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Chris Fabry
Married to Andrea since 1982. We have 9 children together and none apart. Our dog's name is Tebow.
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Where We Are Now

After finding and remediating mold twice in our Colorado home, we abandoned ship in October 2008. Because of the high levels of exposure, our entire family was affected. After months of seeing different specialists for all of the problems, we came to Arizona to begin comprehensive treatment to rid our bodies of the toxic buildup. In August 2009 we moved into a larger home, four bedrooms, south of Tucson, north of Mexico. I am doing my daily radio program/ writing from that location. Thanks for praying for us. We really feel it.

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Wednesday, June 30, 2010
One of the finer moments of an author’s life is holding a book that previously was only a thought in the head or words typed on a computer. Yesterday a box of books landed on our doorstep and I’m proud of this one for many reasons. The biggest one is that I think it’s going to help many people who are floundering in life.

The book is about Drew Brees, quarterback for the New Orleans Saints, Super Bowl winner, husband, father. I was asked to help tell his story and felt uniquely called to do so. Let me explain.

Drew had a devastating shoulder injury on December 31, 2005. The comeback from that injury and his move from San Diego to New Orleans was an odyssey that seems orchestrated by more than the front office of the Saints. There were so many things at work that caused all of the negatives of his life to be turned to positives. It’s a gritty, real-life drama that encompasses excruciating physical and emotional pain, divorce, suicide, and the ups and downs of the NFL.

The book is titled Coming Back Stronger: Unleashing the Hidden Power of Adversity. When I first heard his story, I was struck with how Drew and his family handled all the difficulties they faced and how they threw themselves into the lives of hurting people. They’re doing that again with the oil spill in the gulf. I was also struck with the odyssey my family had been through and how much we feel the events of the past few years have not defeated us, but are making us ready for new challenges. I felt uniquely qualified to attempt to write this book—though I always feel inadequate with every project I begin.

Drew was dedicated to telling the story well, the good and the bad, and helping readers where they are. He took an intense interest not just in giving interviews, but also in crafting the chapters so that the information was correct and made you feel like you were right there in the huddle with him. He wanted a person who has no interest in the NFL to enjoy the read, but he also wanted football fans to get a glimpse behind the curtain and feel like they were part of the action.

Coming Back Stronger will release on July 6. It’s not just another sports book. It’s a life book. I don’t promise that you will become a Saints fan after reading it. Loyalties run deep in the NFL. But I think you will become a fan of Drew Brees and learn where he gets his strength.
Monday, June 28, 2010
I took my son, Colin, on a trip west to California. This was his 10th birthday trip, something Andrea and I have done for each child—a time away alone to bond and talk and just have fun. His birthday was in December and that it took me six months to make this trip is a testament to life and all the stuff that’s happened in the past few weeks.

Colin wanted to go to some “theme park,” and there are many in California. But after looking at some of the options and knowing how much Colin likes movies, we opted for a Universal trip. I had a lot of angst about buying the “front of the line” ticket or the cheaper one. We opted for a multiple day pass and a “back of the line” ticket. We took the guided tour twice. We rode the Jurassic Park ride at least three times. That was our favorite. We also saw the trained animal show twice and the jokes were just as funny the second time around.

While we stood in line, I couldn’t help but think of what we saw on the tour. I had plenty of time to think. There was the set for Psycho that was still there, right next to the set of the movie How the Grinch Stole Christmas. It was all Styrofoam and candy canes. We saw the lake and beach houses of Jaws. It was all so tiny, but it looked so big onscreen.

When we drove through the towns that had been constructed to show the Old West or some European burg, it struck me again. The front brickwork and the details on everything from Spartacus to Desperate Housewives looked great. Manicured lawns. An ideal setting.

However, for much of these sets, the front of the homes/stores were the only things that looked real. Everything behind them was plywood. In fact, the exploratory vehicle in one of the Jurassic Park movies wasn’t metal, it was made of wood and painted to look like metal.

