for not giving up when you obviously live with serious exhaustion and debilitating pain. And I want to offer you deep gratitude for not destroying your beautiful blog when you were in the dark pit of despair.

    I don’t have any earthly or unearthly insights into this life but I do know that we live in a very strange world. I have known what it’s like to fall into that deep pit of despair because of my pain and illness. The ironic thing is that the harder I’ve pummeled against it, the harder and farther my falls. But when I finally surrendered and went deep within and long enough to listen, it was only then that I was able to hear.

    Was it chance that you arbitrarily decided to offer a $30 doll for sale on Ebay and that a woman who was in deep shock and grief would arbitrarily decide that it was that particular doll she wanted badly enough to buy that she needed to ask 100 overwhelming questions about it? Was it chance that you, in your poor state of mind and pain in body, were not necessarily overwhelmed by the plethora of inquiries zinging into your Inbox but that you took the time out to be gracious and attentive to her in return? Was it chance that at this awful time for both of you that you each had the amazing ability to listen and to hear each other through your collective suffering and that you were able to toss out a lifeline to the other? No. I very much doubt that’s chance. You were two strangers bumping into each other in the dark who became imperative to each other’s lives. That’s not chance. That’s fate. That’s a gift. That’s love.

    I have never blogged, posted, tweeted or ‘grammed but after years of suffocating isolation, I was suddenly bursting to be heard again. Was it chance that I decided to try to begin writing? Was it chance that out of the multitude of pain blogs available, I would find one that would resonate so strongly with me that it would inspire me to even think I could do the same? Was it chance that in my quaking fear and hesitancy, I would make the decision to reach out to that blogger who would in turn respond with such grace, warmth, welcome and encouragement that I would wake up in the morning feeling once again invigorated and with purpose in my life? Was it chance that blogger was you?

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    1. Oh my absolute goodness, Jayne. I thought I was out of tears until I read your thoughtful and poignant comments. Nope-I still had a fresh reserve. Thank you-just thank you so much for reading and responding with such beautiful comments. To know you sat pondering for ten minutes after reading it brought me to tears; (to me) that meant that I did a good job articulating all I wanted to say. So thank you for confirming that. It has been the hardest post I’ve written to date and was fraught with a tremendous amount of love and heartache.

      It takes a tremendous amount of strength and determination to give in, Jayne. It initially feels as though we’re giving up and quitting, but instead what it really becomes is finding a place of peace and acceptance, mentally. I have found that when finally giving in and living within my confines and just being grateful for all I DO have has done wonders for me. I’m so happy that you seem to be in that place, too. What that actually emulates is your true, deep inner strength and an incredible tenacity to not give up.

      I keep going back and reading your comments. They are so beautiful and you 100% deciphered my subtle hintings: I have always known that it was a true miracle that Scottie and I found one another. No other explanation had ever made sense. There were just far, far too many coincidences for them to be coincidences. We were both suffering so terribly and at such a fragile point in life, that a higher power had to be at work. Otherwise, we (or I) would never have sought something out that way. While very fundamentally different, we shared so many similarities and could relate to one another in ways that others could not. It was such a beautiful Blessing to have the love and unconditional support of someone who finally understood. In my heart, I think I always knew she was going to be taken from me……but her love and friendship and all she taught me will forever live in my heart. The best way I know to carry on her memory is to live life the way I know she would be proud of.
      So I agree, you found me. That is my beautiful Angel Scottie’s work at hand, once again. Where once she saved me, I feel it is now my job to carry on that legacy of love for others. Sometimes, we have to fall completely down in order to be picked up by someone else.
      I am so humbled and happy that you feel such a connection to me and my Blog; what a tremendous compliment. I, too, am glad you found me. Your work is exemplary and I hope the beauty within the words that you write will bring you healing as it has me.
      As always, Jayne, thank you!! Much love, Stace ❤

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      1. Stace, you always seem to understand exactly what I am trying to convey. Thank you for seeing through to the spirit of my words. After I responded to your post, I regretted the way I phrased the end. I made it about me and that wasn’t my intention. It was my feeble attempt to validate that, yes, your beautiful words have a purpose and that’s an amazing legacy from your once-in-a-lifetime friendship. Love and Hugs

