When It Crohn's, It Pours!!

My good friends Todd and Rebecca are getting married at the end of July!

I wish I could leave the story there. Unfortunately, life rears its ugly head and complications of many colors always tend to arise. In the last couple of weeks they have learned a few things:

1- They have to move.

2- Todd needed and has had successful surgery due to complications from Crohn's disease and is due to make a full, but prolonged, recovery. and,

3- Due to the recovery time, Todd is not sure his job will be there for him when he gets back. So, though everyone hates to ask for it, everybody needs a little help from friends from time to time. Join me in getting their new life together started on a more positive and stress-free note by giving what you can, when you can. Thanks for your help!!!

A MESSAGE FROM TODD(pre-surgery):
Dear Friends, I don't usually post this type of personal revelation/solicitation. Actually, to tell the truth, I never post this sort of thing.

It's not that I am a particularly private person – I have no problem ranting about politics and telling revealing stories and engaging in intimate exchanges with even relative strangers.

To a great degree, I am an open book. But I do not tend to share much in the realm of my personal struggles. Not that I am opposed. I would freely share them with any of you individually if you wanted to know. It's just that projecting unbidden my troubles into public sphere is not really my style.

However, this is an important enough situation that it feels like it warrants full disclosure. Not because I am phishing for attention, or pity, or anything like that. In fact my deathly fear of ever appearing to do anything remotely like that probably accounts for a good deal of that previously mentioned streak of stoicism.

But this is the most efficient way I know to communicate with many of you I care about, and it also involves something I am often very bad at doing, certainly in any public manner: asking for help.

As most of you know, I am marrying the magical, beautiful, kind, funny, and couldn't-be-more-perfect-for-me-in-every-way Rebecca Wood on July 29 (she thinks I'm pretty all right, which is a bonus). Many of you are coming! I cannot wait to see you all. It is going to be the best ever.

Utterly hopeless romantic that I have been since I bought Def Leppard's Pyromania on cassette merely because that's what my fifth grade crush was into, I have been looking forward to this day. I cannot believe how lucky I am to be able to do this in the most beautiful venue with the most beautiful woman, and all you beautiful people surrounding us.

Now, here's where God's infamous laughter rings out over best laid plans, or whatever the saying is (please pardon me -- five days in the hospital with no food or drink, very little sleep, and way too many drugs... I'm not at my most articulate, unfortunately).

Firstly, our landlord (a great guy, just doing what he has to), has to move into our apartment by September (he gave us notice in May, but still not a lot of notice, considering the timing...), and so while planning a wedding we also have to find a house, come up with move in costs, pack, and move, all in the midst of working, graduate school, etc.

I know, pretty overwhelming and shitty, right? Well, unfortunately, if it were just that, we'd be golden. There is, of course, a final fiendish cosmic twist. To make a very long story sorta short, Todd's old Crohn's is being a stubborn fu€ker and giving the Wedding/Moving Summer Jenga a swift high-kicking wallop.

I've lived with this stupid disease for twenty years, and I've more or less learned how to tolerate its company and navigate its fouler moods. It has never made things easy for me, but now it is really forcing its hand again. It has been inevitable for awhile now that I need a second surgery, but after numerous consultations, it was decided by all parties that it was most prudent to try and make it through the summer and have the procedure after everything settled down.

Welp... Todd's Guts ain't having it. As a matter of necessity, if not outright emergency, I will be having abdominal surgery later today (last Friday, the 23rd), and while there is not a lot of risk of complications, I will be in for several weeks of recuperation afterward.

Which means... very little physical activity, no work, no income, no packing and/or moving, and severely limited ability to prepare for the wedding. If all goes well, I'll be on my feet (and dancing) for the wedding, but it'll be cutting it close.

So... I guess in addition to letting you know what's happening, I'm asking for your support. Whatever little or lot you have to spare. From your prayers and kind words to anything else you feel able to offer. With me laid up, everything will be in short supply, from elbow grease to cash to spiritual fitness.

So many of you have already stepped up and reached out, and I thank you and I love you, and I confess I sometimes have a hard time feeling worthy of it. I feel absolutely awful not being able to work, to be useful, to participate in so many of the upcoming activities and responsibilities, and to truly show my gratitude and love for all of you.

I really, really don't want all of this burden to shift to Rebecca. She is a magical creature and a tough, capable bird, but it's still too much to ask of even the magicalest/toughest/cacapablest person. So while I am definitely asking for support for me, what I am really asking for is support for Rebecca in particular. Well, for both of us, really. Helping one of us helps the other (which I guess is part of the point of marriage?)

It's overwhelming to think of all that needs to be done in the next 30 days, and there isn't time to list it here. But if you know and love me and/or Rebecca, and can lend even the smallest hand or kind word (you have no idea how much kind words actually help), it would be more appreciated than you can even imagine.

And I promise by the sword of Joffrey... I mean, Jon Snow... hmmm... the Robe of The Dude? Kurt Cobain's green cardigan?.... (okay, I'm lost-- I told you, my brain is barely screwed on)... Anyway, I promise that in the future should you make a similar plea, I shall be the first to gladly and heartily answer with all the resources I have at my disposal.

Ultimately, I know it will all be okay, and everything will work out fine. In the end, I will get to marry an amazing woman and have a beautiful wedding and see so many great friends and family, and have a new house, and new guts, and que sera sera... In the meantime, we all need someone to lean on, and I'm hoping you'll let me lean on you for a little while. I'll be a bit out of it for awhile, so I apologize if I'm not able to respond to each and every one of you. But know that I genuinely appreciate every little bit of you.

With more love and gratitude than I can adequately express in words, tg
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Organizer and beneficiary

David Sparks 
Portland, OR
Todd Gleason