The 11th Anniversary of Don’t Blink

This past weekend I celebrated the 11th anniversary of Don’t Blink. Last year, I couldn’t guarantee that I would continue blogging beyond 2021. But here I am more than five months into 2022 blogging as ferociously as ever.

That’s 11 years in the book for Don’t Blink. Although I have considered wrapping things up over the years I have continued to blog.

It is just tough to give up. This blog provides me the opportunity to document my thoughts, sharpen my writing skills, extend my brand, engage with my readers, and inject some positivity into the world. On a personal level, authoring Don’t Blink is very therapeutic and it keeps me disciplined.

If it didn’t keep me disciplined, how could you explain the 2,158 posts I have written over the past 11 years? My blog has provided me with the structure and motivation that I crave. Knowing how much both of those things mean to me, this year I am wiser in the respect that I won’t prophesy the possible end of this blog. As long as I can continue to carve out time to write when my children are asleep, which usually means very early in the morning or late at night, I believe I will continue to do so.

I thank all my readers for your loyalty and engagement over the years. I also thank my wife for making this sign.

When thinking about how my blog has changed over the course of this latest year, I would point to crossover. What I mean by this is that some of my blog posts have been influenced by content and ideas I have shared on other digital platforms, especially TikTok. Some of the videos that I made on that social media channel would later be adapted in blog-form. Need evidence? Well, this blog post is actually one of them. The truth of the matter is that TikTok has introduced so many viral trends that can be further explored in a written format—a true gold mine for a content creator like myself who has a presence on multiple platforms.

I want to extend my gratitude to all my readers, both longtime and new. As I mentioned, you play an enormous role in my decision to continue blogging. Thanks again and let’s keep this train rolling. Don’t Blink.

Chalky Thursday Rundown

Welcome back! I am so happy that you decided to join me tonight for another Thursday Rundown. Let’s begin with our five topics…

Dressed Up Beau – Our son has a knack for throwing on random clothes and accessories. When I looked up from my computer the other day this is what I saw. Believe it or not, I used to do the same thing when I was his age.

Beau threw on a helmet and his mom’s sunglasses the other day.

Welcome Home Message – When I returned home from Pullman on Tuesday night, I had a nice chalk message waiting for me on the driveway. It was a simple but sweet gesture and Sloan was so excited to tell me that she helped in its creation when I walked inside. The little things.

I came home to this on Tuesday night.

Loose Tooth Drama – Earlier this week I read “Llama Llama Loose Tooth Drama” to the kids. It took everything inside of me to get through it. You see, I get queasy pretty easily and loose teeth are just one thing that will give me an unpleasant feeling. Even before we were married, Sidney and I made an agreement that she would handle all the teeth pulling of our future kids.

“Llama Llama Loose Tooth Drama” reminded me that I am not looking forward to when Sloan starts losing her teeth.

Eerie – A story that caught my eye yesterday surrounded a plane that never left the runway in Israel because of some photos that circulated among the passengers. As the aircraft was taxiing for takeoff to Turkey, many people accepted an AirDrop request and when the images popped up on their devices panic ensued. The photos depicted various plane crashes from over the years. Passengers alerted the flight attendants who notified the captain who made the decision to turn back. After extensive security checks and bag checks, nine people on the plane were arrested for supposedly circulating the images. I am really curious for more information to come out and learn why these fearmongers, who were all around 18 years old, would do such a thing.

This was one of the images that was circulated among the passengers.

Special Photo – When my dad did a Google search for some of the 1970s Walla Walla High School football teams he played on, a picture popped up that at first glance seemed to miss the mark. He landed on a site that contained several photos from a 1970 Whitman College (a small private college in Walla Walla) football game. But when he glanced at the first photo in the group, he saw something pretty crazy. The image was a crowd shot and in plain view was my 13-year-old dad sitting in the stands! To his left is my grandpa and to his immediate right is my Uncle Dick. Next to my uncle is my Aunt Debbie and next to her is my Aunt Patty. The photo quality is quite good and not many pictures exist with my dad’s father and the kids. The coincidence of finding this picture while looking for something else is pretty spectacular.

My dad discovered this Whitman College football photo while looking for something entirely different. I have added an arrow pointing at my dad.

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That’s what I got for you tonight. Thanks for your support of my blog and I wish you a fantastic weekend. Don’t Blink.