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      2. Oh goodness, Jayne. I’m so sorry you did that to yourself. I thought your comments were wonderfully poignant and thoughtful. I never once considered you were making it about yourself-I was so grateful what you took away from my post and that you were able to see it’s true intent. It really reassured me (your comments) that I effectively conveyed what I intended in writing about our beautiful friendship. So please don’t consider that thought. But I really appreciate your concern ❤

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  4. I have been running nonstop for the last month… struck down only 6 days in the last four weeks… I stopped everything determined to read some blogs. I started here. My heart literally aches for you and the loved ones of such an incredible woman. Scottie. God bless you, Stace.

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    1. WOW!!! I’m so happy for you having such a good run!! Especially with all you’re going through with your family. No need to have your body acting up when your mind already has so much on it.
      Thank you so much, as always, for reading my Blog and commenting. She really was an incredible friend and taught me much about the woman I wanted to become. She just left me with so many precious gifts. That’s the real miracle of our friendship. ❤

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  5. Thank you so much for sharing such a precious part of your life with us all, Stacey. It must have been such a challenge to write. I am truly sorry that your dear friend passed away. I think there are particular friendships which become all the more special when chronic illness is involved. And we truly discover what friendship actually means. Your dear friend Scottie was clearly extra special. Hugs from here & keep on sharing. It will be helping more than one person for sure.💖 xxx

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    1. Thank you so very much for reading and commenting. I’m so grateful. It has been the hardest post I’ve ever written, I had to keep stopping to have ugly cries. But now, seeing her pictures and chronicalling our friendship no longer causes me such pain; instead it has now become a tremendous source of strength and just humble gratitude that I was SO Blessed to have had her.
      It’s true, illness really defines our friends and friendships. For me, it really solidified the friendships I had in place and showed me the beauty and loyalty of those that remained-which is far more important than having a larger quantity of friends.
      Thank you so much for your kind and thoughtful comments, I am truly grateful.

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  6. Stace, thank you so much for opening up and sharing this incredible story. We often never know how an act of kindness will change someone’s life, even our own. I was so touched by your story that I cried all the way through. My husband thought something terrible happened when he came upon me! I wish none of us had to experience the kind of loss you describe, but it happens often and it needs to be shared and understood as part of life, as death always is. It’s been 20 years since my bestfriend died and I still mourn the loss of his irreplaceable love ,support and understanding. I’ve never experienced anything quite like it since and I doubt I ever will. Some people are just so dear to us that their memories never fade. But know it gets easier. The tears don’t flow quite as easy and you can finally look back at some memories in fondness. Rather than feeling that gaping hole everyday, it only opens back up in certain moments of fragility. His voice still guides me sometimes, as I’m sure Scottie’s words stay with you and come to you in moments that you need her most. Take comfort in that if you can… the knowledge that we never really lose them completely. I feel certain Scottie will always be there in your heart and your mind, ready to love you as she always did. And she’ll happily make room when you connect with someone new. Thanks so much for sharing this beautifully poignant story. I can’t tell you how deeply you’ve touched my heart.

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind words and comments, Michelle! I’m so happy that my story resonated so well with you. It was an arduous post for me to write, because it was such a special story to tell. It was something that intimidated me greatly because I wanted to do our story and friendship justice. Thank you for telling me that I accomplished that ❤

      Thank you so much for telling me about your friend. I am so sorry for your loss and the loss of a dear friend who meant so much. It's good to know that someday, the hole finally turns to beautiful memories. I spent the better part of six months crying and I knew she would never want that. It took 18 months for me to write this post and I feel it is finally my time to now start carrying on in the ways she would have and would want me to.

      You are SO right, too, I hear her, I feel her, I know she's always with me. That has been such a comfort in this time of grieving to never have to look farther than inside my heart. I'm so glad you feel that with your friend too. It's a beautiful testament to all they left us with.

