Life favors the brave


A student writes a fantastic piece of how their grandfather use to take them fishing on summer mornings. How standing on the bank, listening to the lake lap against the shore, under the morning sun they found peace. A peace they could not find anywhere else. Then winter turns and their grandfather dies. They write […]

I’ve come to suspect that all parents are frauds.


This week a student told me I must be the world’s greatest dad. I laughed. “What makes you believe that?” “Because you always seem to have a great answer for every question.” Flattered, sure, but there’s a big difference at being good English teacher and being a parent. Teaching literature and writing is easy.  Parenting […]

Having a hole in your brain isn’t all terrible. Learning to make the best of your misfortunes


Having a hole in your brain isn’t all terrible. Dare I say I’m grateful for having the opportunity to endured such a misfortune. For I’ve learned my attitude about such stark truth is simply a matter of perspective. Like this one time when I was having a PET scan– which tests for Multiple Sclersosis. I […]

Thoughts from a Waiting Room


I’m sitting in a waiting room, waiting to get a brain MRI when Jim Croce’s “I’ve Got a Name” begins playing over the ceiling speakers. Like the pine trees lining the winding road I got a name, I got a name Like the singing bird and the croaking toad I got a name, I got […]

“So that’s what nipples are for!” A story about my 8 year old son


My niece Madison Katherine was born on Tuesday, September 18th. As Maddy stirred in her clear hospital-issued bin, my sister-in-law nodded, smiled, and politely announced it was feeding time. When I ushered my three kids out in the white-hospital hall Chase looked up at me with a pair of blue-honest eyes and asked, “Dad, how […]

Your life is a story. For my friend, a hero...who is lost.


Your life is a story. A story played by three familiar characters: The hero The hero is brave and courageous. Not always but on most days they try.  The hero embraces their weaknesses and vulnerability. They pursue passions. And listen. And forgive. They enjoy people. Talking and laughing and shouldering life with people.  The hero, […]

It was both funny and painful to watch. "Everything hurts."


Three days after the race and Cindy is walking as if she has a pair of wooden legs. “Everything hurts. My legs, my back, my ribs.” I stand at the kitchen sink and watch Cindy open the cabinet, reach for a glass, and wince. She draws a breath. “I should’ve trained for the race.” She […]

The race I did not run.


On June 2nd I marked September 23rd on my calendar. On September 23rd I planned to run my first 5k. An act of defiance of sorts. Defying both body and brain. Proving that I could physically and mentally triumph over 5 years of living with cerebellar ataxia, sarcoidosis, nystagmas, enlarged lymph nodes, vertigo, muscle spasms, […]

Health Update: It's a migraine but it's complicated


On Monday a neurologist diagnosed me with a lingering migraine. Dizziness, nausea, stabbing headaches, sensitivity to light are symptoms aligned with a migraine. This is the first time I have been diagnosed with a migraine. The neurologist ordered some blood work and issued prescriptions for a brain MRI to see if the cerebellum has further […]

The small moments have been the hardest The vertigo has been in my brain for 5 weeks


I’m lying on my back on the floor, staring at the ceiling, and I’m afraid to move. The vertigo has been in my brain for 5 weeks. And though symptoms have subsided enough for me to function, I still feel like I’m falling off a cliff every time I sit up or roll to my […]