soul ~ noun
the spiritual principle embodied in human beings
a person’s total self
a moving spirit

We are souls. We have souls.

Of all kinds, shapes, sizes and depths. Lost ones too. Me. I’m an old soul.

With Easter right around the corner, I’ve been thinking a lot of rebirth. Rejoicing. And reinventing myself – something I never plan on stopping.

Though I like to think I practice soul work everyday…I don’t. Not really. I try, but it doesn’t always work out. Often, I get caught up in the deluge of before and after, and I forget to be present in the pureness of now.

Somedays it feels like my soul has taken a long winter’s nap in the middle of a warm, sunny day. How inappropriate, soul, I think. Or. How wise? Maybe our soul is only half asleep, with one eye opened, listening to our every need, worry and fear. Thinking. Soaking up the sun’s light. And Resting. Storing energy and taking notes for the hard soul work ahead.

For the days when we feel like we’ve done nothing or too much.

Said nothing or too much.

Felt nothing or too much.

It is there waiting for US to wake up. It is there. Always. Lying in the sunlit hammock; protected just enough by the canopy of the tree, as we ramble on about nothing or everything – thinking, Boy do I have my work cut out for me! 

It’s there for the days that feel like we’re digging in rock hard soil that won’t yield to our heavy footed shovel. But the days we feel our most human are the days our soul is working the hardest in the shadows. We just can’t see it. I think there’s a reason that lessons sound so much like blessings.

Then all of a sudden it happens. What moves my soul? we ask. And there it is all rested up. Fierce. And ready to dance or cry. Shake it off or shout it out. Forgive or love.

To help us live from the truest part of ourself.

Then sings my soul…

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soul work


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poem speak


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on becoming



April is National Poetry Month. I knoww! Calm down everyone. I’m laughing – picturing some of you yawning at this dazzling announcement that’s probably going to turn your weekend plans upside down, right? That’s OK. I get it.

However, this poetry nerd has been writing poems and silly rhyming verses since I was a child. In 2001 I wrote my first poem that I was either foolish or brave enough to share with others. And I haven’t stopped since.

Poems have been the precursor and breathing moments in between writing the book.

The words that wrote my memoir have been inside me for years and years just scratching to get out. And when they did they took with them an intrinsic part of me – a feeling or thought they had attached themselves to, like a child who won’t leave the house without their most treasured object.

And whether it was love or loss, joy or tragedy; I learned to identify and celebrate whatever feeling needed to be heard. And in the hearing and releasing I found my truest self. My joy on paper.

We’re all undiscovered poems. And I hope, that no matter my age, I’ll continue to be the explorer of me. Evolving and growing into my greatest and truest self by repeatedly releasing new cells filled with aha and oops moments that keep me open and aware.

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Off You Go!


This is the post the old me couldn’t imagine until I sat with tight, nervous hands not yet adept at forming fluent words, making cursive loops onto notebook paper as I wrote the first paragraph of my memoir. Not knowing at the time how or where or when I would finish. And now, as in tomorrow, you (book), will be on your way to the first set of eyes that have never met or heard of you.

And before you go I need to have a few parting words with you. It’s cliche, but oh so true. Writing a book is much like birthing a baby. I feel proud, while at the same time protective, wanting people to be careful with you; knowing that your binding is strong, but how easily your edges tear. Ultimately, I hope they respect and honor you because it took a lot to get you out!

Good luck swimming out there in this beautiful, scary, delicious world of ours!

I’ve dressed you up and stripped you bare where it was appropriate. I’ve left you vulnerable to critic by your rawness of philosophy and truth. I think (hope) (pray) that many people will benefit from your lessons of love and courage.

I’ve thanked you and the universe every morning as I opened my laptop and thanked you both again as I closed it for the day. But now at this extraordinary juncture, as I breathe one long, highly emotional breath, I must thank you one more time for you’ve taught me so much. Though you’ve scared the hell out of me at times. Given me goose-bump worthy chills. You’ve let tears escape; the ones I thought I had hidden in a secret place so nothing or no one could ever find them. And oh my goodness, can we please have a moment for the uncontainable joy and enlightenment you’ve allowed me! You’ve empowered me and through that empowerment I’ve discovered  the only boundaries that exist are the ones I’d placed within myself.

After spending over three years with you in the most intimate places – the shower, upon waking or trying to fall asleep, in dreams, while walking, watching a movie, listening to music, or just daydreaming; and of course in stillness as I sat in my office…you found me. Always. And in the finding I discovered in the most random, beautiful ways – YOU always knew what you wanted to be. It was I who needed to discover you. To internally and externally realize you into being. And together what a transformation we have made. Because together is the only way worthwhile things get done in this world, after all. Thank you for never allowing me, not once, to feel alone. You stealthily gathered all my muses; let them live in my head and my heart, then transported them to the soul of my body of work, onto paper. So Thank You.

