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Chronic Corona

For the first six years of my first child’s life we lived a rarified sort of life. Frequent isolation and social distancing was a fixture of his survival, and we accepted it as part of keeping him alive in a world full of hostile germs. Then he stopped having heart surgeries, until he was eleven, and then it was only the one, and we got . . . not sloppy, or careless, but carefree to an extent. He wasn’t on oxygen, he wasn’t between major surgeries or on major blood… Read more Chronic Corona

Post Operative Words

TRIGGER WARNING – this isn’t pleasant. I had my surgery. It went well. My arm is healing. I don’t have cancer. I had my surgery. My shoulder was sore from the brace I wore to my post op appointment to have the surgical tube pulled. I decided to have a massage. The man who gave me my “massage” sexually assaulted me. I had my surgery. I spent time in the back of a police car. I identified my assailant. I spent time in the 19th precinct. I was alone the… Read more Post Operative Words

The First Day of the Rest of My Life

Today is December 30, 2022. I am 48 years 8 months 7 days old. I am one day older than my father will ever be, and I’ve now outlived him. Twenty years ago today, I was twenty-eight years old, and I spent the morning eagerly awaiting my unborn child’s full ultrasound exam and learning his gender. Twenty years ago, tonight, I was devastated, having been given the option of termination the first of three times, which culminated in the option of hospice care the morning after my son was born.… Read more The First Day of the Rest of My Life

Happiest New Year!

Long time no write . . . We’ve been busy. Here’s the highlight reel: I’m trying to figure out the new WordPress layout it’s been SO LONG since I blogged. Jim graduated from college! He starts his new teaching job on Monday!!! Liam graduated from high school! Liam wrote a BOOK! I need to help him edit it, but I’ve been kind of busy with ye olde job. Moira has been modeling – she’s gorgeous! (All Moira professional photos are courtesy of Photography by Desiree – hire her!) No one… Read more Happiest New Year!

Chapters ? – Heart Warriors Reshuffle

The first a chapter is from the original Heart Warriors (2012) but I am rewriting it with new information and events. I’m not sure where this chapter (which will stay but maybe be shorter) will end up in the sequence. The second chapter is a preview from the new version of the book and deals with post traumatic stress disorder. I’d say enjoy, but a trigger warning is probably more appropriate. You’ll see how my writing style changed over a decade, but I wrote the trauma as purely as it… Read more Chapters ? – Heart Warriors Reshuffle

Not My Place to Say

Today was the third day at my new job. Monday was the last day at my old job. Other things that happened today: My friend had good news for me about a project we are collaborating on together. My other friend called for some support, and I was able to help her. Two of my oldest friends were in contact, one to tell the other her son had passed suddenly, and asking to pass the news to me. It’s not my place to talk about my friend’s loss, and I… Read more Not My Place to Say

The Poetry of Trauma

Twice in the past two months I’ve heard two writers, one a memoirist and the other a medical doctor say something like, “Only poets can write about trauma.” Seventeen years ago, my newborn baby had his first open-heart surgery. His chest could not be closed because his tiny heart was too swollen to fit back inside his rib cage. So, for days he survived in a medical coma, and we could not touch him. My body was still recovering, barely, from a violent emergency c-section, and not only could I… Read more The Poetry of Trauma

An Anniversary Book Excerpt

I may have mentioned that I got the rights back to my book, Heart Warriors, A Family Faces Congenital Heart Disease. I am almost done with rewriting it to include my journey with post traumatic stress disorder, but that journey is still unfolding. Tonight is an anniversary – the anniversary of my child’s first surgical scar. It’s on his wrist. It’s still there. I sometimes see it at the dinner table. Unlike the scars on his chest or groin, which I never see anymore now that he’s seventeen, the ones… Read more An Anniversary Book Excerpt

The Last Childhood Birthday

Liam turned seventeen today (well yesterday now, it’s after midnight). For those of you who know his story, I’ll let you absorb how huge 17 is. His next birthday he will legally be an adult. WOW! Seventeen years ago right now I was thrashing, crashing, getting multiple injections of epinephrine. I was delirious from blood loss and physical trauma. I didn’t know most c-sections take a little longer than 5 minutes. Mine took less than that – I was in an entirely different room trying to push my child out,… Read more The Last Childhood Birthday