My children only remember me sick.

They were too young to recall when their mother was unburdened by chronic pain, or when her dancer’s body moved about with graceful fluidity. They have grown up with this menacing shadow, and it’s cruel henchman: crippling depression.

I do not mention this for the sake of regret- this is no feeble martyr’s cry for help! This is merely an intro to raw and painfully honest writing about how this disease affects families, loved ones, friends...

I think of my sweet nieces and nephews. They will never know me at ease, without PD. I make a promise to show them how strong our family can be. Our ancestors did not lift us through their blood sweat and tears so that we could give up.

This is a brutalizing disease. It crushes even the strongest among us, in increments. There is no way to sugarcoat this or pretend like one can become comfortable with it. Of course I’m not cool with it… But what choice do I have?

I won’t go quietly into that dark night. Instead, I choose to stay in the light of abundance and love. Because of the kindness you have shown, and for our children, I rise!

Yes, I am wounded... just like everyone else. This means that more than ever, I am in a position to offer compassion to others.

My constant prayer goes something like this:

May these hands be of service. Allow less focus on my small self or my desires and more on the greater good of _all_ concerned. My work is not done here. Use me, Lord, not where I am most comfortable, but where I may be most helpful.

Photo: Nolan, Ella and Colin. Three of my beloved East Coast Fam.