I live with a broken brain and PTSD--but that doesn't stop me! I'm an author, artist, and qualified mediator who loves life's detours.
I co-authored NOT CANCELLED: Canadian Kindness in the Face of COVID-19. I also publish horror stories.
My Garden Will Give You a Piece of My Soul
A couple of weeks ago I removed and transplanted some plants from my front garden. Now, my front garden is a wild and beautiful thing—it is chock-full of native plants, pollinator hosts, edible grasses and flowers, and human food such as tomatoes and peppers.
Finding my Mama in an MRI Machine
Today I participated in a brain injury research study conducted by a local health sciences university. Parts of it were fascinating (I experienced virtual reality for the first time) and other parts were exhausting (moving items around on a computer screen). But the best part, by far?
Chipmunk versus Human: A Stare Down
I’m pulling weeds after the rain. It’s a good time to do it; the ground is moist and loose and forgiving. The rain-pocked soil releases the offending, invasive stalks without resistance. One firm tug and the weeds—root and all—are plucked into oblivion.
I Came Out to My Brother Last Night
I am not shy about telling people I live with major depression episodes. But when the worst symptoms hit, I tend to keep my head down and wait until they pass. Rarely does anyone see me during them. Until yesterday. I awoke with the black sludge already pulsing through my brain and veins, and it took all my physical might to slide one leg, then the other, over the side of the bed. Push my feet against the floor. And assemble my bones and muscles to standing position.
I Was One Cranky Old Lady
A few weeks ago, a team of teenage boys likely voted me MVP—that is, a ‘most vexatious person’. I guarantee I made no fans with our local minor rep baseball team, but I stood my ground—by reminding them of their own sport’s core values.
The Best Book I'll Never Recommend
Summer reading—it’s something I look forward to all year. Longer days means more daylight hours, which translates to more time to enjoy reading ‘al fresco’, perhaps with a glass of wine or an after-dinner cuppa. I’m not a fan of ‘light’ fiction or romance, but I attempt to keep my warm-weather reading list a little less ‘dark’ than usual.
Driving Fast, Through the Guardrail
“It’s horrible,” she says. “I can’t do it.” She makes great strides, and then collapses. It’s all good, and then devastating. Two days ago, she drove to the hospital emergency room, to check herself in. She parked. And waited. For something, for it to pass.
With Love, There's Always a Place to Land
It all started with an email from my cousin Suzie’s daughter Raven. On a Sunday evening, I read: “My father (Dave) is very ill, and I am hoping if I get his old license plates to you with some small watch faces you could make two small birdhouses. I want them to look like my parents’ house, with the same bright green door. I know you’re busy. As long as one gets done for my parents, mine can wait. I’m hoping if it gets done my dad will come back as a type of bird to visit them.”
Dad: I Never Thought It Would Be Like This
Dear Dad, I sure didn't know what to expect: did you? Not sure what I expected—maybe I thought that you were going to go quickly and peacefully, like Mom did—but you’re right, this has been long and excruciating. Don’t get me wrong: yes, it’s gone on too long and it has been horrible for all of us, but please don’t ever think that you were a nuisance or a burden. Oh my gosh, no, you were never a burden, to any of us. I know that to be true.
Shocked, Shattered, and Unprotected
A hug. What does a hug mean—love, affection, camaraderie, friendship—joy, perhaps? Or sympathy, comfort, nurture? We don’t often hug people we don’t like or at least care about, do we? A hug expresses care, certainly, at its most simple.