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  • Hello and welcome to my blog! My name is Joanne and I’ve been blogging for many years under the name The Simple Wife (you can see all of my old posts under the archives or by clicking on any of the categories that interest you). I love receiving comments from you and try to respond to each one personally. I hope you’ll visit often!

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« A Refresher Course (Toben) | Main | Welcome Family Talk (Toben) »


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Toben this may be none of my business, and I mean no disrespect, but it may not hurt either of your girls to get a little bit of counseling to help them process some of these enormous changes that have happened in their lives. Couldn't hurt to try it. Hope everything works out the best for all of you.


Dear Jan,

We are pro-counseling! Both the girls have been in family systems counseling with Joanne and I and they have been in counseling at school, which they'll pick up again in a month. Audrey also sees a clinical psychologist once a month.


Jennifer, Hawaii

Will be praying for dear Emma also! What sort of breakfasts does she make for Joanne?

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Good food for thought here. Thank you very much for the extensive explanation. Very nicely written. Really makes think.

Brandi Luiz


I applaud all you have done as a family! You have been a blessing in the midst of the pain your family has gone through. I wonder if part of the "rebellion" of not wanting to see her Mom in the Hospital was part of her grieving process. Maybe then she was battling all those emotions of the changes to come in her Mom. Maybe?? God is still in control. He will guide them through. Continually praying for you, all of you.


I have a daughter who doesn't deal easily with sickness, injury, hospitals, etc. In the crisis of the moment, she withdraws. Then she shows her concern & caring by doing things for the patient. Sounds like your sweet Emma. Different folks different responses. Isn't it wonderful how God uses all of us & our unique personalities to build a family that complements each other. I don't know who said this, but "...if we were all alike, some of us would be unnecessary." God bless you & yours!


Jennifer in Hawaii,

Emma makes her mom waffles and eggs most mornings but sometimes it's just yogurt and granola.


Emma not wanting to see her mom was a clear demonstration of her "will" to make things different. She wanted to be in control of an out-of-control situation. Eventually she had to jump in with both feet and she has been rock solid for Joanne ever since...although she still hates hospitals and doctor's offices1


Sara G

My 10 yr old daughter has been my helper when I have needed her and my stroke has brought us even closer, wasn't always that way. Within 2 or 3 days after, she came to the hospital and did not want to look at me or say anything. She gave me a card and cried. I don't remember what else but it was almost 4 months later that we got to visit at home. She had stayed with my mom in Florida while we were in Oklahoma. Now, she and well my husband too, follows me from room to room. It's been a tough journey the last 2 1/2 years. My daughter cheers even at the smallest progress and has given me courage. I don't like that she has had to see my cry and my frustrations at times but she hugs and cries with me.

As much as I like to think my daughter is strong I hope that she can work out her thoughts and talk with me or a counselor. Praying for you all and cheering along. I think of Joanne often.

Heidi Carrico

Wow, sounds like a sweet girl with a big, happy heart! Amazing how God can use situations like this to make a young girl such a servant. We know she will go far in life with that pesonality!
Toben, please dont worry so much about her not grieving Joanne's loss. Im one of those christian gals who believes in holding on tight to faith and believing God has a purpose for everything and looking at the positive side and moving forward. That your daughters still have their mother is probably what Emma is thankful for and cant change what has changed from the stroke. Continue encouraging and praising her for handling this well and dont try to make her grieve.
I have lost my hearing when I was 5 and as time when on and I longed to hear again, I remember telling my folks my longing. And Ill forever be grateful that they didnt weep or tell me they were mad about it too that I lost my hearing. Instead they smiled and told me God had a plan and encouraged me to be positive and make the best of what I had not LOST. Because of them never grieving alonside me, but instead smiling and telling me I still had so much to live for...Im thankful to say 32 years later...I couldnt be more content and joyful.
I dont mean to act like I know everything...but sometimes, like myself, it helped that others encouraged and complimented me on my positive attitude amid my loss and thats what kept me thriving in this silent life. Knowing others were watching how I handled things and were inspired. To God be the Glory! I know if Emma continues her happy heart and keeps her focus on God and remembers he has a plan...she will be more than just OK.:)
I cant tell you enough how inspired I am by your blog and following Joanne's journey. You hang in there, are an amazing husband with an inspiring wife who I would love to hug and two beautiful girls who are so strong and will be ones to change the world. Keep on encouraging and complimenting them on their positive attitudes.... and let God take care of the rest!

God bless you, Toben!!!

Heidi C.

Kim Feth

Covering that one in prayer!
Kim Feth
Apex, NC

Fran Shea

Toben, I started following your blog only days after the stroke because Beth Moore requested prayed in her blog. I have followed Joanne's journey often and continue to pray for you all. I love hearing about your girls too! What a blessing they are and how they've grown through this. I appreciate your candid and intimate descriptions of what is really going on with Joanne and the family. We are all blessed and are continuing to learn how God works a good work even in such difficult journeys!

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