Finding hope in chaos.
When I’m feeling blue or discouraged, I don’t try to push those feelings away. I’ve found the more I allow myself to sit with negative feelings, express them by talking with someone who really listens without interruption or judgement (a rare person, indeed), and to cry or cocoon in my bed, the quicker the feelings pass.Continue Reading
When gray matter is the color of your parachute.
But I didn’t really think about that delicate and vital organ in our heads–about all it can do and all it can take away–until Matthew turned eleven. That’s when doctors discovered his brain tumor.Continue Reading
It's a wake-up call when earthworm life looks good.
It’s a rainy spring day here, which reminds me of the earthworm story I shared last year on my old and now-defunct website. It’s one of my favorite stories, so I’ve copied and pasted it below. In rereading it, I’m amazed that I left out a critical part–about why I left my job last…Continue Reading
Talking with my adult children.
Now that my memoir is becoming more of a reality, with sections of my manuscript getting closer and closer to completion, it’s provided opportunities for our family to talk about what happened two decades ago in ways that we couldn’t back then when we were stumbling through it. Matt was eleven when he was diagnosed…Continue Reading
Brain Injury: The anomaly of my story.
I almost missed it—National Brain Injury Awareness month, recognized in March. Maybe it wasn’t on my radar because I don’t talk much about my son’s brain injury; I talk of the brain tumor–a pilocytic astrocytoma–that caused it. They are intertwined in my story, the tumor in and the injury to his brain. Not much of my…Continue Reading
Avoidance and Growth in Memoir Writing.
Avoidance is inherent in memoir-writing. We avoid our painful memories, avoid sitting down to type them on a page, avoid telling others of our endeavors. Sometimes, memoirists are our own worst enemies. When I started blogging in 2016, knowing very little about writing, I even avoided stating the core of my book: My adult son…Continue Reading
Personal growth in a story I didn't want to tell.
In September 2016, when I realized my short-term disability leave was going to be long-term, I knew it was a gift from the universe and I couldn’t blow it again. The gift was time—time to finish the memoir I began over 15 years ago. When I started writing, I told the story of my son’s…Continue Reading
How inaccurate memory is, even without brain damage.
At one of the final appointments before Matthew’s brain tumor diagnosis, Michael and I were both there, and we remember it differently.Continue Reading
A bittersweet Halloween.
This may look like an ordinary Halloween photo of some kids. But that October 31st was anything but ordinary.Continue Reading