When we attended a special effects presentation with fake blood, greenscreen technology, and camera tricks, the curtain was pulled back even further. What seems to be real, is just an illusion. What looks lifelike, is fake.

At one point in the presentation, a few statues were pushed forward and a member of the audience was given a chance to have her picture made beside Frankenstein and Bigfoot and Dracula. Just as the person taking the picture clicked the shutter, the statue sitting in a rocking chair bolted up and scared the living peanuts out of the poor woman. I knew one of them would come to life, but I wasn’t sure which one.

In Hollywood, dead things come back to bite you and the shiniest things that seem real are really not. There is no life in them. The window panes are candy glass and the chairs are made of balsa wood. Punches thrown never connect, but they sound like they do. Even beauty is air-brushed.

Don’t get me wrong. I had as much fun as my son did. Probably more. But what I enjoyed wasn’t the façade. It was true and good and right and pure. The smile of someone who loves me. A hug and a race up the escalators and almond butter on gluten-free tortillas.

We drove to the beach Saturday evening then looked for a hotel to end our stay. We drove east and thought we’d found one, but they had shampooed the carpets recently or used some strong cleaning agents and it only took 5 minutes in the room to let us know we couldn’t stay there. The outside of the hotel was beautiful. The pool was nice and clear. The room was tastefully decorated. But it wasn’t safe for us. It wasn’t home.

I’ve spent some of my life chasing façades, buying into the nice exterior. The older I get, the more I long for what’s real.
Monday, June 21, 2010
I received a cool present for Father’s Day. And I mean “cool” in the sense that it’s supposed to keep me cool on hot days in the studio at the Cactus Compound and Detox Center.

In Tucson, we’ve seen the temperature shoot through 100 degrees more than a few days so far. I don’t care how dry the heat is, it feels like a blast furnace outside. The winter is heavenly, of course, but on these hot summer days the office—-the headquarters of Fabry Interplanetary Global Media—-remains a bit toasty because there are no air vents. Thus, I do sweateth profusely.

Enter Father’s Day present. At the behest of someone who wrote on her blog, Andrea purchased a “Thermal Cherry Stone Neck Pillow.” That hopeless romantic. It came in a little brown box, like the Build-a-Bear dolls, with a little hole for the stones to peek out. Just stick it in the microwave and heat it up and you get soothing warmth right down to the bone. Stick it in the freezer and you get hours of soothing coolness.

So today I tried it on my program. The temperature rose to 84 and by the end of the first hour it was over 86. Between hours I ran to the freezer and put on my stone neck pillow. So cool. I felt like that beer commercial where the train comes in and freezes everything. I skipped back to the studio and began hour 2. However, the stones began to warm. I shifted the pillow and tried to get every ounce of coolness, but thirty minutes in it was warm.

Do I need 2 pillows? I don’t know. My feeling is, I just need a new vent for the AC. But if you hear a rattle during the show, you'll know it's the Father's Day present at work.

Only a few more days until the Drew Brees book releases. It's called Coming Back Stronger and I think it's really going to help a lot of people who are experiencing some adversity in life. Even if you don't like football it should be a good read for you.

And in October, my new novel, Almost Heaven releases. It won't be in the same league with Brees, but that's okay. It's written for much the same audience, people who wonder if God can use them through the adversity. I hope you enjoy both books. I feel blessed to have been part of them.
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
This is for every man who has ever had “the exam.” I’ve been dreading this for years, ever since the last one by a doctor who hated men. My wife made me. “You really should think about considering going,” she said. The taskmaster. I conceded the need to go and found an internist a few miles away.

While in the waiting room with Dr. Phil on the flatscreen TV above me, I filled in as much as I could about my medical history. Every malady my mother and father ever complained about. Every varicose vein of my older brothers. Have I ever had hepatitis? I can’t recall. Does it matter now that my death is nigh? High blood pressure? Yes, I have high blood pressure just thinking about what Dr. Goliath is about to do.

I surveyed the office help. For some reason I kept looking at their hands. Please, if there is a God in heaven, let this doctor I picked at random from the phone book have small hands.

