Yesterday, my daughters and I went out in the rain to support our friend Jen Koralewski who has epilepsy. We did a 5K walk with a thousand other people who know someone affected by this disease. 43,000 people in Colorado have epilepsy. One sign that got me was the one that said, “I have epilepsy and I am not even three yet.” I think Jen realized how many people truly love her because we walked through rain to support her.
I know of fair weather friends. They are the ones who show up when your life is good. They don’t want to hear the real answer to “How are you.” They like being a surface friend, one that only wants to skim through your life and not really be a part of it. Then there are those friends who only have to look at you with their hearts, and you are connected by their love.
Jen and I share a special bond, because we have both faced health challenges. Although my health is no longer in acute danger like Jen’s, we have many experiences that tie us together and help us to understand the difficulties of living with a chronic condition. In the writing of my story, I am looking back to those days when my illness was at the forefront of my life, and sometimes, I just barely made it through the day. Writing about where I was gives me great perspective, especially in those days where I feel stuck.
Jen has a lot of courage to face this illness head on, and to become a warrior for all those who have epilepsy. She is an amazing example to her family and friends that you keep on keeping on, no matter what life throws you.
Here’s to Jen, and her husband Ski,and their two beautiful children. I am grateful to have them in my life, and to get to see Jen’s courage in action. The thing is, she doesn’t think she is courageous. Yet anyone who lives with a chronic condition and still smiles her way through a day is very courageous in my boat.
Thank you Jen, for being a living example of God’s love in the world.