healing bumps


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I am typing with two hands!  After weeks of big splint/cast/smaller splint, I was released to type last week and this week I have managed two days without much hand support.  The wrist bones are healed but the muscles and tendons of my hand and lower arm need much work to get back to normal. Continue reading




IMG_5071A friend explained that she was distracted because she heard of another death. My first thought was of how another person was going to have to go through that journey. I sighed and felt bone tired weary.  I know, I know, it’s inevitable and I know every journey is different — beloved partner to acquaintance, tragic, expected, prepared for, unexpected — but it is the journey from brokenness to the Kinisuga masterpiece of a life. That is, if we are fortunate enough to recognize the journey is necessary and patient enough to make it.

The urge to grab onto a bit of melancholy is due in part to Friday’s memory of transplant day. It’s been seven years, and over this past year I’ve started looking again at the memories Facebook offers to share. I stayed away from those memories for a long time. On Saturday seven years ago, I posted that David was sitting up eating Jell-O and how glorious that simple act seemed. There has been so much work from that time to this. It feels like a mere girl wrote those words not the woman who was looking forward to her 30th wedding anniversary. Continue reading



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So much of life flies under the radar and goes unnoticed.  By me. Sometimes I notice a new hair cut, I comment on a Facebook announcement of a new job or I ask about an increased spring in a step, but so many times I miss much of the lives around me. I don’t know whether to attribute it to self-involvement, a teenager who needs attention or a general character flaw. Continue reading

week’s end


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Lunch at cheesecake factory.

Sunday: 62 degrees at the end of February.  We must be outside, but I do not feel free to dictate in public.  Sigh.  Ego or just not wanting mothers with small children to move away from me.   So I type with one hand.  Slowly and with fewer capitals.  We’re at Burney’s Beach, a tiny made-beach on our bay, after a special ed advocate’s meeting  in a coffee shop.  Julia is sculpting in the sand and I . . . I sit like a turtle in the sun craving the warm, gentle warmth.  This is the time of year when I can imagine giving up the four seasons in favor of eternal spring.

The meeting: Politically, I am totally out of the educational policy loop.  It will be an effort if I want to catch up.  I need to if I want to figure out what I can contribute.  Believing that the way to change is at the local level where passion lies, the spirit is willing . . . Continue reading

a purple cast & deep learning


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If It Grows Together ~Duy Huynh

I don’t believe that everything happens for reason. Or that there is some sort of divinity arranging events. However, I do believe that the examined life demands that I take advantage of my experiences as teaching and learning moments.

And that’s where I am today.

Last week I canceled almost everything we do.  No cello lesson, therapy with Marilyn, speech therapy, reading group, Chinese brushstroke painting, ice skating for Julia or songha for me.  We stayed home.  I went to a show on Friday night with a friend driving and we went to church on Saturday Night which had the bonus of a potluck meal afterwards.  I did homework with Julia every day and we found time to write to thank you notes that she owed but without other obligations she also had free time to play video games, listen to music, and draw Sonic. This morning I had a chilling awareness that what we did last week, no therapy and just a little bit of learning, could be what Julia’s life post high school could be like. It could become a lonely life of unrewarding work and coming home to an evening of mindless TV.  I know it’s four years away and she will change between now and then but my mother fears bubble up. What if she doesn’t change or grow during these years? What if at 21 or 25, Julia is not curious and needs me to fill her days for her in some productive way? What if only me wanting this fuller life for her? Immediately, I went down the rabbit hole of worry and fears.  What if… What if… What if. Continue reading




Art by Day Huynh

“You need only claim the events of your life to make yourself yours. When you truly possess all you have been and done… you are fierce with reality.” ~ Florida Scott-Maxwell

Last night I dream of David. I haven’t dreamed about him in a very, long time.  I was one of those real-feeling, ordinary-day-feeling dreams.

This last week has been intense and concentrated, filled with reading and writing and two long phone conversations with an old friend who reframed some sad events of the last few years. During the course of our conversation, my friend told me about a phone call that she had with David.  A call that either I did not know about or had completely forgotten. Either one is possible. It concerned her, not me any way. But hearing about it after all this time blew a little bit of life into the dusty ghosts of my imagination. Continue reading

help, aides-moi, aiuto,मदद, 帮帮我


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img_0086This morning my eyes opened before the alarm rang to the reality of the next month or so. OK probably it’s going to be six weeks. The pain is subsiding and I’m feeling somewhat claustrophobic and trapped inside my house. After a few days of trying to do things with one nondominant hand, I’m ready to admit to the utter uselessness of that hand for anything other than picking stuff up off the floor. I need some help.

First, I need to find someone to clean my house. I can go through a service.  Any recommendations of either a service or a particular person would be most appreciated. I’m not a clean freak but I’ve tried vacuuming with my ultra light stick vacuum cleaner and it might have made an decent SNL sketch. I can’t imagine pulling the sheets off the beds or cleaning the bathroom with one arm.

Second, I’m thinking of getting groceries delivered. Does anybody in Madison do this? Does anybody in Madison use Woodmans to do this?

Third, over the next two weeks or so, we could really use a few dinners. I have stuff in the freezer I can defrost but not enough for the next month. Cutting and cooking anything it’s almost impossible right now. Once I get a real cast on I think I will be able to hold things with my left hand but I don’t know if I will ever be able to do anything with a knife with my right hand and not end up in worse shape than I am already.

Fourth, salads and fresh fruit make up a good part of our diet and I cannot cut vegetables or peel any fruits. Julia is helping out some but I hate to put too much responsibility for food prep onto her. Would anyone consider coming over once or once every few days to cut up some cucumbers, apples, avocados, etc.?

That’s all I can think of for now, but if anyone, who has been through this one handed thing, sees something I’ve clearly missed, please let me know. Thanks for reading, thanks for offering to help. I am grateful that I feel free to ask for this kind of help. I do have an incredible community around me. Love you guys.

Catch up


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img_5057I broke my wrist on Sunday. Of course it was my left wrist, my dominant hand. Aside from the pain and the splint and the doc appointments and the craziness of trying to figure out how to hook a bra, button up jeans and open pill bottles with one hand, there’s a steep learning curve of another kind going on and I have to grudgingly admit, I’m grateful for it.

For my birthday. I gave myself two presents–a creative workshop taught by a poet friend of mine called Spirit and Shadow. Her provocative questions are stirring my soul and disturbing my sleep. The other is an online course called Awakening Joy. Taught by James Baraz, it is a mindfulness class. This week we are put the intention of joy/happiness /contentment into the center of your life. Continue reading



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Julia’s impression of the Women’s March

Promising myself for my birthday that I was going to write every day come hell or high water . . . umm, last night I was ready to sit to write about 10 minutes before my eyes were ready to close.  Some of it busy but some of it just puttering.  What am i avoiding? I can’t even do a sit-down-write justice right now, but I can scribble a few doings. Continue reading