“The course gave me … answers to questions I had, and also many I hadn’t thought about…”

By: Ken Wolfe

In December 1999, I just had turned 35, I was married, had a tremendous job. I had 2 sons and was very active, running every day, and played a lot of basketball and golf. I reflected back then that I was on a 35-year winning streak because things seemed to always go my way.

Then, everything radically changed. I had brain surgery to remove a tumor. Among other things, my entire right side was affected, including vision in several ways, taste, speech, breathing, my right hand, and my right leg down to my toes. While that was a lot, it was only about 50% of my issues because I had severe perception issues and some cognitive issues. Suddenly, sports and all active things were out. I could no longer drive, write, type, take a drink of water, etc.

I had been a very independent person; suddenly I was very dependent on others. Those first few years were not pleasant.

I left my job later that year. I felt like a useless a blob of tissue, a burden.

A major issue that I worried about was, what kind of father could I be, as I couldn’t even do basic things like shovel a sidewalk, cut the grass, hang a picture on the wall, carry a car seat to the car.

For the next few years, I was REALLY struggling, trying to figure it all out. I felt like I was drowning, just trying to keep my head above water, gasping for air.

Slowly, I started feeling better about myself. By 2006, I was really happy. I felt very comfortable with the reality of my situation. I’d struggled so long and so hard to get to that point.  I was wondering how it was possible that I seemed more “valuable” than I did a few years before.  I did not know about the difference between self-esteem and true worth and I was very confused.

Finding Family Honor
In 2007, my wife, Janet went to a Family Honor program. When she came back, she said there was a Family Honor course and she was going to take it, and she asked me to take it also because it could help us raise our kids. (We now had four; we have six today – but that’s another story!) She said one had to take the course to also be a Family Honor Presenter, but that I could just stop after taking the course. (I was relieved because I thought it would be impossible for me to present!)

The Family Honor course [The Truth and Meaning of Sexuality, Love & Family] helped me so much, as it gave me a structure to the chaos, answers to questions I had, and also many I hadn’t thought about but I probably should have!

Most relevantly, I learned that self-esteem and true worth were two different things and that my true worth was given to me at birth and didn’t decrease at all during my 1st surgery because it never changes.

Also, I learned a great deal about what it really means to be a father – most importantly, that being a father has nothing to do with shoveling a sidewalk or cutting the grass, but caring about/ being involved with my kids.  I could do those things! That course helped me in so many ways. The world made a lot more sense. It was like a huge exhale.  I felt exhilarated!  Thank you!  It’s still very disappointing to this day to try to describe my feelings then, as it comes up so short.

Becoming a Family Honor Presenter
I did become a Family Honor Presenter, presenting SPICE in the Real Love & Real Life program with Janet. I found the script so amazing because it’s like someone wrote it exactly for me. While it was difficult to present with all my limitations, I loved saying those words.

Family Honor is so wonderful for so many families, but for me personally on the individual level, it’s impossible for me to express my gratitude …. You’ve helped to change my life in ways that you will probably never know.  Thank YOU!

Here are more helpful articles of interest on faith, family, and virtue:

Sign Up for Family Honor’s Winter Online Course

Not by Nature, but by Grace: Forming Families Through Adoption

The Gift of Grandparents