The Sandbox Writing Challenge this week asks us to reflect on  what makes us a survivor.

The majority of my posts here are primarily stories about how I have personally survived various obstacles, injuries or loss, but the idea of finding qualities that make one a survivor and another not is rather difficult for me.

If I really ponder it, I think it all comes down to choice and what you choose as something that can be overcome. What would be a normal Monday for me might send someone else to the nearest mental health clinic or ward for a “wee rest”, as my Mom used to put it when discussing her friends and their assorted nervous breakdowns.

As a child, I think my natural curiosity about what could happen tomorrow and my optimistic spirit enabled me to survive the dysfunctional environment I was raised in. I knew tomorrow was always a new day, with a fresh chance for things to be better than they were today. I still have that optimism, which is rather amazing, all things considered.


In my own very unhealthy codependency, I thrive on others need of me, so since the age of 23, I always had a babe or child, who I knew was counting on me to be OK and to carry on, which motivated me greatly. Following my accident, I kept the thought of my sons in my mind, in order to move through the pain of rehabilitation and the months of recovery, where there were certainly moments- days, even, where I thought I could no longer bear the pain or the effort of getting back to myself.

Moments where I would curse at myself ” Just shut that shit, down, girl- no time for a pity party today. Get up on your feet and take one step forward..just one step.” I would self motivate, and listen to that grumpy voice, the part of me that refused to give in. Is that the spirit within us? Our mothers? What is that voice? I am not entirely sure, but I have it and it has pushed me along, with no patience for excuses or whining.



In my middle years now ( still hella optimistic, ha!), as an empty nester, that curiosity is back and it is stronger than ever before. I have so many things left to do and people to help and love and perhaps even influence in some small way. I need to keep myself healthy so when grandchildren come for me, I am strong enough to carry them and mentally alert enough to savour every single moment with them. It must be like a do-over with your own children. A chance to make everything right with all love and no discipline!

Once again, I have rambled, and not answered the question, I’m afraid. I don’t know what that is inside of me that has made me get back up repeatedly and keep holding on.

Life is beautiful to me. I want to be here and I want to contribute good things. Pain and suffering are simply part of the journey, and I honestly would not change one thing that has happened to me. The struggle has made me who I am at my core and I am very thankful for my strength and resiliency.

There was simply no other choice for me but to survive.

It is who I am.






Lost in the thought of the last time I saw your eyes looking straight into my heart and the goodbye you could not speak, but we both knew was arriving.

i’m leaving you soon. you’ll be ok. thank you for loving me. you’ll be just fine. you are so strong.

The sight of you wrapped in a heated flannel, strapped to the chair because they knew you would not stay in the bed.

i know, if we just keep moving nothing bad will happen. i know, Mark. i have been where you are.

The impromptu braiding of your long hair after lovingly brushing it out of your ashen face.

they hated your long hair. endless bitching about how you looked like a girl. it was beautiful.

Strands of silver weaving throughout the chestnut and my snipping of the tangled ends stuck to the wires all over your chest.

let me do it. i’ll make sure it doesn’t hurt you. i wont let anyone hurt you. i promise.

When you reached out to take our hands on either side of you, I knew.

i’m not ready. i can’t do this. oh god, not now. you are so strong. you can come back from this.

When the time for leaving came, my walking backwards, making a silly face to see you smile, anything for one more smile. Telling you I would be back tomorrow.

there won’t be any more tomorrows for you and I. we is over and soon just me.

Your head turning ever so slowly towards me, and your sad eyes looking into mine.

i will always be with you. you will never be alone in the world. i will be beside you. forever.


I will never be lost. My brother is always with me and wouldn’t allow that to happen.

He will always tell my heart which direction is home.







Looking Back

It’s  review time for the Sandbox Writing Challenge so I am going to try and make sense of some of my writing for this challenge. I didn’t take part in all the challenges during this section,  so only have a few to look back on.

Surprising post:

The one that took me by surprise the most was my post about the old man.

I hadn’t thought about that particular patient in years and yet my mind took me there right away,  so i ran with it. I sometimes fear I am a bit dark in my writing,  which is odd, as my outward self is very much sunny and laughing,  but I’m realizing that I have things that have lingered very deeply inside of me,  and the freedom of telling those truths and letting them go has been so very therapeutic for me.

So apologies if I offend with subject matter or language at times,  but it is what it is,  and I want the authentic me to be what you see.


I need to become more disciplined about writing. I love doing it. It makes me feel so accomplished when I complete a piece and quite honestly,  I find it fascinating to see how differently and yet how alike we all see the prompts.  I love the poetry so much,  but don’t feel any faith in myself ever having the skill or bravery it takes to weave my stories in that format.

Loosening Up Exercises

What feelings describe you?

1.  Hopeful
2.  Contemplative
3.  Irritable
4.  Silly
5.  Scared
6.  Curious
7.  Understanding

What habits describe you?