When I got to the illnesses of my children, I gave up and wrote “too many to list.” Who am I kidding? This man isn’t worried about my children. He’s preparing right now to provide me with excruciating pain. He’ll get to the children years later.

“Mr. Fabry, if you’ll step this way.”

I thought of Groucho. “If I could step that way I wouldn’t be here.”

Deep breath. Go to my happy place.

“Why don’t you step up on the scales?” she said.

Like a lamb to the slaughter, I obeyed, kicking off my shoes and watching the numbers whiz by on the digital scale. I’d never been on a digital scale like this before. The last time was the old scale with the heavy “200 lb.” weight I moved to the center. For the past 25 years I’ve set the weight bar at 200 and then added a little or a lot. This time the number stopped short of 200.

She wrote the number on the pad having no idea what a momentous occasion this was. I wanted her to pop a balloon or give me a lollipop for good behavior. Maybe tell me the doctor couldn’t bowl because his hands were too small.

We had a little chat and then I was ushered into the chamber of horrors. It seemed like such a placid room at first glance. On the computer screen I thought I saw a Google search. “How to inflict as much pain as possible when giving…”

“Hello, Mr. Fabry,” he said, extending a hand to greet me.

I just stared at it, then absently shook it and sat. Suddenly I was transformed into a little chatterbox, telling him every malady I’ve ever had, a tonsillectomy when I was a child, a broken arm, a hangnail two weeks ago. I couldn’t help myself, I just prattled on, while inside the storm brewed.

“Oh please, have mercy on me,” I wanted to cry. But I babbled on, rambling about this and that, answering his questions with reckless abandon.

“Well, come on over to the table and have a seat,” he said, patting the exam table like I was an obedient dog.

Just like the witch in Hansel and Gretel. Stick out your finger and let’s see how fat you’ve become. I sat and he listened to my breathing and my rapidly increasing heart rate. He complimented me on my blood pressure. “You’re like a 20 year old young man,” he said.

Right. If I were like a 20 year old man I wouldn’t be in this position.

An image flashed of Pippen, our Bichon Frise. I used to take him to the vet and he would sniff the table and chairs and floor and whine, not understanding. There was palpable fear in that room and Pippen could smell it.

“Hold his head,” the vet would say when she wanted to give him a shot or that awful exam. I would hold his head and talk gently to him. Old Pippen. Why wasn’t there anyone here to hold my head? Someone to sing and comfort me. Maybe play a movie to get my mind off what was about to happen.

With my luck they would be showing The Shawshank Redemption.

“Now if you’ll just hop down and put your feet here and lean over the table,” he said, gentle and mild. Dr. Kervorkian. Easy for him to say. I took another look at his hands and focused on a spot on the wall.

“On second thought, maybe we should concentrate on my blood pressure,” I said, turning. “Don’t you think it’s a little low?”

He smiled and snapped the glove. “Just lean over and take a deep breath.”

Deep breath. Deeper than the ocean. Oh Mama. Somebody. Anybody, help! Send your ministering spirits. Let angels prostates fall.

I took another breath and the room spun like the Cloud 9 at Camden Park, just after I’d eaten those three corndogs slathered with mustard. Searing pain. Mind-numbing, star inducing pain. I wanted to turn around and bite him. I should have because nobody was holding my head. Somebody stop him before it’s too late!

The glove snapped again. “All done.”

He sat down at his computer like nothing had happened. Like it was just another day at the office. Like that was the most natural thing in the world. I sat down, too. Why was that such a big deal? It wasn’t a problem. Just a little discomfort for a moment and then all is okay. At least for him.

The truth is, my wife didn’t make me get the exam. I scheduled it of my own volition. Because I want to live another year to fight dragons. Because I want to write another story. Because I want to watch my daughters grow into beautiful women. Because I want to watch my sons grow into strong young men. And come back from the doctor to tell me what it was like to lean over a table and take a breath.

This is for every man who has never had “the exam.” Go ahead and schedule it. Be a man. And when you do, think of me and laugh. That will be my greatest reward.