Reflections From Three Great Moms

This past Sunday, we gathered at my parents’ house in north Spokane for a Mother’s Day celebration. What an awesome opportunity it was for my siblings and our families to get together and recognize our amazing moms. Early on during the celebration, I got the three women of the hour (my mom, my wife, and my sister) to take the below photo.

My mom, Sidney, and my sister pose for a photo during our 2022 Mother’s Day celebration.

After the photo was taken, I took the opportunity to ask each mother, What do you enjoy most about being a mom? There answers were diverse but thoughtful…

My sister said the love she receives from her three kids is the best part about being a mom. Nothing beats the authentic, loyal adoration that comes from your children.

I then moved to my wife and she replied with something rather interesting. She mentioned that the best part about being a mom is reliving her own childhood through the daily experiences of Sloan and Beau. What joy it is to be reminded of your own happy youthful years via the little humans you love more than anything in the world.

Finally, I posed the question to my mom. As the most tenured member of the group, she had a different perspective. She responded that the best part of being a mom to adult children is taking pride in the fact that her daughter and two sons are all successful, happy people. Observing her children all grown up conveys to her that she did a good job as a mom.

If you want to actually watch my wife, sister, and mom give their responses, you can watch the TikTok video I created by tapping here. I am so thankful for these three incredible women and am always blown away by the great job they do as mothers. Don’t Blink.

509 Day

If you recall, last month on April 6, I wrote about 406 Day. April 6 (4-06) reflects Montana’s sole area code and thus the date is embraced by the state. In my blog post I mentioned that while the day is important to me since I lived in Missoula for eight years, you won’t see me calling in sick to celebrate it—the true Montanan spirit just doesn’t dwell in me.

Today is another day associated with an area code but this one resonates a little more with me. In eastern Washington, the date of May 9 (5-09) is also known as 509 Day. Unlike how 406 Day represents an entire state, 509 Day simply carries the banner of a specific region. But that region happens to be where I was born and where I have spent more than 60% of my life.

The mayor of Spokane, Nadine Woodward, holds a 509 Day card.

Although the 509 area code encompasses more than half the state of Washington geographically, it is claimed with the most passion by Spokane. As a born and raised Spokanite who now resides here once again after a 15-year hiatus, I have a genuine pride for those three numbers. Did that pride burn intensely in my soul when I left the state as an 18-year-old? To be honest, probably not. But after all those years of being away and noticing from afar that I didn’t live in such an awful place, the digits started to mean a little more to me. Especially when I would make the immediate association of “home” when I would receive an incoming call and “509” would be flashing on my screen.

Hell yes, I would wear a shirt with 509 embroidered across the chest if I had one. In my mind, 509 means four unique seasons. It means some of the best college basketball in the country. It means Bloomsday, which I just participated in last week. It means Hoopfest, which I will lace up my sneakers for next month. It means media outlets like the Spokesman-Review and KXLY. It means Riverfront Park, Dick’s Hamburgers, and Jack & Dan’s. It means coffee stands on every corner and pot shops in every strip mall (not that I am proud of that one). It means Macklemore’s “Downtown” music video which to this day I believe screams Spokane better than just about anything else. It means lilacs, a garbage goat, and the Davenport Hotel.

Nothing says “509” more like the Garbage Goat in Riverfront Park

It means home.

“The 509” has a certain attitude. It is realistic, knowing that Spokane is a mid-sized city that can’t necessarily compete with its big brother, Seattle. But at the same time, it is content with what it can offer. The 509 isn’t too out of touch to poke fun about itself and acknowledge its shortcomings but at the same time it clutches a deep sense of community pride. To put it simply, the 509 is down to earth.

And, just like the area code that I proudly claim, I am a down to earth dude. Without hesitation I salute my fellow 509ers and enthusiastically celebrate 509 Day. Now pass the cheap beer. Don’t Blink.

Sweet Child O’ Mine Thursday Rundown

Happy Cinco De Mayo! Hopefully your May is off to a fantastic start. I think I have a handful of topics to cover so let’s get to it…

May The Fourth Be With You – I am not a Star Wars fan but I couldn’t turn a blind eye to the display we saw last night. While at Sloan’s t-ball game, a house across the street from the field was decked out for May 4. Although it took some courage from Beau before I was finally able to get him close to the lawn, he was ultimately impressed by the lineup of inflatables.

Beau admiring the house that went bonkers for Star Wars Day.

