Hello! My name is Heidi Good Swiacki. I have been married to Steve for 25 years, which has been filled with laughter, trust and love. We have 2 great kids, Ashton 22 and Chris 16. I have ALS, aka Lou Gehrigs Disease. I was officially diagnosed March '05, I was just turning 45. This blog will be about a myriad of topics. I will share my ALS story which will hopefully encourage others. It will show that quality of life comes in many forms. I have to tell you up front that there will be some spiritual references. Don't be afraid or turned off by that. Since I have had ALS I have seen many miracles. Let's be realistic, who can be a happy, non-verbal,ventilated quadriplegic without Faith? I hope you will join me and make this an interesting, educational, inspirational forum. Humor and the ability to enjoy life is required! :)

Heidi passed away 3-25-13 :(

August 4, 2013

Hello, Steve here. To help with the healing process, I am going to continue on with Heidi's blog, primarily talking about our lives and how we as a family are learning to live on with Heidi's memories pushing us forward. Topics covered will be geared towards the affects ALS has on loved ones.

Saturday, September 13, 2014


Heidi, it would have been 28 years with you today. I repeat what I say every year, I am a better man because of you. Your smile, I see it through your vale as though it was yesterday. I remember your soft voice, your contagious laughter, the touch of your left hand. How when I billowed the blankets you giggled like a young girl with a smile that only I saw.

We miss you, Chris, Ashton and I want closure.  The police are still pursuing your passing as a homicide, how could this happen to you.  I really cannot express what I feel, as there are no words that can fully convey my sadness, my fear that you saw what was happening, were you alone?  You once wrote what it felt like when one of our loving caregivers knocked a hose off and could not figure out what to do. You vividly wrote about the progression  your body felt as it was starved of air. Here are your thoughts as written a few years ago

(Written by Heidi in 2009)
Death by vent malfunction

I could hear the air whooshing from my hose.  A small trickle of air was coming into my lungs which I struggled to take in.  

The constant scream of the vent alarm heightened my awareness.  

I could feel my body detaching.  Tingling, cloudy and praying that I don’t die 

I was turning shades of blue and purple, why wasn’t she using the Ambu Bag?
I thought about how awful she would feel if I died 
I pleaded that it would not be this way.

I blacked out, I don’t know for how long.
I woke to a horrible headache, nausea and a strong desire to soil myself. I didn’t.
My skin was clammy and cold, wet from sweat.

I was breathing and I didn’t hear the leak anymore. She obviously found the leak.

I am now left with an incredible weakness but feeling better.

Thank you lord for not bringing me home this day.

Was this what you felt 3/25/13, this haunts me every day and wish I could have protected you.

My sincere hope is that if your life was taken, the people responsible read your thoughts and feel what you must have been thinking. They know they  will be found and punished. Did your vent hose pop off itself? In either case, I believe that your faith in Jesus carried you swiftly home with little fear

If you have followed my therapeutic ramblings this past year, thank you for reading. The blog has morphed from inspirational posts (from Heidi) to my emotional rants. But life, as it always does threw some major curve-balls at my children and I. Opening up our lives does help cope with Heidi's passing being investigated as a homicide.  It does not seem real, from that night meeting Heidi 29 years ago at Joes Cafe to now

Sunday, September 7, 2014


Heidi, as we come up on our 28th wedding anniversary I marvel at your wisdom, I am looking at some of the notes you had sent me and came across this. I am having a difficult time holding on right now, but in reading this I am comforted with renewed faith that I am blessed to be alive this Sunday look forward to what tomorrow will bring. We will be with you again some day.

(Heidi downloaded devotionals everyday, she sent this devotional to me 9/13/12 - the story is long, but take the time to read it)
Dear Lord, thank You for being there in my darkest time. I know You are real and You are the only one who can bring comfort to seemingly impossible situations. Please help me speak Your truth to those around me. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

"The right word at the right time is like golden apples in silver jewelry." Proverbs 25:11

I love Jesus. I love God. I love His Truth. I love people.
But I don't love packaged Christian answers. Those that tie everything up in a nice neat bow. And make life a little too tidy.
Because there just isn't anything tidy about some things that happen in our broken world. The shooting that recently happened in Aurora, Colorado, is awful and sad and so incredibly evil.
And God help me if I think I'm going to make things better by thinking up a clever Christian saying to add to all the dialogue. God certainly doesn't need people like me — with limited perspectives, limited understanding, and limited depth — trying to make sense of things that don't make sense.
Is there a place for God's truth in all this? Absolutely. But we must, must, must let God direct us. In His time. In His way. In His love.

And when things are awful we should just say, "This is awful." When things don't make sense, we can't shy away from just saying, "This doesn't make sense." Because there is a difference between a wrong word at the wrong time, and a right word at the right time.
When my sister died a horribly tragic death, it was because a doctor prescribed some medication that no child should ever be given. And it set off a chain of events that eventually found my family standing over a pink rose draped casket.
Needing time to wrestle with grief and anger and loss.
And it infuriated my raw soul when people tried to sweep up the shattered pieces of our life by saying things like, "Well, God just needed another angel in heaven." It took the shards of my grief and twisted them even more deeply into my already broken heart.
I understand why they said things like this. Because they wanted to say something. To make it better. Their compassion compelled them to come close.
And I wanted them there. And then I didn't.
Everything was a contradiction. I could be crying hysterically one minute and laughing the next. And then feel so awful for daring to laugh that I wanted to cuss. And then sing a praise song. I wanted to shake my fist at God and then read His Scriptures for hours.
There's just nothing tidy about all that.
You want to know the best thing someone said to me in the middle of my grief?
I was standing in the midst of all the tears falling down on black dresses and black suits on that grey funeral day. My heels were sinking into the grass. I was staring down at an ant pile. The ants were running like mad around a footprint that had squashed their home.

I was wondering if I stood in that pile and let them sting me a million times if maybe that pain would distract me from my soul pain. At least I knew how to soothe physical pain.
Suddenly, this little pigtailed girl skipped by me and exclaimed, "I hate ants."
And that was hands-down the best thing anyone said that day.
Because she just entered in right where I was. Noticed where I was focused in that moment and just said something basic. Normal. Obvious.
Yes, there is a place for a solid Christian answer. Absolutely.
But there's also a place to just weep with no answers at all.

God help us to know the difference.