It's that sun-breaking-harshly-through-the-windshield kind of morning, having risen just enough to be above the hood but below the visor as I travel along the freeway down towards the Houston Medical Center. I used to live right near the heart of the city back when I had a quaint hobbit hole to myself shared only with... Continue Reading →

Sunflower’s Story 2

Two years ago, I wrote about the late-blooming sunflower that shone brighter than all the others. [That story here]Today, I share with you a third generation sunflower whose wait has been just as worth it. This season has brought intense storms and blistering heat and yet, here she is, a towering queen. The story is... Continue Reading →

Humidity. Healing.

I go back and read my stories sometimes and this one in particular caught my breath. I remember this clearly: it was three years ago that a device the size of a USB drive was implanted in my chest to monitor my uncooperative heart. It made airport screenings, MRIs, x-rays, and low-cut shirts awkward to explain for a while until I was able to have it removed last summer when the battery died and my cardiologist decided they’d collected all the data they needed to move forward.

But on June 25th three years later, here I am yet again, bandaged up, worried, but wrapped in humidity’s embrace; my heart still broken. My body having been through so much since then and over the next few weeks and months, will be so much more.

I don’t mean to be vague or despondent, but I think it’s important to add my support to the many people existing (often in silence) with invisible illnesses. Rare disease. Undiagnosed ailments.

We’ve all, at some point and in some way, been poked, prodded, cut into, gas-lit, dismissed, left out, and pigeon-holed without a chance to explain.

We all see those uplifting images that say “be kind always because you never know what battles other people are fighting,” but how often are we really stopping to do that? Or is it easier to be kind until someone starts to show symptoms that become inconvenient? Too often it feels like talking about mental/chronic illness is all fine and good until the scary, unsavory bits show themselves.

All this to say, healing is fluid. Healing is unique to each and every one of us. Healing is put on hold or pushed back sometimes. Healing becomes contingent on environment. And no one — NO ONE — has any right to define your healing process or put you in a position to have to defend it. To tear you down. To intimidate you into silence. To decide who you are. To guilt you for not moving their speed. To judge you because their healing has been harder. (If you drown at 5 feet or 20 feet, it doesn’t matter, you’ve still drowned. Let’s stop comparing).

Your healing is yours. It helps tremendously when you have loving support. But in the end, it’s yours.

Please take care of yourselves. Take care of each other. Give yourself time to heal, knowing that it’s a sliding scale. And that’s okay.

I love you.

A Donkumentary

Few places hold a torch when it comes to humidity intensity in the East Texas piney woods, especially after four straight days of early-summer rainfall. Breathing outside during dawn or dusk is like inhaling warm, invisible snot that sticks in little teardrop beads to every single part of you. It’s oddly sentimental though; growing up in SE Texas, the humidity is like a tight hug from your grandmother who always smells like home cooked something: noodles and pork chops, rosemary bread, brown gravy. Humidity like this can be embracing and comforting—a reminder that at the end of a long, stressful day, she’s here for you whether you think you need her or not.

Under a darkening, blue sky with broad, brush-stroked pinks and purples, grandmother humidity wraps herself about me as I close the barn door and secure the latch. I faintly hear hay crunching from inside: donkey dinner time.

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Single Statement

Alone again in a doctor's office, the nurse says to me, he'll be in shortly. This room has a large window with cracked blinds which I appreciate because many of these rooms are internal boxes with no natural light. I'm anxious to see this doctor: this doctor who a couple weeks ago saved my life.... Continue Reading →

In Orbit

in orbit, still. wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, I truly hope you’re well. I hope you can exhale here and there. And I hope that you’re being extra gentle with yourself.

Much love from a year-old blog,

A Donkumentary

It’s 3:30 in the afternoon on a clear, late-spring day in Texas which means that it’s painfully bright outside. That’s not to say I’m not grateful for the sunshine, but it’s times like this I wish I’d just go ahead and get myself some prescription sunglasses. In quarantine, I have yet to wear my contacts and I don’t intend to start unless I absolutely have to. The problem with having shaky hands is that even mundane tasks like putting in your contacts are often frustrating enough to set your mood up to be annoyed and grumpy for the rest of the day.

I’m outside tinkering in my garden which is already yielding the best tomato crop I’ve ever, ever had. From between the leaves that I’m pruning, I look over at my sweet donkeys three on the other side of the fence and let out a sigh of silly relief…

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