1. Exhausted during the work week. Unable to commit to anything but the getting there,  working,  and getting home without any emotional outbursts.
2. I am very responsible. Always do what is expected of me.
3. Tell myself every Sunday night I will be in bed sleeping by ten but never sleeping before 2 a.m. Mondays are a monster for me.
4. If it is a holiday,  I’m the one cooking the bird.:)
5. I clean in bursts as I am scared if I don’t, things will get unmanageable and i will feel overwhelmed.
6. I cannot fully wake up without a cup of coffee in me. 7. Talking to strangers is my thing. They always approach me and tell me the most amazing and sometimes personal stories.

What beliefs describe you?

1.  In the depths of winter,  I found within me an invincible summer. ( Framed in my home)
2. Out of suffering comes the capacity to fully appreciate joy.
3. Loyalty should be more than a tattoo in a fancy font on your backside.
4. Love makes the world go round. 💜
5. Do unto others…
6. Don’t say anything that could harm someone’s spirit.
7. Above anything,  just be kind. And if you can’t be kind, be quiet.

What else describes you?

1. Intolerance and bigotry can make me feel rage.
2. I never judge anyone for choices they have  made. We are all responsible for our own lives and deal with our own consequences of any choices made.
3.  I have amazing hair!
4.  I think I have a book in me.
5.  I’m excited for what my future holds.

Into the Abaddon

These events occurred following this.

Paramedics transported 37 yr old female victim of the MVA to nearest acute hospital twenty miles away from the crash site. Assessment by Emergency Medical Transport personnel indicates multiple spinal fractures. Pressure gauze applied to gaping head wound. O2 given by nasal cannula as SATS decreasing rapidly. Shock. BP  decreasing to 96/57 during transport. Patient responsive to stimulus but non verbal.

blinding lights and pain. more pain than could ever be imagined or a loving god to allow to be suffered by one of his children. too many faces, shimmering in the lights of the icy cold room. chattering teeth slamming uncontrollably against each other. can’t stop them from tearing into my lips and tongue and a hand shoves something warm between them to stop the violence of the shaking. taste of warm blood in her mouth, coppery, thick, running down her throat, causing the heaving. Ohmygodohmygod cant breathe. and struggling to sit up and stop the hurting and then a prick of the needle 



wake to the uniformed man asking about drinking that day and how much. crying please leave me alone, no, no, i wouldn’t do that ever. . he is telling the nurse with grey hair that he wants the blood immediately. has to have it before i decease for some legal reasons. the priest who is sitting by the stretcher tells him to stop, he is upsetting me and I am gasping for air, and to go away and what does any of it matter any more. the nurse is pushing the officer out of the room telling him she will get to it after,unless he wants to steal it like a thief right off the floor or me and  that it can be done quickly when it is needed. am i dying? i turn to the priest and whisper am i dying? and he looks at me with the saddest eyes and moves his lips in prayer         

“I believe in God, the Father almighty,creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord,who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended into hell.”

i awaken in the blackness of nothing and silence.  it is quiet and feels like death has come for me after all. no pain, no sound, womb-like, with no atmosphere but the absence of everything. entombed in a shroud of blank space and opiates. sensing like an animal that i am not alone, i turn my head and see the whites of my sons eyes looking at mine. “mom mom mom, are you going to be ok? please be ok.”  i must be dreaming or stoned or dead. i feel removed and cannot open my lips to speak to him.he isn’t here, i must be dreaming of him. suddenly a  horrible pain in my stomach and a splintering inside of me. feeling the heat of it rising up my stomach to my throat and the spewing out of the blackness and a sudden tearing of tissue and searing agony and …ohmyGOD..and as it comes pouring out of me, out of everywhere it possibly can, burning me with its heat, i hear my son’s voice again,


STARS air ambulance dispatched to rural hospital at approximately 2000 hours to transport MVA patient to FMC in Calgary. Internal hemorrhaging, right side pneumothorax and C7 spinal fracture primary injuries noted on transfer form.

whirring and roaring in my ears and freezing like ice, oh so cold. machines are bleeping and sending spirals of paper down to the floor and something is covering my ears. someone in a spacesuit is trying to talk to me but i can’t hear him over the whirring and clattering sounds of the copter blades and the screeching coming from the machines. i understand i am alive and moving to another hospital but not aware of urgency. i feel like i am in a space ship with all the machines and coloured lights and sounds. i don’t recall my son being with me at the hospital at all. my reality has turned into  a series of waking and nothing moments. no slow drifting from consciousness to sleep, rather a sudden jolting of existences. i no longer feel sadness or fear and feel weightless, floating along wherever these ever-changing faces take me. what makes me me, the ego, the id, my instinctive force within, has disappeared.  there is a sense of wonder and relief in the letting go