Wife to Howie and mother of two adult sons and two precious granddaughters, Sofie and McKenzie.
Our oldest son, Chris, was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder in 1997 (and with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in 1985). He’s now 41 yrs. old and lives with by himself. Our other son, Robert, is 39 yrs. old.
In 1993, I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.
My training and experience in special education couldn’t prepare my heart for when I faced my son’s psychotic episodes.
However, my professional background may be of interest to you:
I worked in the field of education for over 37 yrs. My experience included teaching many types of special education classes, regular classes, in Christian schools and in public schools. In addition, I was an adjunct professor at a Christian university where I taught several special education courses.
I’ve faced life’s challenges by relying on God’s faithfulness, guidance, protection, comfort, perfect peace, and abundant hope.
If you want to read my story, start with April 16, 2014. That begins the sequential 16-post account of Chris’s journey with mental illness. Sprinkled throughout this blog you’ll find countless other anecdotes.12 Comments
Nice to see your web site, Vicki. As I listened to you tonight at Marlene’s I wanted so much to talk with you and hear your story. Reading about you has helped to get to know you. Hope you can come on Dec. 13. Maybe we’ll have a little chance to talk. Marj McDermid
Thanks for stopping by. Lord willing, my husband and I will be there on the 13th. Looking forward to getting to know you better!
Hi Vicki. You are such a blessing to your family and to anyone who reads this blog! I am so glad i found this blog and i will look forward to reading more! My Mum had progressive MS and i just find your story so inspiring. God bless you and your family. 😀
Thanks for the follow. I checked out your blog and loved reading how God helped you through very turbulent times. I’m so glad you’re basking in His blessings now!
I think what you are doing is so very helpful and I thank you. Today I am having so much pain. Your devotional at RM “Do You Remember God’s Faithfulness When Coping With Pain?” has truly been a blessing to me. I must remember every day how good God is. I am a Mom with a child who suffers with terrible anxiety. He was bullied at school. We are asking God and trusting God for help and healing. Thank you so much for your book on bullying, which I am going to buy at Amazon today to give to my sons. God bless you and your family.
I’m glad you found your way to this blog. I may not have tons of followers, but each one means so much. Every single follower, like you, means we’re not alone. Every time someone expresses gratitude for this blog it encourages me to continue. You can imagine how this is a labor of love. In the context of my own chronic illness and my son’s MI and life, there’s always a temptation to give up. Sometimes I wonder if anyone out there benefits from this blog. So your comment is HUGE.
I’m sorry to hear that your son was bullied. Hope my book helps.
Rest in His peace and presence,
I found your site reading RM this morning. I have had five surgeries on my spine: four on L2-S1; one C2-T2. By the Grace of God, I have a good surgeon who once told me he would keep my up right and did.
My daughter was diagnosed bi-polar in 1999, she was 11. Still has episodes at times and takes her meds regular, a wife and a mother of 2 boys.
My husband was diagnosed as schizophrenic and other MI in 2001. January 2014, he had a needle biopsy of his right lung. Within days, the infection went to his brain causing multiple embolism, five areas in his brain are affected.
My step-son started acting out at a young age and was labeled through out his growing up as disturbed. When he 15, we knew he had MI. He has been in a lot of trouble.
In October 2014, roaming the streets homeless and in psychosis, he tried to hold up a neighborhood market. The courts wanted to send him to prison for 36-72 months. The judge asked if I had anything to add before he passed down his sentence. I spoke in court with love and God’s guidance. He didn’t go to prison. He is in a men’s recovery program and Mental Health court. He is doing great and taking his meds.. When he completes both programs in April 2016. He charges will be dropped. He is an amazing person today.
I didn’t mean to ramble on. I don’t hear of many woman in my position, chronic illness and a family of MI. I have read several of your entries at both sites and look forward to many more
Thank you for sharing your experience.
Vicki, I just want you to know how much I appreciate your blog. It is a huge blessing and encouragement to me and I so appreciate the things you share. We have gone through some difficult things lately with our adult child with MI and your blog posts encourage me and help keep me focused on the Lord. I also have a chronic illness which complicates my life, so I can really relate to the things you write. Thanks for serving the Lord and serving others through this ministry.
