Bogged Down!

The Coffman and Daniels clans are feeling pretty bogged down these days! The dictionary says that a bog is “wet muddy ground too soft to hold a heavy body.” September has felt like that kind of month! Terry says our family is “snake bit!”

Bog #1—AW, HAIL! There was a bad storm with baseball-sized hail with spikes that blew through on September 1st. At our home we had wind and rain. It hit Fuquay Varina in a three mile radius. At Heather’s home the hail totaled Chris’ car. Her van was badly damaged and won’t be repaired until mid-October. Chris’ mother was visiting them that afternoon and her car was totaled, too. They have to get another car for Chris to drive to work. The garage doors were damaged as was the roof on the house and workshop, several windows including the sky lights in the family room were broken out. There’s so much damage in the area that contractors are hard to schedule. We loaned Heather our van for several days so she could get the kids to school and activities. Terry drove our old Explorer! I’ve ridden in more comfortable logging trucks! This is just the beginning of the September 2017 story!

Bog#2—Our granddaughter came to visit Saturday, September 9. On her way back to UNC Wilmington that evening she was rear ended by a car that pushed her into a big bubba truck. Her car looked like a squashed drink can. It was totaled but we were glad she only got bumps and bruises. Shawn came Sunday to deal with insurances, etc. He took her back to UNCW and left his car with her. Now he’s driving a rental. Monday after he got home from work, Shawn found that a huge tree had fallen across his driveway and onto the old MG that he and Daniel have been restoring. Totaled it! So much for that father/son project!

Bog#3—A four-day marathon September 15-18 with my siblings to get Mom’s house cleaned out. Not so much a bog but exhausting for all of us! The weekend was bitter sweet. When I say marathon, I mean it! One dump truck of “stuff” to the county dump. Pounds and pounds of paper from two desks packed to the hilt, boxes, bags and piles shredded for recycle. Clothes in every available space! Many trips were taken to various local clothes closets. Dear Mom never had anything for wear! My sister and I laughed and cried as we sorted through the drawers and closets upstairs and tubs of clothes in the basement!

What kept us going was our hunt for “gold” and sharing memories! We knew that Mom and Dad, children of the Depression, had the habit of stashing money here and there for a rainy day so it was necessary to go through everything! Pockets of clothes, old wallets, rolled coins in an old laundry soap box, books! Part of the stash was Dad’s. He died 10 years ago and Mom had not found all of his hidey-holes! It became a game as we shouted out to each other from room to room, “I found $2 in a book!” “I found a piggy bank of pennies in the back of the closet!” “I found $23 in this old purse!”

Bog#4—Next in the line-up was Heather’s major surgery on September 20. Her beautiful, BIG babies and four c-sections had split the sheet of abdominal muscle that holds all of our itty-bitty parts in place. Pretty radical and painful surgery for her. Chris has to go back to work tomorrow. Terry’s doing the school and activities runs. Volley ball, cross country, pre-school, dance, etc. He’s enjoying it. Some days he brings the Claire and Tucker to spend the afternoon with us.


Bog#5—My bog is filled with continual fatigue the level of which I haven’t contended with for so many years. My endocrinologist at Duke told me that the latest lab for the FGF23, the substance my tumors secrete, is now 37,000! Before the first tumor was removed in 2002, he said 200 was high! The continuing growth of the tumors in my lungs is cranking out the juice, thus the mounting fatigue and increased pain. My hospice nurse and other hospice staff are very in tune with us. This week my pain med was increased and a new med was started to help with swelling as the tumors push against other organs and bones. I’m slowly getting a bit of work done on my book, Hands and Hearts—Creating Visible Prayers. Terry and Shawn are working on making typing easier for me. I’m getting a larger monitor and a wireless keyboard. Now all I need is a secretary!

If you have called, texted or emailed me and I have not responded, please know that I treasure you and your prayers. I thank God everyday for the blessing of your friendship!

I’m sharing a prayer that I love written by Walter Rauschenbusch (1861-1918), a theologian who taught at Rochester Theological Seminary:

“O God, we thank you for this earth, our home, for the wide sky and the blessed sun, for the salt sea and the running water, for the everlasting hills and the never-resting winds, for trees and the common grass underfoot.  We thank you for our senses by which we hear the songs of birds, and see the splendor of the summer fields, and taste of the autumn fruits, and rejoice in the feel of the snow, and smell the breath of the spring.  Grant us a heart wide open to all this beauty; and save our souls from being so blind that we pass unseeing when even the common thornbush is aflame with your glory, O God our creator, who lives and reigns forever and ever.”




  1. Harriet Smith
    Sep 30, 2017

    Once again, Donna, you are showing us how ordinary adversity is and how to handle it. God bless all of your family. Our prayers continue.It is amazing how much better it is when the whole family is working for the same goal. Prayers and here is a cyberhug too.

