Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Sharing My Heart & Hope With the World via CNN

A few months ago, I wrote a draft blog post about my beloved Mr. Knightley as he was an incredible gift of a companion. He had died suddenly on June 8th in a horrific way, and I there is no way I can post it as it is too emotional for me to edit what I have written. Knightley may have been a dog, but he was born out of the womb of my heart--my boy--connected to me in a very close way. We shared a special bond and I spent more time with him than I have ever spent with George as I was with Knightley almost 24/7.

Mr. Knightley knew what "I love you" meant. Every time I said it, he thought it was meant for him. If I was on the phone and Knightley was laying down next to me and I said "I love you" to the person on the phone, he would painstakingly with bad arthritis/hip dysplasia get up, look at me and love on me.

When I got chronically ill, my Mr. Knightley never left my side. My husband, George, would leave for work and tell him he was "Captain Knightley" in charge of taking care of me. And it is as though he knew he had been left in charge. I have had my fair share of passing out/drop attacks whether medication or Meniere's related. Every time I would come-to, Knightley would be sitting over me. If I had a panic attack, he would do the same thing. I can still feel his fluffy white chest hair on my face as though he was a soldier watching over the wounded until help came. He really helped to calm me.

This week is Invisible Illness Awareness Week and Lisa Copen, (founder of Invisible Illness Awareness Week and Rest Ministries, a chronic illness ministry) wrote a fantastic article, for CNN Health online that was posted today, "Talking to someone with chronic illness." Accompanying her article is a photo slide show entitled "The chronically ill: Hope looks like." I submitted a photo to Lisa to be considered for the slide show. I submitted a photo of  Mr. Knightley because how he cared for me as he always brought me hope and joy.

Here is a screen shot of the photo as it appears on CNN:

On the actual article, you can hide the caption so you can see the whole photo. Click here to see it; this photo is slide number ten.

The article by Lisa Copen is well written and has great ideas for what not to say and what to say to someone with chronic/invisible illness. In general, people with chronic illness are (or should be) understanding that not everyone knows what to say even though we do get weary of certain comments/responses. I would not have known what to say to someone like myself if I did not have chronic illnesses. But it is helpful for people who love someone with a chronic illness how to best support them/reach out to them.

So, as I still grieve my loss of my Mister Knightley deeply, I find so much joy that the gift he was to me is being shared with the world online during Invisible Illness Awareness Week  (September 10-16)!

Check out all the great stuff going on this week, including a free virtual conference, blogging events, posting photographs that show visible hope and more!

I still miss him like crazy, but Mr. Knightley, brought me companionship, care, love, support, hope and most of all joy that helped me get through each day and it was a gift he gave me that will keep me putting one foot in front of the other. 


  1. Oh what a sweet picture. I'm so glad you got to share that with the world...so more people can see what an incredible bond our animals can share with us! He sounds like an amazing friend and I'm so sorry you lost him. I truly think that losing a dear pet is one of the hardest things we have to go through in life...they love us so purely. I truly believe that God gave us animals as a gift that mirrors his own love for us!

    I'm always amazed at how animals can be so sensitive to us when we're hurting, sad, or afraid. My little American Eskimo dog always sits right up close to me and watches me with worried eyes when I have a "shaky attack" or am feeling sick. She never leaves my side, and I feel so grateful to have her there giving me love. I think they can definitely tell when we need it!

  2. Kelly, My deepest condolences on the loss of your protector/child/companion Mr. Knightley. Please know you are in my thoughts and prayers. Love and Peace to you and George at this difficult time <3