The Soldier and the Squirrel introduces children to the Purple Heart

through a loving story of a friendship between a newly wounded soldier

and Rocky the squirrel with his backyard friends. This story began as a

blog during my first year in bed after my incident. With much

encouragement, it is now a book and has been placed in the

Ronald Reagan Presidential Library & Museum. Please watch the video

on the About page to learn for the Soldier & Rocky are changing children's






Glorious Rejoice Dots Glitter





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My Brother My Friend

The chamomile tea perks in my hands with a brew. Vanilla Creamer swirled by my brother's spoon. A ritual we now share at night during this week that has changed my life.

Maturity has affected my relationship with my brother like a magic wand does for a wish. It has wiped our slate so clean, unlike in our teens when we trudged a mud so deep we could no longer see our knees. It took losing the lift of my knees for me to rediscover my brother, Jim, and all that he is to me.

Jim and I have rarely spent time alone. The number of times we spent in a car- just the two of us - I could count on my hands. He is two years older than me. He was off to college and I married at twenty-one with children and a life that blurred. So, having him here this week has been a gift from God.

This experience has bonded us so deeply - it feels as though we have found a time capsule this week as he takes care of me each day. It is as though we are battle buddies.

This week has changed my life forever in many ways. My first week of four in the CRPS Pain Management Program. A program so intensive it takes the stripping of a soul to commit. A Multi-disciplinary approach, it incorporates various modalities of medicine - a full time job from morning til night, five days a week for four weeks. One of the modalities is psychotherapy. Out of all of my appointments, this has been the most grueling and difficult appointment for me. Having my brother take me to my appointments this week has been therapy in-action. I have essentially, discovered the friend I have within my brother.

Losing the ability to walk has taken my world, thrown it up against a wall, and forced me to look at every single piece as it lay on the ground. I am studying my childhood from the crusted sides of porcelain to the handle with no cup. I have had the pieces placed gently in my hands and asked how it makes me feel. And no matter how much pain I have felt from my physical condition, there is no way I could have ever begun my recovery without looking at my life. And those in my life. At past traumas. One part of this puzzle I am placing together is who I am as a daughter, a wife, a friend. But also, who I am as a sister, and how much more can I be?

A whole new world has unfolded for Jim and myself week. I am still the little sister, just much shorter than before. But now I feel I can be so much more. Jim came out to take care of me - and in doing so I have discovered a friend. He opens my door and takes my chair. He places my wheels carefully on the seat. He asks me if I want more air. Is the music too loud. Am I okay. Can I get that for you. He likes my chair. He thinks it's bad-ass. And now in a way I think it, too.

This week, I am doing more than learning how to live beyond the pain. I am learning to thrive in my relationships for all that they can be, while simply learning to be. There are still so many pieces to hold inside of my hands and too many wishes I have to make. But for now I will live this week with Jim in a life so sound - it knows something is new.

The tea is sipped to its cooler glaze. A calm settles through my skin. My mind quiets to a peaceful pause of gratitude for Jim. The brother that was always there, but now he is my friend.

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