A magnifying glass

“You can think of a moment of crisis as an anomaly because it’s going to pass, and that’s true in one sense, but sometimes it can also be a magnifying glass that reveals to you what was going on underneath the surface all along.” — Anonymous in Becoming Duchess Goldblatt

“Most of the time, I think, the effects of my accumulated losses didn’t show. Or maybe they did; a lot of people ran away from me as fast as they could, so I guess the cracks in the façade showed in ways I couldn’t see…People didn’t want me around, and I understood why, sort of. The more I kept losing, the more I kept losing, and nobody wants to catch that disease.” — Anonymous in Becoming Duchess Goldblatt

“…she was…an untouchable. Not from scorn or fear, but from the obscenity of the loss.” — Bill Clegg

Some of you know that I’m writing a new post because I’m sitting around a hospital again, as I have been for a week now, with no end in sight except a horrible tragic one that doesn’t bear thinking about. I remind myself that I spent as much as three weeks at a time in the hospital with Jeff, but Matthew’s current situation is a crucible unlike any other thus far.

There is nothing more to say, other than letting the quotes speak for themselves.


  1. Sue

    Prayers are with you dear Julia, for strength, healing and peace.

    • Thank you, Sue. ❤

  2. Meg Miller

    Please, take this hug: (————————————).
    Artbat on Postcrossing. DM me if you need to talk.

    • Thank you so much! Everything is hanging in the balance as they consider which of many very risky options are being forced on them now. Matthew is sedated now in preparation for procedures but for the first time he looked sad and afraid. (I guess coding will do that to a person; this is the first time it has happened to him.) Also cried for perhaps only the fourth or fifth time since he was an infant. Just before he went to sleep he told me over and over again “I love you” and I held onto him until he was under. I appreciate you checking in with me.

  3. Chris Richardson

    You both continue to be in our prayers. Love you.

    • Thank you Chris. Never, ever, ever more needed than now. Love you too!

  4. Ann

    Sending virtual hugs to you!

    • Thank you Ann. ❤

  5. Janice Brown

    Please let me know what is going on.

    • It is too long to go into but he just coded a couple of hours ago and they are now weighing what to do next.

      • Janice

        Praying for you and Matt

    • Janice

      I’m praying for you and Matt.

  6. Ann

    Is this a post from today or from the past?

    Prayers for Matt and for you!

    • It’s a post I wrote just a few hours ago, when I was more worried about him than anyone else, until he coded. Obviously I had no idea what the rest of the day held in store, but I sensed it has been getting very very bad ever since he arrived here.

      • Ann

        Oh.. I’m so sorry!!

        So much grief…

        • Thank you Ann. Yes, it started defying logic long ago…

      • Ann Weldon

        How is Matt? How are you?


        div>Woke up thinking about y’all.

        Ann Weldon 


        div dir=”ltr”>

        • Hi Ann, some of the text did not come through correctly but I’ll publish it as is and maybe WordPress will translate. Things are too hectic and complex and long for an update now. They are conferencing right outside the CICU bay as I write this, debating what to do next. I’ll keep you posted as I can. Since he is on a ventilator and deeply sedated, I feel as if I should have some time later after the doctors decide and then fill me in.

          • Ann

            Waiting is so hard. Praying for you and Matt and for his medical team!

  7. Dorothy

    Dear Julia, I’m not sure of the circumstances but assume it’s Matt you’re keeping watch over. Keeping you both in my prayers, Dorothy.

    • Thank you Dorothy, I am so glad to have some prayers from “down under” which means he will be getting them around the clock. ❤

  8. Sheila

    Julia, we’ve been close for so many years and tonight finds us united again in a bond that can only be God given. I’m sorry for my absence more recently but you’re always close in my thoughts, our virtual Verandah! My prayers cross the miles and I’ll check with you tomorrow. I love you and Matt dearly✝️💙

    • Thank you Sheila, my longtime and steadfast friend! ❤

  9. Mary Ellen Davis

    Oh Julia. Saying prayers and sending love. Sharing tears.

    • Thank you, Mary Ellen. ❤

  10. tpeastin

    Well…first, I didn’t see this post about Matt until today (May 26) when I was looking at your previously scheduled post…’something’ had me scroll down and I saw that there were 14 comments…which I thought was unusual. I always read the comments…they are generally few and far between…and I find it a nice way to get an update from you. Little did I know!!!

    Oh Julia…I want you to know that I thought of you strongly on Mothers Day…but as life goes, I did not get anything off in the mail to you. You are a WONDERFUL, AMAZING, MAGNIFICENT mother! Do not let the devil sow seeds to convince you otherwise!!!! Matt’s endearing “I love you” tributes as he was being sedated are merely confirmation of this. As a former educator, I know for certain that there are children in this world who have never known a mother’s love. Matt knows it…(Drew knows it too…believe that!). You have been a gift to Matt from the beginning of his life…of all of the millions of mothers that could have been chosen, you are the perfect one for him!

    Oh, and one last thing…you are NOT an untouchable! You are a beloved, cherished daughter of the most high King who will always hold you in his loving arms. Here is part of Psalm 139:

    7 Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence?
    8 If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.
    9 If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;
    10 Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.

    My prayers are going up to you for strength, peace, and healing.


    Pat XOXO

    P.S. Hopefully this doesn’t post twice…I had to change password and other annoying ‘stuff’ after I thought I’d posted…oy vay.

    • Pat, thank you so much for this message. I have your notes and cards of encouragement permanently posted on my cabinet fronts. The message and quotes you sent me after my own catastrophic facial injury were so helpful. Your presence in my home in Alexandria shortly after Jeff died (where you spent your family reunion time helping me with my school paper!) and your spontaneous gospel song and prayer as we parted…your gifts and insight and ongoing support…all these things come back to bless me again and again. I know you are never far from us. Thank you for being here once again. https://defeatdespair.com/2017/07/31/the-bigger-more-beautiful-picture/

    • I 100% agree.

  11. Janice Brown

    This is my third time trying to post a comment. I don’t know why the others didn’t post. I want you to know we are praying for you and Matt.

    • The comments are moderated to keep spam and inappropriate content off the page. I get to the comments as I have time, which is spotty at best right now.

  12. Mickey

    Praying for you and Matthew

    • Thank you Mickey! ❤

  13. MaryAnn

    So glad I got time to check email messages. Matthew is very dear to me, as you know! I am & will continue to pray for both of you. As you stated, you’ve been “here” many times. I’m at a loss for words, a huge lump in my throat. Getting off to talk to our Heavenly Father.
    I love you & Matthew!

  14. Praying

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