This is personal.

It was Friday morning, 11/11/11, and I was crying in the shower, because for whatever reason that seemed like the best place. It was an exhausted, tearless, aching, deep-in-your-chest cry. And as lame-o/uninspired as it sounds, an old Carrie Underwood song came into my head. So I sobbed to the rhythm and whispered the words (because it was oddly appropriate). Then Jas knocked on the bathroom door and asked if everything was alright.

Is everything alright?

I really didn't know how to answer that.

Sometimes I feel like I am being slowly stretched. Stretched farther and longer, in every direction, half inch by half inch, pulling and stretching, I can feel my bones creaking, my back twisting, muscles straining against the stretching, stretching, stretching.... and what will happen next is a small, simple snap.

And that's when I'll break.


That Friday I was making another weekend trip to Utah to shoot a wedding and after his last final Jason was checking into the hospital in Long Beach. Living in California has brought us to an amazing Cystic Fibrosis specialist, Dr. Randhawa. He is our House. Randhawa decided it was time for Jas to move onto the CF unit for a week of tests and treatment and switching of meds—so he packed a suitcase and hitched a ride.

The truth:

Life's not always like this. But occasionally this is just how it is and we deal with it because that's what we can do. We can deal.

Jas hasn't been doing very well for the last two months. What we thought was a rough cold turned into pneumonia (the usual) was actually hemoptysis and pulmonary hypertension coming back. We didn't know that all of his symptoms were caused by those two nasty culprits, making his lung function and oxygen saturation plummet, until he went to the hospital. So we are happy he did—even though it smells pretty ripe down those hallways and there are millions of people coming in and out trying to run tests and ask questions and draw blood and make him pee in cups. We're grateful for those tests and those cups and those questions. We're grateful for medicine and technology and specialists. And we're grateful when it's all over and he can come home again (maybe this weekend, maybe today).... until next time.

Hemoptysis is scary, I hate it more than anything else CF related. There is something about watching him cough up mouthfuls of fresh, red blood, completely helpless, that makes my heart ache in my chest and eyes sting with tears.

Sometimes life is hard and that's that. Hard and scary and suffocating and exhausting. And my buddy, my man, my other half that helps keep our life in order, has been sick for so long. All the stress and worry and praying..... and the exhaustion. It gets so hard. And I'm tired—we're both so tired.

It's ok, I say. We're ok and we'll be ok. No worries about us, I say.

But sometimes, never longer than necessary, it's also ok to let it all sink in. Everything....... all of it.

Then the moment passes and instead of keeping our eyes focused inward (oh it's so so easy to stay focused solely on ourselves), we have to start to look up because that's the only way relief comes. When we look up our shoulders begin to relax; a heavy sigh escapes before we realize we've been holding our breath all that time. We look up and we see we're not alone in this. Not ever. And that's when we know that everything is going to be alright. Truly. Honestly. Everything is going to be ok. We are surrounded by brilliant doctors, strong family and maybe the most kind and caring friends on the planet. We are so grateful and we are so blessed.

Yes, everything is going to be ok. Everything is alright.

I know it.

"It's better to look up." says Thomas S. Monson (source). It's always better to look up.

K. I'm done. Sorry for being so heavy on the personal content today.
There's just been a lot on my mind lately, that's all. Back to normal next time—promise.


Serene Sweeten said...

Geri, we love you guys so much! I think we all can learn some valuable lessons from this post. Hang in there... it will be all right in the end.

Kayleen said...

I love the honesty and sincerity in this post. My favorite posts are ones filled with raw, candid emotion. Thank you for sharing. I can't imagine the exhaustion emotionally, physically, etc. that you both go through. I guess that's probably why you don't talk about it much, but I greatly appreciate your testimony and your strength. Hope the tests go well and Jason can come home soon.

Torrie said...


Even though I don't know you personally, I admire your strength and know that you'll both get through this.

I'll keep you in my prayers.

Caley said...

