The Club No One Wants To Join

There is a really amazing writer out there named Jon Acuff.  You may have heard of him: he wrote a blog called Stuff Christians Like (still writes it) and it eventually became a book which led to several other great books.  I love reading Jon’s stuff because it’s always hilarious and he’s a guy to admire because he’s smart and driven and loves his family to death.  Recently while out at speaking engagements, Jon has been holding free mini meet-ups in those cities.  I would see pictures of them popping up on facebook and I was all like “Oh snap, I would love it if he would come to Charlotte.”   Then LO AND BEHOLD!  He announced he was coming to Charlotte….well, not Charlotte exactly, but rather to Gastonia.  Gastonia is a city outside of Charlotte and a good 45 minutes from my house…on a good day.  And, to top it all off it started at 7:15…AM.  While I did sign up for it, it started the battle of “YOLO Chris” vs “Lazy Chris”…but still I dragged my butt outta bed at 5am and drove out to the church in Gastonia.  First of all, I was TOTALLY geeked to meet Jon, especially since I’ve been reading his blog since like 2007:

Acuff

But Jon also had some really great things to say.  You see, Jon is all about encouraging people who are “dreamers”…encouraging them to hustle their way to the life/career they were meant to have.  And this was what the meetup was about.  He spoke about how doing this takes bravery…but where I’m really headed here surrounds his discussion of transitions in life.  He drew this like 4 quadrants: Voluntary-Negative, Involuntary-Negative, Voluntary-Positive, and Involuntary-Positive.  Each of these transitions requires a “career investment” in order to navigate through it successfully.  I had the opportunity to speak about this blog and why I write it, and Jon mentioned how it was a clear example of the Involuntary-Negative transition.

As heart parents you know that none of us chose to have this happen…none of us wanted this to happen…and none of the early stages of the CHD journey are overwhelmingly positive or happy.  When these transitions happen, Jon says, you need relationships to make it through.  Man, how true is that?!  It’s the reason I started this blog: to help people and to connect with people, because those relationships with fellow heart parents is what offers the most support, in my opinion.  In fact, it’s often the first bit of advice I give to people who find out they’re having a child with a CHD: connect with other heart families for that support.  It’s invaluable.

Being a heart parent is like being part of a club that you don’t ever want to join.  But once you’re in it, you meet some really amazing people and I’m forever grateful for them.  To all the people who read this blog and offer support and comments, I really thank you guys!  It means the world to me that you come and visit my wacky ramblings and find some sort of help.  As long as you keep reading, I’ll keep writing: because there will always be a heart dad here who has got your back.  Thanks to all our local heart families, who work together to keep one another grounded so we don’t lose our ever loving minds.  We celebrate together, we grieve together, and I can’t imagine sharing this journey with a better group of people.  And to Camp Luck: thank you for keeping us connected.

Relationships are how we get through this crazy journey.  So I encourage you to please continue to reach out to other heart parents…and me as well: you know where to find me!  Please remember to share this blog if you feel like it can help someone.

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About Chris Perez

My name is Chris aka HLHS Dad: I’m married with 3 sons. I love photography and the New York Yankees. I’m an admitted pizza snob and amateur balloon animal maker. Every now and then you can catch me being serious…but most of the time I’m quoting random commercials or lines from Pee Wee’s Big Adventure.

Posted on November 10, 2014, in awareness, life and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Amen! Thanks for the post, Chris. This was not a club we ever thought of joining. Yes, I’m thankful we have had people surround us during our journey with a CHD; who is now in the ranks for GRUCHD. We learned Hunter is now a Grown Up CHD… not sure I have the right acronym.

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