A broken family with broken dreams

I just put Anne on the bus to go to middle school. In a few hours, I’ll pick her up early and drive her an hour to therapy. She’s doing intensive therapy again. It’s so good for her.

Earlier, I dropped my oldest son at the bus which will take him to high school, and then I drove my youngest daughter to her carpool. My friend at carpool asked me, “So will Anne’s therapy end this week?” “No,” I responded, “she has therapy every day over Christmas break…except for Christmas day.” My friend just shook her head and hugged me.

At my worst moments, I feel sorry for myself. I compare our family to all the families I see on the front of their picture-perfect Christmas cards. Instagram is full of family vacation pictures. Those hurt the worst.

I’ve always dreamed of traveling together as a family. I love the idea of building life-long memories as we hike through Yellowstone, ride the waves in the ocean or eat our way through NYC. But Anne’s disabilities make those adventures impossible (not to mention the cost!)

Over Thanksgiving, I thought maybe we could have a small, indoor adventure. We found a group-on and visited the College Football Hall of Fame in the big city. It was a disaster. Anne quickly became overstimulated and grumpy. And my other kids became bored with the inactivity.

We left the museum and played frisbee in the park. Anne was happy sitting in the sun, and my other kids loved running and playing together. God showed me that we don’t have to have a grand adventure to create insta-worthy-memories. We just have to find joy in the ordinary moments of life.

Besides, every family is broken. Every family struggles. Every family has heart-ache. No family is perfect.

So I’m trying to let God redesign my dream of what creating memories as a family looks like. I haven’t quite figured it out, but I think it starts with letting go of my ideal and taking a more simple approach. Find God and his joy in each moment. Pray that my children will look back on their growing up years as special. Follow the hand of Jesus. That’s all I know right now. Maybe one day, I’ll figure it all out ;)


6 thoughts on “A broken family with broken dreams

  1. Margie says:


    Thank you for your candid and honest sharing of the real life challenges that your family has. Thank you for sharing the lessons that the Lord is teaching you and the truth for all of us, no matter our situation. Yes, all of us are broken. Praying for the Lord’s grace and strength as you walk daily.


  2. Debbie C. Long says:


    My prayers are with you, Eric, and the children. I could not do what you do but I do know that the night of the accident with the group from the church in that room at the hospital, we all prayed for a miracle and then during the long days of rehab we continued to pray. God granted us that miracle and spared that precious child and her love has forever changed my life and many others. Have a wonderful Christmas and tell Annie Bee that Miss Debbie loves her and misses her!


  3. Lu says:

    Hope the silence simply means you all are busy, healthy, happy and Celebrating Life. Imagine there are a zillion snafu’s and life-lessons being tossed in there as well. Love and Prayers always flowing.


    • Kathryn Jackson says:

      Yes, Lu :) having three kids at three different schools has been challenging PLUS teaching full time. I’ve been begging my boss to let me go back to part-time next year. I need more margin!

      Thank you for remembering us constantly! All our love, -k


  4. Lu & Mocha says:

    Hi Kathryn,
    Prayers continuing to flow steadily on your behalf, and loads of love, altho invisible, is surrounding you and your entire clan.
    Cannot fathom the pace you’ve got to keep—sheesh 3 DIFFERENT SCHOOLS. YIKES! That would be majorly challenging logistically if it were just going there and back (since of course NOBODY leaves at the same time)…but add after school activities and special needs and regular family stuff and life’s snafus…….hmmmmm I better ramp up those prayers!!

    Life’s been interesting here….due to being in hospital for a month and other things, lost the ability to stand/walk back in September. By going to the pool 5 days a week for 2 hours and working with an Aquatic Therapist (oh WOW did God ever give me the Best-of-the-Best)…..I can stand! And, with arm crutches, as of this week, I can begin walking again (will still need my chair most of the time). Oh how sweet the walk with Him has been as together we’ve discovered what I’m made of and new ways He can use my hands and feet. LOVE being an active participant in my life. The God/Lu team is alive and well, grin. As I’ve walked in the pool, I’ve prayed for Anne’s walking. Also: New Dx = new ways to journey with Him. Love you.


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