That is my wife, Carol Jarvis-Kirkendall, way off in the distance, in front of our single-wide mobile in Apache Wells, Arizona. Our Doberman Angel is next to her, and our smaller mixed-breed Sparky is off to the left. Carol is happiest with her hands in the dirt, accompanied by our four-legged family.
Carol can no longer engage in the kinds of activity she did three years ago when I took this photo. She has required 24/7 assistance almost continually for the past twelve years. She has endured chronic pain in one part of her body or another, and most of her medical and psychological challenges are the direct result of damage done to her body from being physically and sexually abused as a child and young woman. She nearly died three times this past fall of 2011.
While in fragile health and increasingly dependent, Carol endures as a force of nature, a poster-great-grandmother for “Living gracefully is the best revenge.” She inspires me to strive to be the best man I can be, and she will forever provoke my wonder that in spite of years of suffering hideous abuse, she grew into a person of uncommon kindness who persists in finding the best in people.
As a pioneering clinic director, private practicing therapist, author, lecturer, and as a mother, Carol has been a trusted healing influence in the lives of countless families recovering from childhood sexual abuse for over thirty years. She is my hero.
Because Carol often now has trouble remembering her great accomplishments in life, I am asking readers for notes of encouragement or congratulations which would be of help in her healing and recovery. Please, if you are so moved, “Leave a reply.”
Many blessings to you and your families.