You’re ready. I’m ready. And just like when I started writing – I don’t know where. or when. or how. I just know wherever we land is where we are meant to be.

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Done and DONE!


Laptop down. Reading glasses down. Folder down. Bottoms up!!!

Sometimes when we reflect back on the way our life story unfolds it’s nothing short of serendipitous! Minutes before I finished working on the last insert for the book, Sam arrived home early from his business trip. I ran downstairs to kiss him hello, telling him I had just a few minutes more of work to go to finish the inserts. So back upstairs I went. Little did I know he was stealthily mixing me a martini in the kitchen below, which he then surprised me with saying, “Close your eyes. Ok, open.” Looking at the drink he said, “Here this will take you to the finish line! Congrats my dear!”

Then. If that wasn’t enough sugary sweet love and goodness; as if on some universal cue, my dear friend Michelle called the second I finished typing the last word. I leaned back in my writing chair, the one that has held me tightly, yet comfortably to the task at hand for over the past three years while I listened to one of the voices who has supported me throughout my journey; and happy little tears trickled down my face.

I think this process so simply called writing should have some long eloquent title that screams what it does. But the screaming is in the reaching from paper to another mind, to another heart. It’s in the dancing on paper, the hurting and crying, and hopefully the inspiration and the joy.

It’s an exercise in looking for what can’t be seen. Somewhat mysteriously and through ALOT of emotional and mental hard work – it then feels physical. Yet visceral. That is the beauty, the defiance and the magic of writing. After much hard work, one day I realized that a muscle had developed where I never had one. I felt an inner strength different than before. A three-dimensional life story had unfolded before my eyes.

And at last, and after all – I know what I’ve known.

Here it is! Edited and ready to apply for my copyright! I’ve spent the last several weeks inserting ‘something’ in between certain chapters. Most often (as I’ve just been reminded), it’s the little things that require even more attention than the big things.

Now all the little things and the big things are done!!!!! (Picture me dancing on top of a table!!!)

This book of mine is fully formed with a whole heart, intellect, and, hopefully, if I’ve done a good job; a plentiful and abundant soul.

Next week I will be sending the manuscript off to several entities through various personal and business contacts. If they don’t pan out, I will then pursue hiring an agent and go from there.

Thank you for all of your support! This human being of a writer CANNOT sufficiently express in words what it has meant to me!

Stay tuned for the reveal of the title! Ahhhh I can’t wait to share it!!!!!!!

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tomorrow I STAND


I don’t consider myself political. Not at all. I’m not the person that debates politics or tries to change another human being’s political beliefs. But in looking back at my history of advocacy on behalf of children with disabilities, at my core belief of celebrating diversity – I can’t help but speak out.

I’m a hopeful person, but not today. Today I feel nothing but heaviness in my heart. I’ve never felt such a cumbersome sadness of emotion at the changing of the guard.

Why? Because I’ve never felt such shock and utter disgust at watching a man mock a disabled reporter all the while knowing national media outlets were covering him. Knowing that same man was about to be sworn into the highest office in the land.

Why? Because I’ve never felt such sadness at hearing a man speak so disgustingly about how to make a woman do whatever you want. Knowing that same man was about to be sworn into the highest office in the land.

Why? Because I heard a man speak of building a wall not a bridge. Of exclusion not inclusion. Knowing that same man was about to be sworn into the highest office in the land.

Every time I look at him I will forever see him with arms bent in spastic exasperation; flailing about like a middle school bully, showing such disrespect and arrogance toward another human being. The threads of my heart unraveled at seeing and hearing such mockery. And no matter how hard I try, I can’t un see or un hear any of it.

President Obama wasn’t a perfect president. No president ever is. But he was a man I was most proud to call my president. Barrack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama were fearless leaders who I could hold up to our daughter as role models. Role models of integrity, intelligence, honor, respect for all, character and inclusion.

I cannot say that about –  that same man who was sworn into the highest office in the land. In the past, no matter whether my candidate won or not, I’ve never felt such concern and worry.

But tomorrow is a new day. A new beginning. Tomorrow I will be serious of mind, light of heart and steadfast in my beliefs.

Because the principles on which this country was founded were carried out by Barrack Obama with the utmost sincerity, class and intelligence.  And because America is great – tomorrow my daughter, Samantha, and I will take one step forward and then another and another at the Women’s March on Washington. We will march on behalf of women of all races, creed and color. We will march to promote the inclusion and rights of people with disabilities. We will celebrate diversity. We will march for the rights of people who are gay. We will march on behalf of women’s health care rights. Job rights. We will march on behalf of human rights.

Today I sit and watch in disbelief.

Tomorrow I rise to my feet.

Tomorrow I stand.

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a wonderment



In the same way I knew it was time to pack up his room years ago, I always thought I would know when the time was right for me. And somehow through the universe I sensed that our son would want it this way. This will be my last memorial post in honor of Preston.