S!@#$% Brownies – Last week, my brother made brownies with a pretty scandalous name unfit to print in a family blog like this one. But while the name is indecent the taste definitely isn’t. S!@#$% Brownies consist of a cookie dough layer, Oreo cookie layer, and brownie layer. They were so good that Sidney decided to make them this week and they were just as delicious. If you are looking for a rich, heavy dessert that will leave you satisfied, give S!@#$% Brownies a try. If you want a brownie that is a little lighter, you can try my blonde brownies.

An up close look at a S!@#$% Brownie from the batch that Sid made earlier this week.

Sweet Child O’ Mine – I always like to share some of the creative books we read each night and I sure have one for this week. Guns N’ Roses made a picture-book interpretation of its iconic song “Sweet Child O Mine.” The book is literally composed of the song lyrics verbatim with Axl Roses’s daughters serving as the main characters. I read the book for the first time to Sloan in a sing-song manner and then I let Alexa play the song and we followed along with the book. What can I say? Sloan is now very familiar with the song “Sweet Child of Mine” and she actually likes it.

Sloan holding the “Sweet Child O’ Mine” children’s book we checked out at the library.

Fr. Stu – Sidney and I had the rare opportunity to visit the movie theater recently as we watched Mark Wahlberg’s new film “Fr. Stu.” For two weeks now I have desperately wanted to see the film and I was so happy to get the chance. The movie is a true story about a rough-around-the-edges guy who dabbled in boxing, acting, and plenty of booze before meeting a special girl. They started dating and her faith influenced Stu so much that he converted to Catholicism. After a near death motorcycle accident, Stu decides to end the relationship and begin the process of becoming a priest. The journey that unfolds from that point will blow you away. Mark Wahlberg, who is a devout Catholic in real life, gives an awesome performance! One final thing: Fr. Kevin Oiland, one of the two priests who leads our Young Adult Catholic Group, actually went to seminary with Fr. Stu! Go see the movie!

Our tickets for Fr. Stu.

Derby – The Kentucky Derby is this weekend. Although I don’t get too excited about horse racing, I do miss the epic derby parties that my friend Lindsi (the one who provides me with all the memes) would throw when we lived in Myrtle Beach. Having worked for the Kentucky Derby, Lindsi brought that genuine Churchill Downs pageantry and enthusiasm to her parties. It also gave me an excuse to dress up in some crazy outfits!

Sidney and I in our 2019 Kentucky Derby costumes.

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With all that said, it is time for me to sign off. Make sure to properly celebrate and thank all those mothers out there this weekend. Don’t Blink.

All About the Snacks

When my nephew, who plays on Sloan’s t-ball team, was asked what his favorite part of opening weekend was, he didn’t hesitate.

“The snacks.”

And I don’t blame him. With this t-ball season marking Sloan’s first foray into organized sports, I have found myself increasingly nostalgic as I reminisce over some of my initial youth teams. As the memories danced through my head, I kept going back to the end-of-game treat. I thought a lot about the anticipation (Nutri-Grain bar or Fruit by the Foot? Sunny Delight or Squeeze-It?), the way the snack tasted in the open air, and also the level of responsibility that I felt when it was my turn to provide the snacks.

I am enjoying Sloan’s first foray into organized sports, including the finer parts of the experience.

Let’s face it, the emphasis on snacks isn’t shared by just my nephew and the younger version of myself. Millions of young children most likely allow their parents to drag them out to ball fields and courts simply for the treat that awaits after the game.

With the hearts of so many kids fixated on what goodies will surface on the team bench after the game, it puts a lot of pressure on us parents to deliver something they will like. In an attempt to not let that pressure fester throughout the season, Sidney and I chose the second game of the season for snack duty. We went with what we thought was a solid choice: Goldfish pouches and Capri Suns. It was a thrill for me to pass them out after the game as Sloan and her teammates seemed to appreciate them.

But since then we have been upstaged. My sister followed with snack duty for the third game. She packaged fruit snacks, a granola bar, and a Capri Sun in sleek multi-colored patterned paper bags. The presentation was impressive and the bags were easy to pass out as she bypassed the dilemma of reaching into a snack box and a drink box to serve a swarm of kids.

However, my sister’s status as “Snack Queen” didn’t last long. Earlier this week, one of Sloan’s teammates passed out baseball-themed mini boxes filled with crackers, a pack of cookies, a drink, and a baseball keychain. It was the t-ball equivalent of a Happy Meal and it blew us out of the water.