Thanks for taking the time to send those encouraging words. They’re an answer to my prayers!
I’m sorry to hear your life also consists of an adult child with MI and a chronic illness. I completely empathize. What would we do without our faithful Lord?
May you feel His peace and presence in greater abundance today,
I’m so glad you found this site. Those of us who are raising children with MI can encourage one another in the Lord…those of who also have chronic illness can empathize in additional ways, sharing how God enables us to do what our physical bodies wouldn’t be able to do (outside of His faithfulness).
As I read your comments, my eyes blinked at each shocking event. Starting with your FIVE back surgeries. It was hard to even imagine that ongoing pain. I’ve experienced major back injuries (and still have two herniated discs). Our son, Chris had back surgery. So did my sister. Just yesterday, I spoke with my sister who said she thinks another disc ruptured. So, she may be facing another back surgery. But FIVE? That’s almost unimaginable!
Your very next 5 words grabbed my attention: ‘By the Grace of God’ After just reading about your back surgeries, you acknowledged God’s grace. That told me a lot about your unshakable faith in God and your walk with Him. What an inspiration!
Then, I read on. Compassion filled my heart as I read about your daughter having bipolar disorder. Then your next sentence helped my heart to soar once again, reading how she’s a wife and a mother to 2 boys.
When you got to the part about your husband, that’s when I read in amazement. I have a husband who is in relatively good health, so he can be of a support to me. But your husband schizophrenia further complicates your life. But that wasn’t the worst. I read on. An infection affected his brain even more.
I paused before finishing your comments and thought, “IF A WOMAN LIKE YOU CAN EXPERIENCE MULTIPLE TRIALS AND STILL SAY, ‘BY THE GRACE OF GOD’ THERE’S HOPE FOR THOSE OF US WHO SERVE THAT SAME LIVING GOD.”
I resumed reading your story. And found out you also have a stepson with MI. That part of your story is also inspirational. When you ‘spoke in court with love and God’s guidance’ God blessed your boldness and moved in the heart of the judge. Allowing your stepson to get the help he needed. Instead of being crushed and defeated, you looked to the One who is mightier than all. And trusted Him for guidance.
Thanks for sharing your amazing story!
Rest in His peace,
Thank you for this beautiful tribute to mothers who chose to be warriors for their children when their minds are fractured by mental illness. Our resolve and theirs is believing in the rnd redemption of the cross. Thank you for your beautiful eyes that see Jesus as he keeps our hope alive in darkness. He is the one who brings life rendered in light. I know because my son has suffered with schoizoeffective disorder for 22 years and I was diagnosed with full body RSD 12 years ago (a severe inflammation nerve disease). Your writing was such an inspiration to me and to others out there who find themselves in a maze of unknowns. Wish you lived next door…we could share a cup of tea and stories to fill a book. When my child became ill there was more stigma than diagnoses and more judgement than there was grace. I had to become an advocate not knowing what I was even an advocate for with God as my advocate. God Bless you Vickki for being a voice for those needing godly compassion and grace….Jesus picked us to parent these precious boys…..a journey we would never pick but now we know God in ways we would never have known him. # blessed. Keep writing…praying for you today as you help others to be burden carriers.
Thanks for sharing your story. We certainly do have lots in common: our sons’ MI, our own illness, and the Lord. I echo your desire to “share a cup of tea and stories to fill a book.”
Your words of encouragement mean so much. As you can imagine, the messages I post are a labor of love. I write them in the midst of life….sometimes when things are going well with my son, Chris…sometimes when things are challenging for him (and therefore hard for me). Recently I missed a week because my 89-year-old mother fell and broke her neck and sternum. So, I’ve been traveling an hour each way to visit her.
I love how you described my mission: I reach out to “mothers who chose to be warriors for their children when their minds are fractured by mental illness.” That captures the whole essence of my ministry. We truly are fellow warriors and “burden carriers.”
The tone of your words reveals a deep walk with the Lord. In spite of your trials, you’re still able to see that God is using it all to help you know Him in ways you would never have known Him. Amen!
May God continue to gently guide you through your “maze of unknowns.”
Together in His grip,