Help, Hope, and Healing

Email from my friend:

I now have the greatest peace ever, in my every day days I know for sure, without a doubt, doing what God intends me to do…care for my best friend.  He plucked me right out of Wal-Mart, and set me right beside this guy.

Vonnie Skidgel caring for Alzheimer’s husband

Help, Hope, and Healing


In 2002 my mentor and friend Vonnie stood well into her journey of care for her husband, Gene. Because of her caregiver duties our phone conversations ceased and we settled for short emails to keep updated on our news.

That same summer I attended a writer’s conference and dreamed of being a published author.

But God had other plans. In December 2002 we rushed my husband Gary to the hospital.

The surgeon said, “At some point, Mr. Crawford, your appendix burst. We found pieces floating throughout your abdomen. We did remove a large mass from where your appendix should have been. You have a rare disease called Pseudomyxoma Peritonei, a cancer of the peritoneal lining …”

And our world changed.

I left my desire to be published and became husband’s most dedicated caregiver. Emails to Von all but ceased in the cancer crisis days. The caregiver job didn’t pay anything in monetary value, but the dividends were superb. I figured someday Von and I would have a wealth of laughter and tears to catch up on.

Back in those days of change I wrote many short devotionals that fit in the H category. I saw HHHHH’s as my goalposts and the written word as the football thrown for that great inspirational touchdown.

Take a minute to read the touchdowns of my life written when life felt more fragile than now. And yes, both husband and I found Help, Hope, and Healing.

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