But for the Grace of God

The first time my mom attempted suicide, I was eight years old and my dad was at work.  My older brother and sister and I were home with her, when she announced that she had just taken “a whole bunch of pills.”  I remember the ambulance being called and my teenage brother getting her to drink mustard water to try to get her to vomit.  She was driven away in an ambulance to have her stomach pumped.  I've written about my mom before in a prior post a few years back, but something happened recently that has her fresh on my mind.


Honoring Jaime


Today is my birthday.  It’s supposed to be “my day,” but I’d like to share it with someone special.

I recently learned that I had a birthday twin.  Her name was Jaime Guttenberg.  If that name sounds familiar, it’s because she was in the news a few years ago.

Juneteenth


On Thursday, June 17, 2021, President Biden signed legislation which was overwhelmingly passed by the House and Senate, making Juneteenth a federal holiday.  Juneteenth commemorates the end of slavery by marking the day that enslaved people in Texas learned that they were free.  This was on June 19, 1865, two and a half years after Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation took effect.  For obvious reasons, word was slow to spread to people who were enslaved.  Texas was the last state in which the state government was still permitting slavery, in resistance to the federal law.  Juneteenth has been celebrated since 1866, and is also known as Jubilee Day, Emancipation Day,and Black Independence Day. 

Cemetery Clean Up



The Bay City Oddfellows Cemetery is a very special place to me.  As a kid, when things got rocky at home, I’d walk to the cemetery to sort my thoughts.  I spent hours there alone.  To some people this might seem odd, but for me it was a great thinking place.  One day some grazing deer were just a few feet from me and I sat quietly as we watched each other.  

Time for a Choice

In 1999, I spent four days in Washington, DC where I lobbied for children’s mental health parity on Capitol Hill.  It was November but it felt like early fall, with balmy weather, cool evenings, and brightly colored leaves making a swirling path for our ten-person group from Oregon.  Life felt light and hopeful.  It was a magical experience.

But for the Grace of God

The first time my mom attempted suicide, I was eight years old and my dad was at work.  My older brother and sister and I were home with her...