"Something went wrong with my daddy’s brain"

It’s writers workshop week at the MK school and the kids were given notebooks to write about their life and experiences.  As I read through my second grader’s first entry, I gasped, my heart skipping a beat with a painful memory, while tears pooled in my eyes:


“One day my family went to the mall in Chauhua [sic] and my dad was looking for new glasses for my brother Michael and some thing went wrong with my daddy’s brain.  And when I saw it happen I brist [sic] into tears.  And then I saw a lot of lot of lot of blood on the floor…”

It was an epileptic seizure – tonic clonic (formerly called gran mal). Unannounced, completely unexpected, and most certainly unwelcome. Not to mention undeniably ugly.

It changed our life.  It was a push off a cliff and we would free fall for some time afterward.  It wasn’t just the seizure, but the consequent decisions we had to make coupled with negative circumstances out of our control.

Although some of her facts are amiss (i.e. location), the impact of that day has stayed with us.  Each one of our kids has their own story to tell.  And so do I.  I’ve put off writing the experience for almost three years and decided, after reading her entry, that it’s time I do so.


To continue healing.   To let others know that missionaries also face crisis of faith.  To share the struggle.  To show our humanness and expose emptiness we experience in the valley.  And to remind myself of God’s goodness even when it’s not seen or felt.

And also to match my daughters brave vulnerability.


4 thoughts on “"Something went wrong with my daddy’s brain"

  1. Ilona, looking forward to hearing the story from you looking back from this vantage point…
    Also looking forward to seeing you guys next week.
    Love your blog! So glad you are doing this!

  2. @ Hellen – thanks for that CS Lewis quote. You’ll land where God puts you…for freefalling in Him is safe and secure. We just don’t realize it at the moment!

    @Dorinda – thanks for your prayers (heartfelt saying and not a cliche!). No one is exempt. “In this life we have trouble”. Being active in ministry just sharpens the focus of the enemy. But greater is He….

  3. you are such a blessing and an inspiration.
    being a missionary or a pastoral family does not exempt us from the hard times of life. i think sometimes people thinks it does. your sharing will minister to more people than you could ever imagine.

    i continue to pray for you guys- daily!
    prayers and blessings,

  4. To love is to be vulnerable.” –C.S. Lewis

    Freefalling, huh? As you know, I’ve been on that ride for almost 2 years as well and there is something about that word that I like. I’ve always thought that I’d like to try skydiving…and this reframes my experience into something of an adventure… looking to see where gravity takes me…where it will cause me to land. 🙂

    Ilona, God bless you as you choose to make yourself vulnerable to your readers, sharing your journey with us.


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