The gift of life

“So, have you been working?” The familiar stranger asks me.

“Yes.” I have the most arduous, rewarding, terrifying job. I keep long hours, toiling away into the night. My position demands innovation, dedication and self direction to the highest degree. Perseverance in constant times of high stress, all the while remembering my mission. I’m saving a life; my life, I’m striving to create a home; to find my humanity and beauty.

I have learned that there is no gift more sacred than that of good health. As I continue along my own journey of healing, I have been wanting to contribute to others’ healing as well. This holiday season, a portion of your gift made here will not only brighten my life, but also that of three other individuals with chronic illness.

Thank you for helping me help them.

Make it a gift now through Thanksgiving to help Savannah afford needed medical equipment and supplies. Five dollars is all it takes to offer the precious gift of hope and healing.


A Slice of Life

Meet Savannah! She and her mother, Sarah, have been selected as recipients for the THANKS 4 Giving: A Slice of Life!

Here is their story:

“I am a single mom of my 15 year old daughter. Savannah had a severe adverse reaction to a Gardasil vaccine 38 months ago. She was healthy prior but has suffered seizures, fainting, her immune system became compromised, she has constant severe pain and migraines. Her digestive system shut down and we are still trying to keep weight on as she is healing. I quit my job to care for her at home 24/7.” 

This holiday season, you can make a difference in this family’s world! Give a $5 gift here, and you will be entered to win a delicious pie, topped with a generous helping of compassion!

Thank you in advance from Sarah, Savannah and me!

Easy as PIE!

THANKS 4 Giving–It’s easy as PIE! Make a $5 gift starting today throughout the holiday season and you will be entered into a drawing to win a delicious pie from @SweetCottage! More important than what you’ll receive, however, is how much you be giving. Three individuals with serious chronic illness will receive equal gifts of the total given by you! You’ll be able to help individuals who may not otherwise be able to afford medical treatment, food and other essentials!

Help make sure others get a slice of life this holiday season!

My goal is $2000. We’re all in this together!

Stay tuned for more info about the individuals you’ll be supporting! 

Happy holidays!

2012: The End of My World

All the way across the room, the mirror is calling me a liar. “You’re no human. You’re already gone.” From beneath the guise of a dimmed nightlight the hollows of my remaining humanity gawk at me. The overcoat of dark draping the exoskeleton clinging to the counter is intentional. A mostly severed protection mechanism leaves me exposed to this tarnished cadaver with a beating heart. This right now could be worse, and it most certainly would be under the cruelty of light. 

My knobby knees wobble and I feel the toothpicks that are my ribs heaving, scanning this somehow unfamiliar territory for more; more oxygen, more nourishment, a lifeline affixing me to the veins of life. The skewers of my bones stab me with their desperation for oxygen.

Lacking insulation, even the creak of air within is bone on bone scraping. My mother steadies me, pulling my translucent leathery corpse to the toilet seat. My pelvis grinds into the unyielding surface; but amid paroxysms of terror translating as nothing you’ve ever known, I don’t make a peep. 

What remains of thighs hangs dejectedly from my femurs; rotting flesh abandoning the pillars in which they rely. As deftly as possible, she arduously dresses me and I can neither comply not resist while the cotton strikes me like a sleeved hatchet across my whole emptyness.

The fine fur accompanying malnourishment transmits to me the same sickly song. “PAIN. You don’t get to be this pain and be anybody after.” The dying continues, much in the way I used to imagine beautiful manifestations to come to be; swaddled in the pearlescent inside of a seashell. The insides of my shell are anything but. The arcs of my hips thrust angrily against sandpaper skin. They, like the amalgamation of battle that I’ve become, beat furiously against the confines of their torturer. Given a scalpel my organs wouldn’t hesitate to gut me like a carp, if only for the illogical, ethereal moment to escape pain before losing it all. 

Third Wheel

“What color are my eyes today?”

“Green,” he says, lending his smile to me for the first time yet today. 

“There you are,” I say, watching the edges of his being recoil, reflexively retreating inward like a box turtle. Elbows balanced atop denim, he sinks his cheeks into palms, tugging the sleeves of his shirt skyward. A constellation of faint freckles trickles down his biceps. I try not to notice. Just like a dozen other details orienting me to the here and now, the web of capillaries tangling his sun hazel irises, the fray pattern in the hem of his pants leg, the dollops of light that play across his feet in between the shifting pine needles.

And I am trying to notice, too. I am trying to immerse myself so intricately into this space and time to be present in a way I worry I am no longer capable of; to sync with the profound simplicity of everything this moment is. But mostly I’m aching to crawl inside this snapshot for what it is not. But, really, who am I fooling?
For, just as viscous color and autumnal breezes poke at me, the evergreen needles above thread through me a similar shade of verdant veins, dragging me bak to the battlefield. Veins punctured and poked again and again by the kind of needles that don’t sprout. 

And then, somehow, the hues and picturesque architecture framing what just minutes ago was a bedazzled view, cracks. The grainy texture of the bench supporting us, red tiled roofs arching proudly taller and taller remain, but they don’t matter. Even the chirp chirp chirping of flighted feathers seems superfluous and burdensome. Because I am no longer here. I cannot be here while I am with the pain. 


“Maybe I’m just not cut out for this life thing,” she murmurs. The verdant of her eyes goes glassy, rivulets poised to spill over her pasty cheeks. The majority of her, from the coil of her untamed curls to the bluish tint trapped beneath her toenails, broadcasts desperation. 

She’s trapped inside her torture chamber of a body, this is nothing new. Somehow though, the drip, drip, dripping of the kitchen faucet, escape of sunlight falling from the sky, seem to pantomime the urgency radiating from her. We’ve got to save her. I have to save her, trumpets at me. 

“I can’t keep doing this,” she hiccups tears, converging at her chin. Her demands to the universe, god, the hazy sun, anything to make it better, to decrease the calamity knifing her nerves, gain momentum. I sit inches away, rooted by my own inadequacies to soothe her. Spindly arms wrapped around torso, she folds her knees beneath herself and begins to rock back and forth. The parallel motion swings like a pendulum, a metronome counting down to some abysmal crash. 

A Kiss of Maybe

Erin Parochka
He kissed me not unlike a sloth moving among the treetops. With mild indifference, his mouth greeted and bid farewell to mine as if to say maybe you, maybe somebody else. The casual possibility possessed him, juxtaposing the gripping fervor I infused into my everything. Dichotomy ran through me with petulant precision; I was either engrossed entirely with the task before me or blind to its existence. 

So I kissed him back like I wrote my thesis, like I calibrated my words to children; with pensive integrity and unrelenting commitment. With every sentimental embrace. I was symbolically etching “yes! yes! yes!” across a chalkboard tentatively suggesting “maybe…”

Not impossible to imagine, then, given our mismatched tempos, that I was not the only name scrawled lazily in impermanence across his mind. Surprising though, was the malignant cruelty with which he yanked me like a plug from the wall of now, tomorrow or ever again. 

When my own body was poised to pull the electricity to my pulse, he changed his casual ambiguity to “NO!” He had hummed along to my tune of love, but when death, my demise loomed ever closer, his absence sang “No!” with haunting clarity. Asking someone to come to you as you prepare to die somehow blatantly misses the point.

That woman hellbent to pay homage to her proclamations but privy to mediocre, static respect, did in fact perish. The person amenable to taking whatever “love” a man could be troubled to pass out like charity is gone. In her place, breathes a woman who is eager to accept (and give) love, nothing more nor nothing less.