Sloan received this box full of goodies on Monday night.

At this rate, what can Sloan expect after tonight’s game? A catered meal from Ruth’s Chris? So much for orange slices and a Hi-C juice box.

Although post game snacks might be getting a little bougee, the same excitement still exists for a kid who spent the better part of two hours chasing butterflies in an overgrown ball field. After all, they are just there for the treats. Don’t Blink.

A Bloomsday Triumph

My month of May started with Bloomsday, one of Spokane’s signature events. The road race draws at least 30,000 people annually who complete a 12K/7.5 mile course that begins and ends in downtown with scenic views of the Spokane River, historic neighborhoods, and other landmarks sandwiched in the middle. Growing up in Spokane I ran Bloomsday several times but it had been more than 20 years since I last participated.

On May 1, 2022, I ran Bloomsday after more than 20 years elapsed since I last participated in the event.

I joined my brother and sister-in-law to partake in this year’s race. We took advantage of the Bloomsday shuttle that allowed us to board a Spokane Transit Authority (STA) bus at Ferris High School for a stress-free drop off within blocks of the starting line.

Glen, Carrie, and I on the STA bus en route to Downtown Spokane for Bloomsday.

On Sunday I just couldn’t stop smiling. As I waited in the brilliant morning sunshine for the gun to sound, I felt so fortunate that the worst of the pandemic had passed and that community events could finally resume. It had been a long time coming.

To be honest, even before we got downtown I was already smiling ear to ear. Sloan and Beau wished me good luck before I headed out the door.

Trust me, I wasn’t the only one smiling. The enthusiasm and glee was infectious. Glen, Carrie, and I were filled with joy as we huddled with thousands of other bloomies at the starting line. Bloomsday was back!

As the three of us waited near the starting line, we couldn’t help but realize how far our world had come since the beginning of the pandemic.

There is nothing like that first Bloomsday mile. Running the initial 5,280 feet with the masses while injected with natural adrenaline is simply the best. As we ran by Our Lady of Lourdes Cathedral during that opening stanza, Fr. Kyle Ratuiste gave us a quick blessing from the church steps. At that moment, I was at peak euphoria for the day and ready to tackle the course.

I took off on my own and simply enjoyed myself as I navigated the course. Bands, vendors, and spectators lined the streets as there was never a dull moment. At one point, someone on the curb extended a couple of PBR tall boys in my general vicinity.

“Sorry, I ran out of water,” the man said.

I declined but a braver soul who was running close to me graciously accepted the man’s offering. I gave him a nod of admiration.

Interactions like that made the race fun. To see everyone so spirited, runners and spectators alike, made for a fun morning. I crossed the finish line at 1 hour, 11 minutes—a little better than what I anticipated.

I approach the finish line during the 2022 Bloomsday.

Once I reunited with Glen and Carrie we picked up our coveted finisher t-shirts. Always the subject of intense scrutiny, this year’s color and design seemed to be lauded by fashion critics and social media users.

After we all crossed the finish line, Glen snapped this photo (photo bomber and all).

With t-shirts in hand, we headed to the next natural spot—the bar. A beer never tasted so good.

We felt like we owned the bar walking in with our Bloomsday shirts on. Seriously, the beer tasted so good.

Thanks to Glen and Carrie for letting me do Bloomsday with them, I had an absolute blast. And thank you, Spokane, for making such an awesome event possible. Until next time! Don’t Blink.

An All-Access Visit From Sid’s Parents

Last week was a special one for us. Sidney’s parents came to town and it was much different than the previous two experiences when they ventured out west. When they visited in May 2020, it was a quick two-day trip to drop Sidney and the kids off as we started our family’s new chapter. They would visit again in October 2021 but we were still living in a COVID-conscious society that heavily limited what we could do.

What a nice time we had with Sidney’s parents. It was a thrill to show them the beautiful Spokane Falls.

Thankfully, things were different this time around. With pandemic restrictions lifted, we were able to actually leave the house and show them our city and the surrounding areas. Don’t get me wrong, we had plenty of quality time just relaxing in our living room but it was nice to balance that out a bit. Here is a brief synopsis of how we spent our week together…

Beau felt right at home in his dada’s arms.

