“Laugh Every Day”

Hello friends! Since it’s Valentine’s Day, I wanted to share something I’ve recently fallen in love with: The Frey Life!

The Frey life is a YouTube channel by Mary and Peter Frey (and their adorable service dog Oliver!) about life with Cystic Fibrosis. They upload vlogs everyday and document the challenges and joys of everyday life, with a motto of “Don’t forget to laugh every day.” I wanted to dedicate a whole post about how much they have me within the short month I’ve been watching. I also want to give a huge shout out to my friend Siri who told me about this; I can’t believe I hadn’t heard of it and want to thank you for showing me something that has already impacted my life so much. Yay friends!

Mary was diagnosed with CF as an infant. As someone who has a type of CF that does not currently affect my lungs, I have been so inspired by how Mary deals with the daily treatments, therapies, and different hardships that come with CF. Since at this point I do not need to do vests, mists, or IV’s, it has been extremely helpful to see how Mary incorporates everything into her daily life and what each treatment helps with specifically. I really respect her resilience and dedication to doing treatments and keeping up with exercise.

I’ve actually never met another person that has CF. In a way, I feel as though I’ve made new friends through the Freys. Also, Frei…Frey… God works in cool ways: in this case, showing me a wonderful, quirky Christian family who deals with CF that has essentially the same last name…pretty cool!

The Frey Life is wonderful for not only how funny Mary and Peter are, but because they show the truth about living with CF. There are good days and there are bad, and they show them both. But the most wonderful part is that through everything, they have never given up. They keep going. They deal with the struggles together.

And this is why I chose to talk about this on Valentine’s Day.

Peter and Mary have a love that is just so beautiful and gives me hope.

I want to be very real and open about this, although some of it may sound silly. But hey, we all learn together, right? One of the things I’ve probably unintentionally allowed CF to affect since being diagnosed is relationships. I haven’t dated anyone since being diagnosed almost three years ago. I’m very thankful to be in this season of singleness where I’m able to grow and learn. But it’s also true that at some point (or at least hopefully!) I won’t be on this journey alone. There are things I’ll need to discuss with my future spouse that other couples won’t experience or need to discuss. There will be trips to the hospital, hard decisions and probably many awkward first conversations about CF and the parts of my body if affects (let’s be real people, pancreatic insufficient CF mainly affects the GI system). Even though a lot of these things still scare me at times, I’m also extremely excited to one day have these conversations and be able to experience life with someone, awkwardness and all.

The first year or so of being diagnosed, I didn’t think of these things as much. At that point, I just wanted to be healthy. I think I’m at a different stage now and am really thankful for friends, family, and roommates who have been so supportive through everything. And, I’m really grateful to have the Freys as a couple to really look up to when it comes to how to deal with CF as a married couple.

This is how awesome they are:

Peter helps Mary with Physical Therapy for her lungs. He stands there for at least an hour (if not more) patting her back to help her cough up mucus.

They sing songs and watch movies while Mary does her vests and mists.

Peter brings Mary little gifts and things to do while she’s in the hospital.

Peter also sleeps on a little mat or mattress when Mary’s in the hospital in the same room, even though it’s probably not the most comfortable option.

Peter and Mary do her recommended amounts of exercise together.

Peter put on Mary’s vest and talked about how much he appreciates Mary and how strong she is.

Mary shows so much respect for Peter for helping her and is so supportive of his career, as Peter is a pastor.

Mary and Peter cry together in the hospital when things are hard.

They traveled to Scotland together and had adventures, even when Mary was sick.

They dance ALL THE TIME and it is so adorable. They also laugh at everything, just like me!

Peter knows all of Mary’s medical needs and  never complains about how stressful it is. He also knows how to access Mary’s port that gives her IV’s, which is very impressive as it requires being sterile throughout and a lot of accuracy. (It’s also such an interesting video, you need to check it out!)

They cook meals together.

They have so much joy! They also love Jesus so much, and have really shown me not only what it looks like to be a couple dealing with CF, but how they do that in a Christian context. Their joy comes from the Lord. It is so obvious that their faith really grounds and compels them.

They eat a lot of pizza.

Their service dog Oliver is the cutest thing I’ve ever seen and they buy him little jackets so he doesn’t get cold and take him everywhere and it makes me SO HAPPY.

And, they show what it looks like to love someone regardless of genetic mutation.

They deal with CF head on and so respectfully; it is my hope that one day I have a relationship that looks very similar. I know that these are things that should happen and be a part of all relationships, whether CF is in the picture or not. But sometimes these thoughts seep in that tell us we are not worthy of love for whatever reason, not just CF-wise. To quote Voldemort, this is folly. You are so worthy of love. Really, you are. I promise you.

Although I have to remind myself almost every day, I know that CF should not and will not affect someone’s ability to love me. CF will not matter to someone who truly loves me. And as my roommate Olivia says, you don’t need a host of suitors, you only need one.

So, there’s my slightly sappy but wonderfully true thoughts about what it means to love someone with CF. Thank you to Mary and Peter Frey for being such a wonderful example in my life and the lives of others.

Thanks for listening friends. I hope your day was filled with love!

-M

You can watch their videos here: https://www.youtube.com/user/thefreylife

Please subscribe, I promise you will enjoy this wonderful couple!

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