There are so many versions of “Chicken Soup for the Soul,” which
really is a great collection of books. I felt happy when my youngest
daughter started reading, “Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul.”
She would have a big smile on her face, arriving at the dinner table,
taking each individual story and reading it as a daily devotional.
She would excitedly share about the impact in the story collections
of one life upon another. This, along with her two years of studying
as a confirmand, which is one getting ready in our Presbyterian
Church to be confirmed. . . all of the pieces were falling into place,
with her faith.
Here was a young girl, who at age 11, feeling pain in her joints;
already. My daughter was diagnosed at age 12 after being tested
and a surgeon wanting to cut into her knees. We chose to research
more and found out she had JRA. This is the acronym for Juvenile
Rheumatoid Arthritis. Felicia was diagnosed using blood samples,
at Children’s Hospital. She was ‘taken under the wing’ of a lovely
and giving physician named, Dr. Gloria Higgins.
If anything, Felicia could have quit playing soccer, would never
have pursued in high school, cross country and could have not
been so eager to learn in school. Her energy and her determination
earned her 10th place in the OCC for our high school in long
distance running. She enjoyed being a cadet journalist and “Girl
on the Street.” There were times I would accompany her to the
mall where she would take her microphone and ask questions
like, “What are you buying for your significant other, Sir?” or
“What is the most popular toy in the store?” to a salesclerk or
busy manager. She would happily exclaim over the loud speaker,
the morning announcements ,
“Good morning, Hayes High School, this is Fox Oldrieve giving you
the news today.”
Let’s go back to elementary school, before she knew pain or had a
‘care in the world.’ She wrote an essay that won her third grade
class’ assignment on the subject of Martin Luther King, Jr. She did
this once more and wrote an essay that won her fourth grade class’
assignment. The amazing thing to me was she also won the whole
school’s award two years in a row. She was asked to speak in front
of Ohio Wesleyan University’s annual MLK, Jr. breakfast. My secret
wish was for her to pursue this and become a newscaster. . . She did
study dual majors at University of Dayton in Communications and
Marketing. No, she is not in journalism.
Her goal is to help others in their pain management, encouraging
them to be careful of what they eat. Healthy choices for her and
she has documented what causes negative joint reactions in her
hands (knuckles), knees and her jaw bone. The way she helps
herself to feel less pain is gluten-free, no milk products, no
sandwich meats or other salty and less natural foods. We shall
see if she finds her dream of this come to fruition. This is not
what my focus is today.
Anyway, the books got her through difficult times, challenging
circumstances. When some people, coworkers and friends, start
to complain about aging and their aches and pains, I try not to
say this thought out loud:
“My daughter was told by not only Children’s Hospital but also,
due to her being a participant in an OSU study on rheumatoid
arthritis, she had the joints of a 65 year old at age 12.”
Here are two motivating quotations, written by John Caulfield,
taken from “Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul II:”
~ One ~
“Her essay about the wedding ring was short. Kerr wrote,
‘Things are just things- they have no power to hurt or to heal.
Only people can do that. And we can all choose whether to be
hurt or healed by the people who love us.
That was all.
And that was everything.”
~ Two ~
“And so I wait.
I wait for time to heal the pain and raise me to my feet once
again. So that I can start a new path, my own path, the one
that will make me whole again.”
Besides chicken soup what can we do to help strengthen our immune
There is always such diversity in lists given by different resources.
There are so many various food sources, also being cleverly labeled
as, “super foods.” A tag that this past ten years has labeled those
foods that give us healthy bodies and provide us rich sources of
Using some of these ingredients will help you stay healthy on
the outside, your body will hopefully battle the daily coughs
and sneezes we are all assaulted with, in elevators, in cubicles
and in the library sitting next to someone you wish you could
say, “Next time, when you feel miserable and sniffly, would
you please stay home?”
a. Soothes upset tummies.
b. Relieves muscle pains.
c. Helps your vocal chords (voice to speak)and prevents coughs.
1. Chili powder of chilis-
a. Warm your mouth and ‘innards.’
b. Clear congestion.
a. Antioxidants boost your immune system.
b. Helps heart and lowers cholesterol.
a. Helps with colds and fevers.
b. Mixed with smashed peas, minted peas are getting popular.
c. Sipping on mint green tea, adding another antioxidant, lemon is
a great way of combining forces.
Tasty Alternatives in Soups:
~ Homestyle chili with Mexican spice, cumin, garlic, other seasonings
and flavorings both vegetarian or meat/beef style are very good for
us. Also, nice to have a big crock pot of this, so you can pack a few
meals up and be ready for work. (White bean chili is a new favorite.)
~ Garlic soup using sweet potatoes and cauliflower, with curry and
~Also, some recipes for soups are adding cinnamon, paprika and
~Roasted pepper and cheddar cheese soup includes cilantro, basil,
garlic and cumin.
One last ‘brag’ about my youngest daughter who handles her pain
and sometimes ‘suffering’ in silence and shows grace. I entered her
in her junior year of high school in a contest by the Columbus Dispatch,
“Who Is Your Hero?” She ‘won’ along with two others, in a three way
tie, the newspaper took a picture of the two of us, we won two tickets
to see Dustin Hoffman in “Hero,” first run movie and it was nice to
receive copies of the first page of the Arts and Entertainment
section from so many people in Ohio.
I mentioned something like this:
“At the end of the day, there are teenagers who would use any excuse
to get out of sports or work, but my daughter has a part-time job, is
involved with extracurricular activities and doesn’t complain. There
are many people around her daily who have ‘no clue’ of what she goes
through. It is nice when we are relaxing to sit downstairs while we
have a fire in the fireplace. But as she gets up, she winces. That pained
face moves me. When her stepdad offers to help her up the stairs, she
takes him up on the kind offer. You know that is when it really hurts
to know what she hides most of the time.”
What challenges do you overcome daily?
(Spiritual, emotional, seasonal, physical, mental or other?)