Video Narration of “By Your Side”

May I have your attention please! I am tickled pink to present to you the first ever Tick Talk video! Not only did Patrick Plum organize this beautifully, but he also breathed new life into my words with his poignant narration. My elation over this collaboration is truly undescribable. Much gratitude to Patrick and the artists featured. Enjoy!

Please visit my link for the text to “By Your Side.”

“Remember Not to Forget” artistic collaboration by E.b. Fromkes, integrating writing by Briana Beaver

The Cardboard Box

Written by guest blogger, Karlyn Millu-Maxon

A box. A small cardboard box addressed to me. My husband brings it straight-away to our bedroom, my place of solace and safety. After seven years battling the physical, emotional, and spiritual demons that chronic neurological Lyme disease has unleashed, I am for the most part a prisoner of our bed. 

Although I prepare for battle against these demons on a daily basis, I struggle to leave my cocoon lest the onslaught of the toxicity of the world brings me to my knees, unable to walk, unable to think, unable to speak. Un-able.

    But this cardboard box. For the past nine weeks, symptoms of neurological Lyme disease reared its destructive head, rendering me bed-bound. I meditate pleadingly. I medicate freely. The familiar dread that I will not again – not ever – be okay shakes me to my essence.

    The box. It thrills me to receive packages in the mail and revel in the little treasures that my husband or I order to brighten our days. This cardboard box is no exception. My husband places it on the bed where I am resting. I wait for the energy to walk to my desk for the scissors I need to reveal the contents. 

Energy summoned, I attempt to pull the little box a bit closer to me, to distract me from the body in which I am imprisoned. I literally cannot bring it closer. An insidious odor has been slowly weakening me. This cardboard box has this much power over me. I cannot sit up and use my cane to traverse the twenty feet from my bed to the desk to retrieve the scissors. That little cardboard box rendered me incapable to stand, walk, think, talk. Why? How? The typically benign smell of drab brown cardboard did me in. I weakly call out to my attentive, intuitive husband. He knows my plight with only a glance. He banishes the little box to the bowels of the cupboards in our garage two flights down. He slays it like a knight in Lyme-aware armor.

    So sensitive to little things that hopefully most people without a devastating disease experience, I add this little cardboard box to my long list of kryptonite. I believe I have super powers; everyone does. Today, though, this warrior is defeated. I still have arrows in my quiver, but this day I cannot summon my inner powerful archer to slay dragons. This is not that day, but another day soon to be sure.

    The cardboard box? Weeks later I confront it in its prison deep in the garage. The smell strikes fear as olfactory memories transport me back to the physical and emotional pain. I gingerly open the box. I find a pack of wildflower seeds that attracts butterflies. With much concentration, I finally recall ordering these seeds. These seeds of potential.

 Flowers and butterflies. Butterflies symbolize personal transformation and metamorphosis. I will lovingly plant these wildflowers when I am physically able and remind myself that the Wild Woman still resides deep within me. I will wait until she awakens from her Lyme spell. I will invite the butterfly to dance and take flight, find refuge and sustenance in the wildflowers. Lyme disease demons do not carry enough power to separate the miracles of our Mother Earth from me. I am the flower. I am the butterfly.

  The little cardboard box? A potent reminder of the depth of my vulnerability. And, a perfect example of all that I took for granted…before Lyme.

A Boquet of Forks

“So, what is it like saving your own life?” The words swirl curiously in the autumn breeze and seem to finally perch in the golden halo canopy.

I feel the swell of my breath, chest expanding like a metronomic accordion against the fabric of my jacket.

“It is like knowing with absolute certainty that you need a fork. You must have a fork. All that you can find, though, are a million knives.”

He considers this, no doubt, preparing to adventure to the nearest retailer of flatware. Or so I hope. I had been hoping, for what seemed like an interminable lifetime for somebody else to deliver to me a personal antidote; The restorative miracle to put me back together again. I cast my wishes out, fickle pennies into a tumultuous tide time and time again.

It is only now, I’m realizing on the most profound level the validity of what I had been subconsciously telling myself for decades. The only trusted methodology for retrieving a sterling bouquet of forks, is to pluck them one by one, with my very own fingers. Instead of crumpling in the shadow of this penetrative truism, I, for the first time bloom. And then, I set off for forks.

Whatever it Takes

How far would you go to save your life? How many sleepless sunrises would you greet? How many needles to your vein could you stand? How many doctors? How much courage would it take to keep blood flowing to your heart?

As much as it takes. Her resiliency is relentless. She is young, determined, humble, feisty and ready to begin. Again. So. Ready.
Give hope. Give health. Give life. This holiday season, help Betsy Covey, Savannah and I get our slice of life.

Boost your dollar times three by making a gift before Thanksgiving day.
Thank you!

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!