We have arrived at our first big milestone. Today marks ten years since his death. The words ten years sound foreign and raw at once as we acknowledge them. As our hearts absorb the vast amount of time we have been without our son, time has felt both fleeting and forever depending on where we were in the everlasting process of healing.

For me, finishing the book on Preston’s Angelversary year has magnified the intensity and scope of loss and love. As I completed the final pages of the first draft of my book, my two writing pens ran out of ink…simultaneously. One, a gift from Sam and Samantha, Jonathan Adler’s fancy Aztec Diamond ink pen – a bright emerald green, white and black graphic design that literally made me smile when I held it in my hand. It’s ink heavier for editing. The other pen; a sleek silver design almost stealth in appearance with a fine point, was my serious writing pen that seemed to glide over paper. I often held one of them in my hand like they were a natural appendage while I sat quietly contemplating a scenario. I could never have predicted both of my pens running out of ink right alongside the story. I remember feeling complete wonder and thinking what exquisite timing. What an awe-inspiring message I received from the universe that day.

The universe really does speak to us.

And if we still ourselves long enough our hearts and minds will ripen to their fruitful purpose. Listen and silent are spelled with the same letters for a reason.

Love and the breathing in and out of it. Heartache and the breathing in and out of it, and the recovery from both are all part of our life story. And in each unfolding there is value. To look away from each bountiful story is to deny our own truth and risk pushing away our growth as a spiritual human being, no matter the message.

My niece, Romy, referred to our time in Virginia as my exile. She was right. My insight of solitude has shaped me so I could shape words. I’ve been honored and humbled to be their hostess standing at an open door ready to receive whatever came in.

From the day Preston was born I became passionate about writing as if I already knew it would be my dialogue with him, and on behalf of him – on paper. Without fully being aware of the metamorphosis that was arising inside of me, through the years, I began taking incrementally small steps toward one day acknowledging my life’s calling and owning it no matter what anyone said or didn’t say.

I believe that Preston chose me. Not the adult woman who birthed him, but the nasally voiced little girl who had three cleft palate surgeries – too afraid to speak in public, too afraid to cry in public for fear she would be thought too weak. I remember how quickly fear found me the first time I had to speak in front of a group of people, like it had its own tracking device that honed in on only me. Then after his death I ran from writing; from sinking back into three dimensional stories about disabilities and death and grief. So fast they couldn’t possibly catch up to me, I assured myself. Until finally one morning I found what was buried somewhere in between my deepest fear and my deepest love; and I awoke to a new realization…you can only deny your life’s purpose for so long before it crawls up and begins to eat away at you. Threatening to destroy what is already well and established. And eventually, and at last, that transcendent moment when you truly begin the fulfillment of your soul, you feel rise up within you – a wonderment.

This book that has been forming in my head since Preston was thirteen, has been the greatest teacher and I have been abundantly surprised and enchanted by the depth of its lessons. I recently came upon a quote that brilliantly sums up my writing experience. “A Chinese poet many centuries ago noticed that to re-create something in words is like being alive twice.”

There, I did it my beloved boy! I lived your life twice! And the insight your lessons afforded me have made me a better human being.

Through the writing of my book many people have said, “I hope writing this book heals you.” While I know their intention was pure and heartfelt; every time I heard it, inside, I cringed. Rather than a process that ends with a specific assumed outcome, I think of living with grief as being in recovery just like anyone trying to live with a past condition. You know it’s there in the back of your mind, deep in your heart and soul, and everyday you truly live you know you have triumphed over what once sent you crumbling to your knees. To say there’s an end to healing is to say there’s an end to spiritual growth. As a flawed human being I carry various scars that when I look back to their origin I realize, are really scars of love and courage. That invisible grief scar that only I can see runs deep and wide into the whole of my being. It reminds me daily of the magnitude of love for Preston. It also whispers to me, “Go on, live your life even fuller today than yesterday, mom.” And so in honor of our son…I do. And because of the precious love we have for him – Sam, Samantha and I get to live a joyful life with a sense of wonderment.

I wish each and everyone of you a Merry Christmas and a most happy and healthy New Year filled with family and friends. May the love and wisdom you seek find you. Quiet and still. Arms open. With wide-eyed wonderment like that of a child. And may the people your heart invests in invest in you, as well. Be kind. Be joyful. And be you.

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What of Love?

So many human hearts are confused or angry or sad or feeling forgotten. So as it always does in sad or joyous times, my heart wrote a poem. As you read, I hope it soothes your heart.





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I write from the root of the bloom.  In all the messy, tangled places of my soul.  In the darkness that catches fire and spreads to seek the light.  In solitude that sniffs the air for bits of oxygen called words.

I write from the root of the bloom.  In a place no one knows.  Or can see.  Like love until it’s set free.  Mine unto paper. Smoothly and frantically.  Quietly out loud.

I write from the root of the bloom.  Boldly.  In stillness and wonder.  Sadness searches for words.  Joy finds them.

And I am transformed once more.






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