      As always, Michelle, thank you so much for reading and taking the time to comment. ❤ Stace

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  7. Thank you Stacey for this post. I really have no words to express the love and compassion I am feeling right now. It helps me to stop constantly thinking about my own problems, which seem overwhelming. The only real help and strength I’ve found comes from God through his written word in the Bible. Please don’t ever stop fighting. https://www.facebook.com/gchairet

    ROCK – Reaching Others For Christ’s Kingdom

    From: Fighting With Fibro To: chairbrogmc@yahoo.com Sent: Friday, June 7, 2019 3:54 PM Subject: [New post] The Important Reason Why I Write About Living With Chronic Illness #yiv6722517107 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv6722517107 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv6722517107 a.yiv6722517107primaryactionlink:link, #yiv6722517107 a.yiv6722517107primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv6722517107 a.yiv6722517107primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv6722517107 a.yiv6722517107primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E !important;color:#fff !important;}#yiv6722517107 WordPress.com | Stacey Chapman posted: “This may be one of my most emotional, soul-bearing posts to date, but also one of my most important. I keep writing and rewriting the beginning, striving for my words to truly captivate and convey all that sits in my heart. What I’ve realized, is that I ” | |

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    1. Thanks so much, George. You know, I think what you just said is one of the biggest things that meeting Scottie did for me; was pulling me out of focusing on myself and all the issues I had. It really put my problems into perspective. Despite being ill, I am still abundantly Blessed. Sometimes when we contend with so many challenges we forget all we do have. I still feel sorry for myself very occasionally, of course-everyone who lives with what we do (I imagine) sometimes feel regretful, resentful, etc. But it really was lifechanging to have it put into a better perspective. It’s hard to feel sorry for yourself when others contend with so much worse.

      Now, I really try to live each and every day with a grateful heart. That attitude and perspective has changed everything for me.

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  8. Sorry. Only one more thing. I just saw this after my previous email and thought you might find it interesting. Magnesium Deficiency Symptoms & How to Treat – Dr. Axe | | | | | |

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    | | | | Magnesium Deficiency Symptoms & How to Treat – Dr. Axe 80% of the population struggles with magnesium deficiency. The biggest causes of magnesium deficiency include le… | |

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    From: Fighting With Fibro To: chairbrogmc@yahoo.com Sent: Friday, June 7, 2019 3:54 PM Subject: [New post] The Important Reason Why I Write About Living With Chronic Illness #yiv6722517107 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv6722517107 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv6722517107 a.yiv6722517107primaryactionlink:link, #yiv6722517107 a.yiv6722517107primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv6722517107 a.yiv6722517107primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv6722517107 a.yiv6722517107primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E !important;color:#fff !important;}#yiv6722517107 WordPress.com | Stacey Chapman posted: “This may be one of my most emotional, soul-bearing posts to date, but also one of my most important. I keep writing and rewriting the beginning, striving for my words to truly captivate and convey all that sits in my heart. What I’ve realized, is that I ” | |

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  9. I’m sorry I’m behind in reading posts & I’ve just caught up on this one, and it’s made me cry. I don’t know where to start, but I can see why this was such a difficult, personal post for you to write.

    That poor family and Scottie, having her daughter-in-law murdered.. that’s heartbreaking and one of those things you always think happens to someone else, rather than hitting close to come. I think your gesture to make a doll as a tribute was absolutely beautiful and incredibly kind. It’s strange how the world works sometimes, isn’t it? Over two random people making an eBay transaction, to learning of her family history, to becoming such close friends. I can only imagine how you felt when that text came through, and she was still young at 66, that’s so, so sad. But then to get that gift, at the right time.. priceless. I hadn’t realised about your blogging hiatus so much as we only ‘met’ more recently in the grand scheme of all of this, but I am so very glad you returned to your blog.

    “Scottie gave me the gift of life back and that resonates equally as powerfully as that pain” – It’s incredible the gifts people can give each other that can’t be bought, and I’m sure you gave her the same. I love that you’re now so close with her husband, that friendship is another blessing to come from such dark times.

