Tag Archives: Advocacy


There was certain, young man who I noticed was definitely connecting with my songs. He said, “You might have reached millions of people with your beautiful songs when you were younger, but it wouldn’t have been the same. Your life experience is what makes your songs so touching. Instead of reaching a million people, you could have a great impact on a few and change lives.” I stepped into the night air, and a vision came over me. I was playing my music for a lot of people on a large stage.
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For many years, humor was absent from my life. As I’ve healed from grief, I’ve learned how humor is a wonderful, coping mechanism. With my transformation last year, I‘ve found that even when I’m sad I still see so many things to laugh about every day. When I first began my blog, I often wrote about my daily life in a humorous way. It’s gotten harder for me to do that since my children don’t want me to write anything about them anymore. That has left me with only my pets to write about!
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I looked up, and I was in shock. There were both Julie and Eli! I gave them warm hugs and felt joyful tears well up inside of me. I couldn’t believe they had come to hear me sing! As I sang the words to many of my songs about grief, I felt the intense connection of knowing how “real those words” were to my friends. I especially knew they could understand my feelings surrounding a subsequent child, as I sang my recent song, No Words for You.
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I just got back from an appt. with my mom regarding her hip fracture. This was a second opinion with an orthopedic surgeon. This doctor said that the ball of her hip, although fractured is somewhat “impacted.” In five years of seeing hundreds of patients, he’s only had three patients with this condition who opted not to have surgery. He said that with a fracture like this, 2/3 of the time it can actually heal without surgery.
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Although I try, I just can’t say goodbye
to someone who’s loved me all of my life
I might be sad, and when you’re not there
I’ll still see your love everywhere
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The title for this post comes from my new and upcoming song, You Were There. This new song carries the melody of my instrumental song, Farewell. This past week, the lyrics for my upcoming song flowed out from me. Although I did write my song “Alone” before experiencing grief, the absolute truth is that I have never been alone. The love from my mother always enveloped me in safety and comfort.
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And so it was that I met Sara. Sara told me she was ninety-eight-years old. She wanted me to record her words so I could share her message with my mother. She spoke loudly and said: “Shirley, I want to tell you that I have two, broken hips! And they will not operate because I am too old. But I’m walking! I’m walking with a walker and sometimes I am walking by myself. And with a little patience I am sure that you are going to walk also. And we’re all rooting for you!”
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As my post title says, “I can’t live in the past, because something went wrong.” I am living in the present. There is no longer any “right or wrong” for me. All that matters for me is that there are quality moments for my mom – without pain!
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I received such an outpouring of love and birthday greetings today. To all those dear friends of mine that contributed to that, thank you! My mother who always made a big fuss about my birthday, lost track of it this year. I made sure to call her and let her know how happy I was. I’ve saved so many of her cards, and have shared many of them on my blog. However, I found that sharing an old one today wasn’t helpful for me, since it made me sad thinking of it.
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This is Part 5 of my email excerpts. My mother was on a ventilator for almost two months starting in December of last year. I was her advocate and her support. The process was exhausting, and became the catalyst for an amazing transformation that occurred in me after my mom recovered. Toward the end of this section, my mom was doing well with the weaning process. She was being readied for transfer to a respiratory program at another hospital called Barlow. It was highly recommended. Unfortunately, her experience at Barlow turned out to be a nightmare. I watched her waste away as she lost 25 pounds in a very short time. Continue reading

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