Hope for Troubled Minds: KyLee and her mother’s love.

When I was 17 years old, I delay enlisted into the Air Force. I had known at a very young age that I wanted a life devoted to the service of others. I was the oldest of four and already knew what sacrifice was or at least I thought I did. I enjoyed my time in the Air Force and short stint in law enforcement, but chose a different path because I felt I was too optimistic and in law enforcement you were always waiting for someone to make a mistake. Instead, I chose to go to college and work as a paralegal. Divorced young, I learned sacrifice as a parent. I was a single parent for 16 years. Sometimes I worked two jobs and went to college full time. I had aspirations of going to law school and making a real impact in the world. Then, two months shy [...]

Hope for Troubled Minds: KyLee and her mother’s love.2022-08-08T11:30:38-04:00

Hope for Troubled Minds: Dear Bobby, from your grateful mom.

Dear Bobby, One of my greatest accomplishments in life was becoming your mother - I had hopes and dreams for the man you would become. Your intelligence, compassion and determination in everything you did brought me a great sense of pride. Bipolar disorder no doubt changed the way I see the world and what I now want for you, my loving son. This brain illness at times has made you say and do things uncharacteristic of the person that I know is deep inside of you.  It is an illness that has caused much turmoil for you, for this I am deeply sorry and only wish that as your mother I could take the pain away. Despite great suffering, despair and heartbreak, bipolar disorder has taught me so much. It has taught me that we live in a world where those with serious brain disorders are discriminated against.  We live [...]

Hope for Troubled Minds: Dear Bobby, from your grateful mom.2022-05-07T17:49:20-04:00

Hope for Troubled Minds: To my best friend, I call you mom

Jonna Terhune is a social worker living with a diagnosis of bipolar disorder. She writes, "... [my diagnosis] does not define me.  By the grace of God, I am still alive and blessed to have the support of my best friend/mother.  I know this letter cannot show the extent of sacrifice and love that my mother has given to help me live but I do hope that it gives a glimpse into our experience.  I pray that one day I can give back as well as pay it forward.  Thank you for spending a few moments to read my letter to my mom."   To my best friend, I call you mom, I never thought I would make it this far.  You stood by me through all the sleepless nights, not just as an infant but as a teenager and adult when mania engulfed me or depression strangled my heart [...]

Hope for Troubled Minds: To my best friend, I call you mom2022-04-13T14:32:55-04:00

Hope for Troubled Minds: A Letter of Redemption to My Mother, Claudia by Cathy B.

Dear Claudia, As I sit here anticipating the 2022 New Year and wondering what joys and sorrows it will bring, I remember you. Our world is in the midst of a deadly pandemic, that frankly, I never thought I would experience in my lifetime. It’s an experience akin to living in a sci-fi horror movie. I sometimes wonder if I could magically change the fact that you developed a serious mental illness when I was a child, if your brain had remained healthy and you were still alive, would you have been the kind of mother I could call and kavetch with about what a struggle the pandemic is for us all. However, you died seven years ago.  You were 74-years-old when you died alone with both serious mental illness and dementia in an Atlanta area nursing home. Even with the dementia, you always remembered both me and Chris (your [...]

Hope for Troubled Minds: A Letter of Redemption to My Mother, Claudia by Cathy B.2022-02-13T18:21:35-05:00

Hope for Troubled Minds: Compassion Amid the Chaos

These letters are written by Vikki Plessinger. Vikki is Christian data clerk who hopes to retire in 7 months. She enjoys family vacations & get-togethers, gardening, fishing, hiking & puzzles.   I am a mother of 2 children with brain illnesses.  One is trying so desperately to save his life.  The other seems determined to end hers. My son has a very rare, Central Neurocytoma  tumor in the 3rd ventricle of his brain with malignancy.  And my daughter has a 17-year drug addiction that has led to psychosis. We'll start with my son.  My first-born baby.  He had a fall and hit his head & his symptoms led to a CT scan which has led to 8 months of appointments, scans, diagnoses, surgeries & gamma knife radiation.  He has lost cognitive abilities, memory, and well, a lot of his life.   Justin, This current journey of ours is so very difficult.  [...]

Hope for Troubled Minds: Compassion Amid the Chaos2021-10-03T16:10:01-04:00

Elegy for a Damn Good Mother: an Explanation by DeMaris Gaunt

So many of my friends and family are facing death these days. Our reactions vary widely based on what we experience in life, what beliefs we hold, and how willing we are to walk through the valley. This is a poem a friend of mine wrote as her mother was dying. It is one of the best expressions of going through stages of grief that I have ever read. Elegy for a Damn Good Mother: an Explanation by DeMaris Gaunt We all hated it that mom had a closet full of clothes with the tags still on shoes never worn a set of wedding China unused in the cupboards a diamond tennis bracelet worn approximately once a home built for entertaining never filled with guests drawers of blank stationery that never got the chance to deliver her hopes or wishes into the lives of those she called friends— and I [...]

Elegy for a Damn Good Mother: an Explanation by DeMaris Gaunt2021-06-30T18:19:59-04:00

“Joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” by Abigail C.

A baby born after a loss is referred to as a "rainbow baby," so we included this nod to our losses in my maternity photos.  Photo credits: A.McGrath Photography     “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” I have conflicting feelings about this verse (Romans 12:12), although it  has been my favorite for as long as I can remember. For one thing, I fail at every part of it. On the other hand, it contains everything I need to survive even the depths of despair.   I’m Abigail, and I am many things—a friend of Tony’s, a lifelong Christian, an occupational therapist, a mother of three, a wife, and hopefully a future entrepreneur (you know, in my free time). I have also struggled with an anxiety disorder since high school and more recently added PTSD to the mix.   Quick background: I started having panic attacks [...]

“Joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” by Abigail C.2021-07-08T06:27:04-04:00

My First Valentine, Forever: Patsy Lou (McPeak) Kurtz

Hey Mom, it's one snowy Valentine's Day around here. Crisp, clear, and sunny. It's a good day to lay around like an old yard dog and do a whole lot of nothing. That's what Briley is doing right now, perched like a princess beside me. I really miss you, Mom. I've lost count of the number of times I started to pick up the phone only to realize Verizon doesn't go to Heaven. It's been a terribly difficult year. A pandemic. Racial unrest. Political insurrection. You died two days after your birthday. I'm glad you were able to enjoy that vanilla milkshake that day and that you didn't suffer undue hardship. Your passing was much harder for us than for you, I suspect. Suddenly. Complications for COVID. I'm grateful I got to pray with you before you breathed your last. I thank God that both you and dad held onto [...]

My First Valentine, Forever: Patsy Lou (McPeak) Kurtz2021-02-14T12:38:06-05:00
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