    This post is so incredibly compassionate, I’m a little lost for words. You have such a beautiful soul, and I’m sure Scottie would be smiling reading this. You have written it perfectly. Lots of love and hugs to you dear Stace ♥♥♥
    Caz xxxxxxx

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    1. Thank you so much, Caz. I really, really appreciate your thoughtful and heartfelt comments.
      Nothing about our finding one another or our miraculous friendship ever made sense. It was all too magical and special at a time when I needed it most. I think I always knew that it was a miracle and I never, ever took it or her for granted.
      In the days after she died; incredible, impossible things kept happening. Like her Husband and I becoming crazy close and the gift basket showing up.

      They also found a Christmas present she had tucked away for me (aside from the basket). What was that present? An Angel with a card that said “Lots of Love. Ever Close to My Heart”…….it is one of the most special gifts I’ve ever received and now one of my most prized possessions…..it was like her parting gift to me, reaffirming her love for me. Now, every time I look at that Angel, I can feel Scottie’s love emanate. The Angel arrived a week after she died.
      So as much as I desperately miss her, I can always feel her in my heart.
      And that’s just it; she really taught and reminded me of the true power of love. And left me with that incredible gift.

      She really impressed upon me how very, very much we can affect one another’s lives for the good; simply by loving one another.

      She improved my life so exponentially, I truly think I would have been lost had she not found me. I can only hope to have that same affect on another person. Because really, isn’t that the most powerful legacy we can ever leave?

      Liked by 1 person

  10. What a beautiful story. I have a similar story that began with two funerals. But they made me realize, “But for the Grace of God, there go I”. It gave me a heart for wives of pastors who had passed on. Now I write to about 25 pastors’ widows. And I get so many blessings in return.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, Mandy. What a beautiful thing to do. I’m sure that must be difficult, but immensely rewarding. Finding purpose in our loss can be a gift. Thank you so much for reading and commenting; I really appreciate it!

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  11. This is such a beautiful, heartfelt tribute to Scottie, Stacey. What an amazing story of providence (the way you found each other) and friendship! It’s a rare thing to find such a close and enduring friendship, and although she’s no longer here physically, you have those wonderful memories forever. Thank you for sharing your story with us.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh….thank you so much, Terri!! I’m honored you liked the post. She really is always with me. I can feel the love and strength she left me with. She was just the greatest reminder of what the power of love can do, for all of us ❤

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  12. Stacey I haven’t stopped crying since I read this. I had similar experiences with 2 people and it’s very difficult for me still to not feel guilt and resentment as I never was able to to talk to my dear friends and mentor before they passed away. I can tell you that the way you describe finding out and how you fell apart is exactly what I went through. I relived it all reading this about Scottie. My heart goes out to you. You are in my prayers. I truly believe your angel Scottie is with you and praying for you now. One day I will share with you my experience. It’s happened 3 times to me and it’s horrible beyond words. Life is so precious and I make a point now of letting people know how I feel about them and how special they are to me. I try never to take things for granted. Especially time. Thank you for sharing this and for being such a wonderful and true friend. I’m sure you gave Scottie happiness , comfort and love beyond words. You blessed her life surely just as she blessed yours. We have to take these beautiful memories and never let go of them. I’m so emotional since reading this. I’m so very sorry for this great loss. 🙏🏻❤️love and prayers

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh Sandy. I am just so sorry. I’m sending hugs xxx. I am incredibly sorry you’ve experienced such loss with people you loved so much. We can twist and turn what we did or didn’t do in so many ways to torture ourselves. After six months of that I finally stopped (thanks to a really great Therapist). Close to 18 months later, I think I’m finally at peace-hence the post. As you said, it taught me alot about the value of time and expressing our love and gratitude. In the end, I believe that Scottie would be proud of this newer me. At the very least, her friendship and love taught me lessons about life I will carry with me forever. That is a testament to our love and our friendship. I hope you can come to that place yourself, too. It isn’t easy and we all grieve differently. But I can’t imagine that those people that also loved you, would ever want you to suffer or torture yourself. What would their advice be to you about how you feel? When you are ready, I will be happy to listen to your story. Until then-please give yourself the forgiveness that you deserve. That love and their friendship, in the end, was the most important thing of all. Regardless of whether you saw them or not. I promise ❤ ❤ ❤ Stace

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