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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Rising Son

I am forty-three. An age when your children should be selfish. But then one day they look at you and say nothing - and everything at all - at once.

Yesterday, I was right in the middle of  fresh-off-the-presses Electro Spine Stimulator Surgery pain from last Friday.

All I had to do was get down the stairs.  Get down those stairs. I made it to the top of the stairs. Bed  to chair to shower stool to toilet lift to dry-shave. Lift. Wheelchair to staircase. This is life. On the way to the stairs.  And to the rhizotomies that were the last ditch effort to manage my pain without losing my mind. Then the stair lift broke. I sat at the top of the teetering, thinking, the stair lift broke.

My feet were placed upon the foot rest. "All clear!" when you push the On button. We have four children and three dogs running around at our feet.

I go to start the chair. (Read this as a Soprano's voice-over. It's more affective.)  I go to start the electric chair, because its electric you know? The kind Aunt Frances used when she spent the summer in that two floor apartment.

I push the black button. The one for GO. Which goes so well with the other button for STOP that's black too. Not like you'd notice, except for the blackness I feel underneath my fingertips when it moves. When I press GO.

My family frantically decides how to get me to surgery, if at all. I had been without pain management or water for eight hours, combined with the surgical pain from Friday's SCS  (Spinal Cord Stimulator) Surgery, it wasn't a pretty site.

I had to get down the stairs to the Rhizotomies. With an OR wiith white walls. Or peach if they're bold. I'd prefer to say that my procedure last night was of no color at all. Just blackness, like the tips of my fingertips from pressing GO.For a surgery it took months to get approved by the insurance company. And the surgi-center they approved the procedures for, was closing in seven days. I had to get. Down. Those. Stairs.

I made it down the stairs the only way a girl with crooked legs can. I held on real tight to broad shoulders, the pain so intense, tears had nowhere to go but behind my eyes. It was an inverted tight rope down a shaking cord connecting me to my feet.

I tried to look out to see what Nature had painted that day, but it was too beautiful to see anything I couldn't be grateful for at that moment.

I made it to the car. One step closer to being a gal who doesn't need any more surgery. After this.

My head hung into the klunk of the trunk as the wheelchair settled in. Women around here abound. But amidst the garble was the tone of my son's voice. Joe will be seventeen in November. I fell into the normalcy of murmurs feeding through the hollowness of the car. The window was down. I turned my face to the light to see who had squeezed my hand. I assumed it was friend or parent.

It was my son.

Memories of his childhood danced in the palm of his hand as I realized it was his. It was Joe who had been holding me up, placing me inside the car. My son said I love you, without any words at all.
My son brought me to the car that day.  My son looked me in the eyes - when most boys turn away.

I arrived for the Rhizotomies and am glad they are done, but the process about killed me. But I would do it all over again, just to see that look on my son's face, that said all that I needed to hear, just as we drove away.

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