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





Subscribe to the Fried Nerves and Jam Podcast!

« The Caregivers Documentary | Main | Three A.M. »


We were all set to go. Lights were off. Dang. Spine is too high. Can't do this with my spine stimulator on high.

You would think a device that vibrates would be stimulating. Especially when it is called a stimulator. But nothing really enjoyable happens in the spine. Except a massage. But nowadays that hurts too.

I open Pandora to Solo Piano. Fingers tickling little white keys should do the trick. Dang. Jim Brickman. Not sexy. Reminds me of breast feeding. The wrong kind of breast feeding. I switch the station to Norah Jones Radio. "I feel as empty as a drum. I don't know why I didn't come." Good God. Really. Change it again. Regina Spektor "Let's get a golden trailer, and have a baby boy...". One more baby and I will give you something golden.

I roll over to turn on the lamp. I need to find the remote for the overhead fan. The breeze is distracting. My fingers fumble through my nightstand drawer that's garbled with Tums, Gluten-Free protein bars, and my favorite pens with the fat grips for my fingers that fumble. I should write my thank-you notes. I thumb through the protein bars. Because protein is important at a time like this. I find the square remote with flush buttons. I press the wrong button. And I think, if the light was on, I'd be able to see the right button to press to turn on the light. The bright overhead light turns on instead of the fan turning off. Shootz. Now he sees my double chin as I strain to see the remote. His eyes squint. My cover is blown. I'm forty-three. Position is everything.

Fan is off. Mission accomplished. I feel like I should be standing on an aircraft carrier in a flight suit under a sign.

I resume my position. Wait. Something is under my left tush. It's like I'm princess with a pea. Oh, wait. That's my stimulator implant for my spine. The stimulator that is on too high. I need to turn this thing off so I can turn on. But if I turn off my stimulator I'll be in pain and won't enjoy being stimulated. Decisions. I roll over to the night stand. Need the spine remote. I know it's here. In the leather case. Leather. I remember leather. Leather used to be sexy. But that was the nineties. Now I am ninety. I find the spine stimulator remote. Beep. Beep. Beep. Beep. Getting the setting down so it's not in nail-salon mode. Ok. Now I'm ready. I position myself. I love him so much. This is just what I need right now. Lights are low. Fan is off. Stim is down. Can't see my other chin. Perfect.

My left leg flops.

Not sexy. Plop. Right down to the Egyptian cotton sheets I got on Groupon for the amazing price of 39.99. They were over a hundred retail, but I got a killer deal. Until they arrived in a pale shade of hospital. The hospital. Don't want to go back there. Thank God for the stimulator.

He supports my left leg with his manly arm. Plop. Right leg hits the sheet. He pulls my right leg under his other arm. Ok. I'm good to go. Thank God I did yoga when I could. Before that tailgate hit my head. Darn tailgate.

I breathe. I am woman. Carry on! My mother would be so proud of me.

He kisses my forehead. I love him so much. He kisses my cheek. I could never live without him.

Living. I love living. What if I died? What if the infusions don't work, and I'm diagnosed with another disease that takes me too soon. I would certainly want Don to move on with his life. But re-marry? Dang him. How could he even be thinking of remarrying at a time like this? Oh wait, that was me.

Wait. Is the door locked? He locks the door. That would be just too traumatizing to our children. To walk in on that. And the therapy bills?

He crawls back in. I position just-so. My neck cramps. Not good. Have to find my neck cream or it's all down hill from here. Turn on the light. Open the drawer. Protein bars. I'm hungry. Not that time yet. Got it. Need water. Honey, can you get me some water? Water, waterfall, bathroom. Ill be right back. Transport myself to the chair. Roll to the bathroom. Still haven't converted the door to the toilet so have to lock my legs and hold onto the walls to get to the toilet. He looks back at me. I wish he didn't see me this way. Locking my legs and maneuvering like someone on medical mystery as I struggle to the porcelain god. I flash to the moments I gave birth. All four of them. He has seen it all. Doesn't matter what he sees, right? He'll still love me.

He places my glass of water on my nightstand. He is back in bed. I make my way back too. I worry I'm not attractive anymore. Because I roll.

Wheels are locked. I transfer to bed. I shift to him, and curl inside his chest. My favorite spot. We spoon with what energy of mine is left. His lips against my hair. His breath into mine. The room becomes so still. His love envelopes me completely. Emotion swells behind my eyes. Wondering if this is what will always be. My constant searching for what was me. He holds my face in his large and gentle hands. And says he will never leave. I am everything to him no matter what the world may bring. Tears slip down my cheek and into his palms. He lingers a kiss upon my forehead so soft my heart holds an extra beat; Wanting never to let go of his eyes embracing me. He pulls me closer to our fold. Whispering it doesn't matter how difficult life will be. There's only one thing he will ever need. He simply needs just me.

I close my eyes and wonder how I could possibly be so lucky. Who else could possibly smile at my idiosyncrasies. And I know then that he was planted by God - because He knew this day would come. And He has filled my every need.

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>