Archive | November, 2017

A Celebration and a Mourning

26 Nov

IMG_5811Yesterday, Chuck and I celebrated the publication of Stroke Happens by gathering with some friends for a book signing at a local tavern—where we met, actually. About 15 or so people showed up with their copies, which Chuck and I signed. I also had everyone sign our copy. Everyone had fun, some musician friends played, and I felt very grateful and humbled by the support. After getting home, my neighbor Lisa came over and we had a few more drinks and sat around the outdoor fire.

But what goes up must come down. At some point, an emotional storm erupted in me. I suppose it was about the past trauma of post-stroke life; but also anxiety about the future. I am petrified I won’t be able to continue to afford living as we have. I’m unemployed and in debt. Two tooth extractions—I haven’t even gotten new teeth but have two gaps where my back molars should be, one on each side—and a replaced HVAC system have put a serious dent in the finances. I struggle monthly to make ends meet and wonder how long I can continue, even as I hope for salvation in the form of a full-time job. (Or huge book sales.)

Normally I practice the teachings of Buddha, about letting go—of past regrets, future worries—but sometimes I am unable to do so. Last night was one of those times. I’m still working on it this morning. Or maybe I should say this mourning, because I am in this situation because of a loss—the loss of the man I married, who was my partner and who could at times take care of me when I needed it, as in today. Now I have to take care of myself, as well as of him. I’m doing the best I can, but it doesn’t always feel like it’s good enough.

Celebration and mourning. One coin, two sides.




Stroke Happens Now Available

7 Nov

I am pleased to announce that Stroke Happens: A Caretaker’s Memoir, is now available on Amazon in electronic and paperback forms. Here is a link to the latter:

Please share with anyone you think would benefit from reading. Here is the book description:

“When he was 56 years old, my husband, Chuck, suffered a massive stroke that nearly killed him. Literally, overnight, our life changed. After almost losing his life, Chuck lost his speech and the use of his right arm and underwent months of hospitalization, rehab and therapy. Stroke Happens tells the story of his arduous journey toward recovery and my transformation from wife to caretaker. It’s a story of hope, despair, acceptance, and love; but most of all, survival.”

And the author photo:

Chuck and Laura.jpg

While I would rather it have been published by a press, I just could not break in. Oh well, maybe someone will discover me? It’s a pretty thought, anyway.

If you read it, feel free to send me your thoughts on it. And many thanks if you do either.



Stroke Epigraph

2 Nov

Waiting to hear if I will be able to use this poem, by my late friend John Stone, doctor and poet, as an epigraph for my manuscript.


I imagine his bedroom
where he woke this morning
to find half his singing nerves
numb and silent

his tongue halved and pulling
the cold words cramping in his throat

half a world gone in each eye.

I dream
his darkened bedroom
where last night
his mind meshed
in its last unaltered thinking

where now
these work shoes
will unwalk
against the wall.

–John Stone


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