It’s My Birthday & I Can Do Hard Things

Hi Darling Ones,

Today is my birthday! I’m 51. Today also marks three months since the stroke that upended my life.

Not to be a total downer, but I’m glad I’m done being 50. It was not a banner year for me. I had a stroke. My Dad died. My uncle Danny died. A lot of other bad stuff happened, but this isn’t about my avalanche of woe.

This is about doing hard things.

In the days and weeks following my stroke I was fond of shouting, “WHY CAN’T ANYTHING EVER BE EASY?” I said it a lot, because everything is so hard. Getting a cup of water. Walking to the bathroom. Going to bed. Everything is hard, and it’s made even harder by my floppy scoops

Yesterday I spilled an entire 24 ounces of iced cold brew coffee on the kitchen floor. This was coffee I cold brewed myself. It was all iced and Cinnamon Toast Crunch creamed to perfection when my floppy scoop betrayed me.


No. I cleaned up the ocean of coffee with nary a peep, because I finally recognize that I can do hard things now. I do them all the time.

The epiphany came during my final at-home PT evaluation.

Rob, the PT evaluator, kept asking me to do things I was sure I could not do.

“Okay,” he said. “I want you to put your arms out, hands on top of each other, and lean over to touch my hands.”

“I don’t think I can do that,” I said. “I’ll try though.”

Over & over I did the hard thing. I stood up and turned in a circle with my eyes closed. I did stair touches without holding on to either banister. I walked across the room with my cane.

Rob was so proud of me and so was I.

If this stroke has taught me anything it’s that I can do a lot or hard things.

This might be the hardest thing.

I need help. Financially. Right now I’m more than $21,000 in debt due to the stroke & the newly diagnosed diabetes & the diabetic retinopathy & macular edema. I’ve said before I am precariously middle-class and was one medical catastrophe away from financial ruin.

Here I am.

Accepting and asking for help is hard. I’m very much an “I can do it myself” person. I’ve gotten better at this since the stroke. Asking for money is a whole new kind of hard. I thought asking Sister #4 to do my laundry that included dirty underpants was tough. That’s nothing compared to this.

I need help, Darling Ones. My family set up a Go Fund Me to try to ease some of my financial anxiety.

As you know, I’ve been freelancing for the past fourteen years. There’s no FMLA. No sick leave. If I don’t work, I don’t get paid.

Things have been rough.

I lost three clients because of the stroke. One of those projects was slated to bring in $10K by July.

So I need help. If you have the means to throw some dollars my way, I would be ever so grateful. If you don’t have the means, spreading the word of my need is helpful too!

Thank you so much. Y’all really are the best.


P.S. I’m going to be sending out Thank You cards to all donors I can get addresses for. It’s good writing practice & gives me a chance to use my million stamps. Send me your address if you want one. I promise not to stalk you. I can’t even drive yet. Plus, I’m an angry hermit.

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1 Comment

  1. heather 06.Jun.23 at 10:00 am


    I also love that you are asking for help. You’re so fucking strong and this just proves it. Thank you for letting us support you. You deserve it.

    Now go eat some cake. 🎂


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