All Eyes on Sloan – The Saturday that my in-laws arrived, Sloan opened her t-ball season. They got to watch that opener and then they also attended the following two games on Monday and Wednesday. It was nice that they got to see Sloan in action in addition to all the cuteness that goes along with 5-year-olds playing t-ball. Another special component of the t-ball action was that my parents attended all three games along with my sister’s family (Sloan’s cousin, Johnny, plays on the team too). This not only allowed Sloan to have a large cheering contingent but it also provided our two families plenty of time to catch up and enjoy each other’s company.

Sid’s parents got to see Sloan play three t-ball games.

Sunday Fun – The first full day that Sid’s parents were here, we took advantage of the sunny weather and spent most of the day outdoors. We took them to Riverfront Park where they got to see the Spokane Falls up close, feed the garbage goat, watch the kids ride the carousel, and scope out the brand new inclusive playground. From there we went to Avista Stadium to watch the Spokane Indians host the Hillsboro Hoppers. Thanks to my sister-in-law we had box seats for a lovely afternoon of Minor League baseball. Although the Indians came up short, we had a fun time and ate plenty of ballpark food.

We watched a Spokane Indians game at Avista Stadium on a beautiful afternoon.

Coeur d’Alene Excursion – I took a half day from work on Monday and we took Mr. Sid and Brenda across the border to Coeur d’Alene. We ate lunch, looked at shops, played at a super cool playground, and drove along the lake. Although my in-laws have the ocean and other bodies of water in South Carolina, there is just something about admiring a picturesque lake that is surrounded by tree-covered mountains.

Sid’s mom watches Sloan play during our trip to Coeur d’Alene.

Eating Out! – I mentioned that while in Coeur d’Alene we ate lunch. Well, this time around we had many more opportunities to eat at restaurants since all COVID restrictions were lifted. We were able to take Sid’s parents to our favorite fast food restaurant (Zip’s), our special trucker greasy spoon (Broadway Diner), and in Coeur d’Alene we ate at a spot called Sweet Lou’s. The first night we ordered pizza from River City Pizza and later in the week we feasted on fried chicken from the Yoke’s deli. Despite all that yummy eating out, the best eats probably came from our home cooked meals. One night Sidney made spaghetti and another night Sid’s parents made their famous ribs.

We ate at Sweet Lou’s in Coeur d’Alene.

Time at Home – For all we did in and out of Spokane, we spent precious time just relaxing at our house too. We played games, watched TV, and talked. “Gami and Dada” also got to participate in our nightly books and prayers tradition and also got to be present when Beau and Sloan woke up in the morning. It was so comforting to have them under our roof.

Sid’s parents got to read to Beau and Sloan.

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We miss Sid’s parents but are so happy for the time we had with them. It was nice to show them our life out west and have them participate in it with us. They are two incredible great people and we can’t wait to see them again. Don’t Blink.

Ball Thursday Rundown

Can you believe that by the end of the weekend it will be May? But until Sunday arrives it is still April so let’s get going on the last Thursday Rundown of the month…

T-Ball Season Underway – It was Opening Day for Sloan’s t-ball season this past Saturday and she already has three games under her belt. Throughout the next several weeks I hope to offer some observations from the point of view from a t-ball dad, but until then I am really enjoying the opportunity to watch Sloan in her first organized (I use “organized” very loosely) sport endeavor. To watch Sloan’s t-ball “highlight reel” click here.

Sloan with her cousins, Mikayla and Johnny, on Opening Day for her t-ball season.

T-Ball Reality – I thought it was appropriate to follow up my t-ball update with this meme that my friend Lindsi shared. What you see below was pretty much exactly our experience this past Monday. We drove back from Coeur d’Alene that afternoon and Sloan fell asleep in the car. We brought her inside and let her nap for an hour or so before waking her up to get ready. She did not want to get ready. It was pulling teeth to get her uniform on but we were eventually successful…after some “strong encouragement” from us to cooperate, of course.

It was a struggle to get Sloan dressed in her uniform on Monday.

Minor League Ball – It just isn’t t-ball season, it is baseball season too! Our minor league team, the Spokane Indians, opened their season earlier this month. We visited Avista Stadium on Sunday as we watched the Indians fall to the Hillsboro Hops, 11-9. The best thing besides the crack of the bat and cold beer? A pitch clock! A pitcher now has a set time to make his delivery and it has had a dramatic impact. At the game we attended on Sunday, the game time was a mere 2 hours and 40 minutes even though 20 total runs were scored. The game on Saturday lasted only 1 hour and 53 minutes! I love spending time in the ballpark but I don’t need to be there for more than three hours.