Geri. My heart aches for you. I don't know exactly how you feel, but I definitely can relate. I will keep you and Jason in my thoughts and prayers. You both are strong. Some of the strongest people I have ever met. This will come to an end soon. Love you tons!

kate said...

You are a beautiful writer. Don't apologize for the heavy stuff. Honesty and truth are why I read the blogs I do.

My heart goes out to you and your man. CF sucks.

Katie said...

I can't imagine how scary that must be for you both, the gospel definitely helps shed a little light in dark places, well said. BTW you write beautifully!

Neal and Angie said...

Love you Geri and Jas! You're in our prayers and hope you get to enjoy a good weekend together at your own home.

My heart aches right along with yours! We just love you both and you are truly an inspiration to many!

P.S. Geri, that is one gorgeous pic!

Unknown said...

oh Geri know so many prayer's and love are coming your way. I hope Jason is able to come home this weekend. If you need anything please let us know.

Lauren said...

i love how sincere and real you are geri! keep it up. prayers to you and Jason =)

brandilyn said...

hey! no apologizing for getting personal! it's your life and your blog, and you get to talk about whatever you feel like! i'm praying for you guys and hoping things start looking up soon. jason is lucky to have a lady like you. you're lucky to have each other.

Christy said...

This made me get all teary! You two are so awesome! I can't even imagine how tough this is for both of you but I know you will get though it. I hope Jason gets to come home soon and relax. If you need anything let me know. Geoff is always available for a blessing, I'm always available for a chat or a good time :), and we're both available to make you dinner (of course if it's Geoff it's guaranteed to be way yummier) anytime you want or need it. :)
Love the picture by the way!

ashley mikell said...

Oh my. I have been thinking about Jason an awful lot lately and I have been worried and I am so sad to hear that it's been so rough! But I have to say that I am once again so grateful to hear your strong testimony about all this. You and Jas are so strong. I am so glad you have each other. We love you both so much and are always praying for you. Thanks for helping the rest of us gain some perspective! Love you Love you Love you!

Esla said...

Just wanted to let you know I'm thinking about you both (even though I've never met Jason of course) and am wishing you the best.

Maggie said...

Oh how I needed to read what you wrote. Truly. Thank you Geri. If you keep looking up, then I will too. Miss you.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for letting your grandma Merlene know what is going on. We will be praying extra hard for two of our favorite people in the world. Love you both

Lucy said...

Hang in there guys!
Lots of love from IDAHO!
(really love the "look up" talk)

Ben + Amanda said...

Hi Geri. I know I don't know you personally as well but I do feel for you and my prayers will truly be with you and Jason. I was originally drawn to your photography as a photographer and when I learned more and more about your situation I couldn't help but be inspired by your strength through the CF ups and downs. CF is HARD, and you have a community of CFers behind your back :) My husband and I are from UT, but living in Dana Point and if you ever need anything let me know. Really, I want to help. Really, truly. I'm the photog that shot that San Diego Wedding you asked about :) Sending our love. xo

Breezie said...

You're amazing Geri. Seriously. Thank you so much for posting. It's exactly the reminder I needed today. You and Jason are in our thoughts and prayers!

Tucker's said...

Hey I just wanted you to know how much we care about you guys! I know that we haven't made any late night drives to the movies recently :) but I am always here if you ever need someone to talk to!
The faith and love you two share is probably the most I have ever seen in a couple!
You guys are in our prayers oh and that even includes Makenzie's :)

Demarae said...

I love you. I wish we'd been able to spend more time together. And yes, it's ok to cry. I'm also glad you've moved past it for right now. I always feel stronger after I've decided it's ok. Give Jason a hug from Brandon and I. We love you guys. And next time you come up to San Fran, come visit us across the bay.

Hannah said...

Your honesty astounds me, in a great way. Keep looking up.

Kylie said...

So...I don't know you, but I love your photos and have been following along for a bit, and I just realized who you're married to! Jason lived down the street from me when I was little! Crazy small world. :) You guys are in my prayers and I appreciate the honesty, which I needed to hear this week. Keep on.