  2. Sarah Phelps
    Sep 30, 2017

    Oh no! I can’t believe how many awful things have happened in a row, and its so amazing that you are facing it all with such great humor and spirits! I wish I could help, Donna. I really, really do.
    I hope and pray that things take a turn for the better now. Much love to you and Terry,

  3. Judy Lee
    Sep 30, 2017

    Oh my, what a month for all of you! Thankful no one was hurt with the storms or car accidents. So glad you continue your writing on the book. Know working on this beautiful project is so meaningful for you. You do have a special gift with words which flow from your dear loving heart. May the Hospice nurses continue with your care as you continue on your journey. Love you Donna!! Hugsx12

  4. Pat Churchman
    Sep 30, 2017

    Oh Donna, you’re all in my prayers. We so appreciated Terry coming to Chad’s memorial service. I’m not trying to compete, just to say, besides my broken wrist, Catherine was rear-ended and suffered whiplash, and she’s trying to get her daughter Sara treated as much as possible for her Potts Syndrome and the other thing I can’t remember the name of.
    What a beaytiful prayer! Your amazing faith means so much to everyone.

  5. Kitty
    Sep 30, 2017

    What a eonderful note from you. While you are bogged down, I feel so sorry for that experience. Nonetheless, your love and light keep shining. You, my friend, keep my spirits lifted and the certainly of God’s presence remembered. Sending you a hug!

    Love, Kitty

  6. Mary Lou
    Sep 30, 2017

    My precious friend… this is more than any one body should have to bear…especially your body!!
    My heart ❤️ is reaching out to yours with lots of love & prayers for the relief of pain & enough strength to work on your book.
    I love you!

  7. Paul Moore
    Oct 1, 2017

    Donna, some years ago we had a series of events that had us reading the Book of Job and waiting for a plague of locusts! What I came to realize was that our greatest and most credible witness is borne in adversity. Your loving heart and shining example continue to inspire me. Love to you and Terry and all your dear family.

  8. Melodie Davis
    Oct 1, 2017

    Donna, thanks for reaching out and letting us know what’s been going on, especially with your own body. I admire you for writing your book as you are able. The litany of woes is woeful –and your nuggets of humor (finding little pots of gold in your mother’s house) are too funny. I am making a small pledge: I will pray for you first thing in the morning as I wake up every day for at least October. May your days go smoother and have some relief from the bogs! Thanks for blogging. 🙂

  9. Gerrit McDaniel
    Oct 1, 2017

    As I read of your September experiences, it is October 1st. I pray the trials of September are behind you and October brings you days of beauty, peace, love and comfort. My SS lesson for this Sunday is the account of God’s provision for the Israelites of quail and manner and his instructions of not hoarding but trusting his provision for each day. Your September experiences seem to be a simular example of living one day at a time. Enough of God’s grace for that day but each day being so full of need of him no hoarding of his grace occured. An example of God’s provision for each day. He got you through September and I pray October is more like the promised land.

  10. Susan Stack
    Oct 1, 2017

    Sending so much love, support, & encouragement your way, dear friend Donna. Your note is a testimony to the power of family & love in getting through most anything. You, Terry, and your whole beloved family are in my thoughts & prayers every single day. Comfort & Joy!

  11. Ellie Cammer
    Oct 1, 2017

    Donna and Terry,
    What a blog on BOG!!!
    Thanks for sharing and for showing me how to LIVE in the MUD of adversity.
    God Bless you both. Miss you much.

  12. Jean Holt
    Oct 2, 2017

    Prayers for all as life as you know it is restored

  13. Tam Larson
    Oct 2, 2017

    I wrote earlier but it didn’t get posted. I’m more technologically challenged everyday, or so it seems! As I recall, I said that I had placed a card into the mail that morning and by doing so, I knew that I would be hearing from you soon…and so it happened, almost as soon as the snail mail was on its way. SNAKE BIT doesn’t seem to come close to covering the September challenges that you and yours have endured over the past 30 days! I’m praying that things will soon smooth out and you will be able to concentrate on finishing your book. Love and Prayers for Peace, Comfort, strength and lots of love to all of you! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

  14. Marlene Waymack
    Oct 4, 2017

    Dear Donna, you are such an inspiration to all! It is amazing how you can endure so many trials and yet be so comforting to others. I pray that October in all its flaming glory will be a peaceful interlude. Thinking of you and praying for you and your family often. I hope you can feel wrapped in the love we all have for you.

  15. Megan Limburg
    Oct 8, 2017

    Many thanks for this beautiful post, Donna! Your writing makes me laugh, and feeds my soul…and my sermons! This post saved my sermon last week; many thanks! Love and prayers always from us to you all.

  16. Colleen Helms
    Oct 13, 2017

    What a month you all have had. Sorry to hear about the storms and accident. It is never easy when these interrupt our normal. Praying and thinking of you all. Hope they keep your pain under control. I was so happy to hear from you. Take care. Hugs to you colleen Helms

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