It was a gorgeous day at the ballpark on Sunday. This is a photo I took from our seats.

An Incredible Boston Sports Day – On this date nine years ago, I had a dream day as a sports fan. On that particular Sunday I was lucky enough to attend a Boston Celtics playoff game in the early afternoon and the Boston Bruins regular season finale at night. Not only was the action itself exhilarating but it was a thrill for me to experience the transformation of the TD Garden from a basketball venue to a hockey venue in such a short period of time.

It was quite the experience attending a Boston Celtics and a Boston Bruins game in the same day.

Bloomsday – I am excited to hit the Spokane streets on Sunday for Bloomsday. It has been well over 20 years since I last participated in the race as I didn’t even have the option to participate the past two years (since moving back to Spokane) because of the pandemic. I will be tackling Bloomsday with my brother and sister-in-law. Don’t worry, I will be sure to update you on whether I finish the race or not next week.

Bloomsday is this Sunday and I am excited to participate!

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Speaking of next week, that’s the next time you will hear from me. I hope you conclude your April on a high note. Thanks for taking the time to read my blog and have a safe weekend. Don’t Blink.

The Inspiring Fritel Family

Every so often we attend the 5 p.m. Saturday vigil mass at St. Mary Catholic Church. As we enter the worship space, we always walk past a parishioner sitting in the back row. He chooses this spot because it allows space for his wheelchair. Toward the end of communion, Fr. Jeff Lewis will walk out to him and administer the blessed sacrament via syringe. It is always a touching moment to see both the man’s reverence and respect for the sacrament and Fr. Lewis’ dedication to make sure that he receives it.

Up until a couple months ago, I didn’t know much about this faithful parishioner. But at one of our Young Adult Catholic meetings with Fr. Jeff and Fr. Kevin Oiland, I learned some sobering and powerful information. Fr. Jeff opened up about the wheelchair-bound man named Garth Fritel, disclosing that he has ALS. He talked about Garth’s faith and then mentioned an effort he was going to spearhead.

Venerable Aloysius Schwartz is on the track to sainthood. Fr. Schwartz lived an extremely holy life in which he set up Catholic communities in some of the poorest countries on the planet and saved thousands and thousands of lives. He did this while battling ALS himself.

Fr. Lewis gathered the St. Mary community to pray to Fr. Al for the healing of Garth. If successful, it would help Fr. Al’s canonization process, establish a patron saint of ALS, and, most importantly in my eyes, cure Garth. A grounded man, Fr. Lewis has tried to manage expectations by saying there is no guarantee for healing but prayer is always a worthwhile endeavor, especially when the cards are stacked against you.

But for a moment, I just want to focus on Garth and his wife, Adeline. If you have not read the article yet, please do so. Seriously, read it. The piece written by Kevin Wells of National Catholic Register is simply superb.

Garth is pictured with his two daughters, his wife, Fr. Lewis, our St. Mary formation director, and NCR’s Kevin Wells (this photo is courtesy of Kevin Wells).

Garth had it all. Important job, beautiful family, and a genuine love for life. Then ALS hit. The savage disease ravaged his body over the course of five years and now he is unable to move any body part below his neck. He needs to use a computer to communicate. His parents moved into his house and they help Adeline provide Garth with 24/7 care. At least 12 times a day, he has to have his throat sectioned to clear it.

The attitude that both Garth and Adeline embrace is beyond inspiring. Garth has accepted his illness as his cross. As Fr. Al described it, they are nailed to the ALS cross. Like Fr. Al, Garth frames his ALS as a sign of love and special favor from Jesus. Garth’s life is extremely difficult and he has found himself in dark places, which the story does a phenomenal job of describing, but he has chosen life over the prospect of quitting.

The love and loyalty that Adeline has for her husband is pure and unwavering. Instead of bitterness, she focuses on the blessings generated by Garth’s ALS, quantifying them as “too many to count.” The way Adeline compares her family’s suffering to that of the Stations of the Cross will blow your mind.

Perhaps no other part of the article painted a more vivid picture in my mind than nightly prayer for the Fritels. They gather every evening and identify a blessing from the day. Garth always has one. Always.

Please keep Garth, Adeline, and their two children in your prayers. Let us pray that they continue to draw on their strong faith and that Fr. Al can provide healing if it is God’s will. What an inspiration. Don’t Blink.