Unexpected Words: Our Family’s Story~ Prologue

I have a confession to make.

I am slightly addicted to a Facebook game called “Typing Maniac.”

I didn’t mean for it to happen. Heavens, I’m always telling our kids to put away their phones, Ipods, DS and computer and go outside and play in the sandbox, for goodness’ sake. (The sandbox part worked much better when they weren’t teenagers, of course.) Nevertheless, I find myself sneaking in a game or two of Typing Maniac when I think no one else is looking.

It’s not just the challenge of typing quickly that makes me love this game…it’s the words. The more successful you are in the game, the more difficult the words get. And, if you don’t already know this about me, I love words. Nerdy and bookish as it may be, I am a great lover of our language. So, when words like sluice and cognomen and truculent float down my screen, it makes my heart beat faster. (My brother and sister will tell you this is why I did well in high school~ and why they had WAY more fun than I ever did. Both statements are true.)

At any rate, I was playing Typing Maniac one day, absorbing all of the lovely words, while my fingers flew across the keyboard, when a strangely familiar word appeared:

For those of you who don’t know…the definition is below:  
bru·it (br)

n. A sound, especially an abnormal one, heard in auscultation (Examination by listening with a stethoscope).
The American Heritage® Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2007, 2004 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.


This is not a word I learned in an SAT prep class. It didn’t appear on my vocabulary list in Mr. Heinz’s Advanced Biology lab in 11th grade. I never saw this word in any text in college or in graduate school. In fact, I can’t think of any reason why I should know this word.

But I do.

I know it, because my daughter has a bruit.

Because 11 years ago, she had a stroke.

Because, through that experience, I learned a host of new words I never knew existed, and I heard phrases I never thought I would hear, and experienced silence that was worse than the terrible, necessary words I was learning.

I want to share our story with you, because we, as a family, have had a rare and rich experience. It’s not often that, when a boulder is thrown into the lake of your life, you get to see the far-reaching, God-ordained ripples flowing from the muddy mess. But we have. And while our daughter’s illness was devastating and frightening, God was very busy, mercifully ordering our steps, and those of dozens of people, so that our family could endure the challenges that we faced. This is a story of the Body of Christ, and the amazing, intricate way that it works through the very heartbeat of God.

A few things that you should know…some of the people’s names in our story have been changed to protect their identity. Also, I have the express permission of both of my kids, as well as my husband, to share this story.

Oh~ and one more thing: As I prepared to write this article, I learned that bruit is also a verb:

tr.v., bruit·ed, bruit·ing, bruits.
To spread news of; repeat.

And in this case, we’ll be spreading GOOD news. The best.

Don’t you just love words? 

4 thoughts on “Unexpected Words: Our Family’s Story~ Prologue

  1. Pingback: Is the Key Ministry Team Qualified to Train Churches? | Church4EveryChild

  2. Katie – I am so glad you are writing about this. I am looking forward to hearing your story. Even though I did not know you personally in high school, I always looked up to you and I am glad that our paths crossed again, even though the circumstances were not what you would have chosen. I am grateful that I am getting to know you via facebook and your blog. You are an amazing woman!

  3. Pingback: A Remarkable Story | Church4EveryChild

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