Gluten-Free Love Story: Special Mother's Day Edition

celiac mother

I received the following email last week from Pete, who really wanted to let his celiac wife know how much she is loved and appreciated.

Hey Gluten Dude: My wife is better since finding your blog. She has enjoyed keeping up with your posts & agrees with nearly every one of them. I was blessed earlier this year when you posted her love story to me and am extremely interested in reaching out to you to see if you might be able to post a Mother’s Day Letter I have written her. I would be forever grateful to you if you were able to post this somewhere on your blog. She is an awe-inspiring woman and I am so lucky to have her in my life. Keep doing what you are doing Gluten Dude. You are a regular feature in the Krussel household.

Flattery will get you everywhere Pete. It’s all yours.


To the strongest, most awe-inspiring mom I have had the pleasure of meeting, Rachael Krussel.

Every single day, there are hundreds or thousands of conscious decisions you make, some of which impact you in a lifelong way. Many of those decisions are made without very much forethought or serious consideration. Without knowing it, back in October of 1990, I made one of those thoughtless decisions that has been the single-most important decision of my life.

It was the day in our Freshman year of college I decided to get to know Rachael…as her first impression in class knocked me off my feet. At the time, the decision was spontaneous and one that I had no way of knowing would have such an amazing impact on my life and bring such outstanding wonder and Love.

From that point forward, I have grown closer to Rachael and have personally grown by leaps and bounds. When I think back to all the other decisions I have made with such careful planning and research, where I was confident in my decision, I am amazed at how quickly I decided it would be good to get to know Rachael better.

After a few years of marriage, we made the decision to have children. We have three beautiful children anybody would be proud to parent. As I have watched my children grow, I am stunned on a daily basis by the impact Rachael has had on them. The overwhelming capacity for Love and care she has for our kids is just awe inspiring. hey are such amazing little people because of the influence and wonder Rachael has provided them.

Nearly two years ago, we discovered that our two girls and Rachael all have Celiac Disease. Up until that point, I could not believe what an amazing mom she was. In hindsight, it was not until that point I truly knew how strong a mom she really is.

Rachael immediately immersed herself in the very confusing, misleading, misunderstood, naive, minimally researched, minimally supported or funded, little known disease.

Almost immediately she plowed through books with reckless abandon, web searches for truths and confirmed information, and detail about the disease, its effects, and how best to live gluten-free in a gluten-filled world. Right away she realized that she and our children would have to arm themselves with information and strength as ignorance runs amok in people’s understanding of Celiac.

She realized that she would have to further strengthen our children so our six year old would be able to say ‘no’ four times to four different adults in the span of 10 minutes as they tried to feed her a chicken biscuit for a morning snack at school.

Because of the wonderful mothering she had already provided as a basis for their lives, our children were immediately able to transition into their role as Celiac children… confidently stroll into their lunchrooms…open up their new Udi’s bread sandwich…and proudly and confidently eat their lunch on their special place mats in the middle of a gluten war zone.

When inquisitive eyes and questions loiter, our girls are strong in their conviction and carry on. When other children and adults ask questions, they confidently answer and attempt to put to rest the natural, “I-know-better-than-you” looks and statements they receive far too often.

Very early, Rachael was empowering our children to make thoughtful and smart decisions for themselves. To be independent in their thinking and actions, while ensuring they are aware of the impact of their decisions. There is no “helicopter” in Rachael. Instead, our children are filled with confidence in approaching new situations, “taking a school bus to school for the first time in their lives just days after moving half way across the country,” type of confidence.

I am proud to boast that Rachael is my wife and the mother to our children and I hope like crazy more people get to experience what I experience on a daily basis…what an amazing thing it is to witness the perfect mom.

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15 thoughts on “Gluten-Free Love Story: Special Mother's Day Edition”

  1. What a beautiful letter! Such a show of love and support and he’s right, what a fantastic job Rachael is doing of raising her children. I especially liked the example he gave of one of the gluten-free children having to learn to say no over and over when offered a gluten-full item. That is so true! We can empower our gluten-free children and don’t have to hover over them (although we still might want to!). Lovely Mother’s Day post!


  2. What a wonderful story. I so love it when I read about mates and children rallying around someone with Celiac. For every asshole that acts like we are freaks of nature, there are those who step up and take charge and are truly supportive. Made my day Gluten Dude. And, Happy Mothers Day to Mrs. Dude!

  3. I remembered her story about Pete and now, it is lovely to see Pete’s tribute to her. You guys are adorable. 🙂

    Empowering your children is the greatest gift you can give them and your obvious devotion to each other is an example of what true love really means.

    Thank you for sharing, Pete…. and Happy Mother’s Day to all the Moms.

  4. I know both Rachael and Pete from QU. They are fabulous people and a wonderful family. This brought me to tears. Their love is strong. I admire them.
    Mary Jo

  5. I loved reading this. It brings to mind a portion of Proverbs 31: “Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her.”
    Sounds like you are both blessed to have each other!

  6. Yep, I cried during/after reading this! As someone who started a relationship- 1 year+ – right after cutting out gluten (never officially diagnosed celiac) this letter gives me hope in the future,

  7. Thank you all for the sweet comments. And thank you Gluten Dude for making Pete’s Mother’s Day gift so incredible! What Pete didn’t mention is that he’s the only reason that I’m still halfway sane. I got a really good one and I try not to take him for granted!!! I need my girls and my son, for that matter, to be just as fortunate in finding a partner that can see you through the good and the bad! Gluten Dude, you really have impacted our two year ride with Celiac Disease. You reflect such a realistic view on this disease……while no one has understands, you and the people who gather here, make me feel just a little bit less crazy! THANK YOU!!!

  8. I’m a little late to the party, but it IS still Celiac Disease Awareness Month, so I’m posting this on my GlutenNaziMom Facebook page! Wonderful story of a wonderful Celiac mom!! (Pretty wonderful hubby/dad, too…and kids, I’m sure!) <3

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Who I am. And who I'm not.

Who I am. And who I'm not.

I AM someone who's been gluten-free since 2007 due to a diagnosis of severe celiac disease. I'm someone who can steer you in the right direction when it comes to going gluten-free. And I'm someone who will always give you the naked truth about going gluten free.

I AM NOT someone who embraces this gluten-free craziness. I didn’t find freedom, a better life or any of that other crap when I got diagnosed. With all due respect to Hunter S. Thompson, I found fear and loathing of an unknown world. But if I can share my wisdom, tell my stories and make the transition easier on you, I’ve done my job.

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