People tell me how well I’m holding up during my daughter’s critical illness. If they only knew the truth.

My biggest challenge in remaining strong during all of this has been the utter loss of control. Control over what’s happening. Control over what will happen. Control over my environment. Loss of most sense of normalcy. It has taken me awhile to realize that I do still have some control, mostly over what I focus on. For a long time, I focused on what I couldn’t control and all of the terrible things that could happen…it was driving me crazy. I got to a pretty bad place before I realized I’d better change it, for my sake and for my family’s.

I’m a planner–a euphemism for a control freak–but in a crisis, you can’t plan. Anything. Only when I hit the wall did I figure out that my strength was really my weakness in a crisis. I am working on developing a new muscle of focusing on what is good, right now, today. It’s a challenge for someone too used to living for tomorrow, but I can already see the upside. My girls see a difference: I am more present with them. I spend less time with my eyes glued to technology. I’m not taking small moments for granted. And, in those small moments of presence, I have found happiness.

“The most important lesson that I have learned is to trust God in every circumstance. Lots of times we go through different trials, and following God’s plan seems like it doesn’t make any sense at all. God is always in control, and He will never leave us.” –Allyson Felix


About Kelly J. McCleary

Wife and mother of three, author, financial professional View all posts by Kelly J. McCleary

4 responses to “Today

  • Kelly J. McCleary

    You made me smile Betsy, thank you.


  • Betsy

    Do you remember or did you ever see the movie “Ordinary People” – there’s a line from the kid’s therapist that is something like “I’m not big on control”. I think he says this after the kid talks about how he’d like to have more control over his life coming out of a major depressive episode after the loss of his brother in a boating accident. And in the movie “Parenthood” where the father, played by Steve Marin, starts imagining that he is on a roller coaster and everyone else seems to be going for and enjoying the ride and he is freaking out because of the loss of the sense of control. You are right though; the only one in control is God and the rest of us just imagine that we have control at times. As I was once told, ” if you want to make God laugh tell him you have a plan”. I find watching movies helps me because I can cry for the people in the movie and that makes me feel better without feeling like I’m not being strong when things are tough. Hugs and Kisses to you Megan and all. Embrace the universal consciousness of those moments; they connect us in a very special way..


  • raising2tweens

    You have got this. I PROMISE. And it is okay to have break downs. I said the serenity prayer about 100 times a day. Even if you aren’t religious, those words have so much meaning. Grant me the serenity to accept the things I can not change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference. I also listened to the song Just Breath by Anna Nalick a lot. Just remember to take care of yourself through all this.


  • Carla

    Thank you for this piece.


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