Putting Out The Fire With Gasoline

Bitterness is like cancer. It eats upon the host. But anger is like fire. It burns it all clean. Maya Angelou When India’s admitted to the hospital in late April I understand instinctively she’ll be there a long time. (In fact, she stays forty-seven days.) The massive seizure she’s recuperating from has left her exhausted…

To And Fro

“So go ahead. Fall down. The world looks different from the ground.” Oprah Winfrey At the end of March, India had an EEG. Her head was swaddled in bandages so that she could wear her glasses without disturbing the wires. The scene reminded me of the old film, Dark Victory staring Bette Davis. It’s been…

St. Valentine’s Illness

Faith is a passionate intuition-William Wordsworth India wants to dance at her Valentine’s Dance. She hasn’t walked since December 23rd. When she tries she looks like a marionette being controlled by a drunk. Her limbs wobble, shake, her knees fold beneath her. Her father carries her up to bed at night. She goes down the…

A Way Of Seeing

A lot of life is dealing with your curse, dealing with the cards you were given that aren’t so nice. Does it make you into a monster, or can you temper it in some way, or accept it and go in some other direction?—Wes Craven As a child I’d adored my maternal Grandma, who lived…

An Island Never Cries.

“Dad, my body is a lot like the country of India. Parts of it are at war like India and Pakistan. And it has a lot of earthquakes.” India Taylor, September 2011 We’ve just returned from New York city where we spent five days. I visited the city twice in the eighties but mostly hung…

These Little Earthquakes

“Oh these little earthquakes. Here we go again. These little earthquakes. Doesn’t take much to rip us into pieces.”  Little Earthquakes, Tori Amos Usually I don’t allow myself to speculate whether India will grow out of her epilepsy or be cured. Nobody knows for certain. We don’t even have a real diagnosis. I figure astronomers know more…

Driving Miss Indy

It’s noon on a hot June day, there’s a lot of traffic downtown. My driving teacher, Dana is making me practice left turns.  At forty-two, I’m learning to drive. There’s sign on the top of the car reads: ABC Driving School. We’re at the intersection at Holland and Wellington. The light is green, and I’m…

The Greening Of Lesley

A year has passed since we moved into our little green house in Lascelles. This is the first time I’ve ever lived in the country. If I’d been told ten-years ago, I’d willingly move to the country, I’d never have believed it. The move was a spur of the moment decision made on instinct. I’ve…

A Strange Anniversary

August is a significant month for me. A year ago, I took the overnight bus from Ottawa to Toronto so I could stay with India at Sick Kids. The bus was only half-full, the majority of passengers were young men in their twenties. I slept across two seats. My legs bridging the aisle. It was…

Define Caregiver?

Late in June, Martin, a local social worker doing a survey on the needs of caregivers in the Outaouais region asked if he could interview me. He’d heard about our situation from a friend of a friend. This is how things work in our new village. We decided to meet In Wakefield at Cafe Molo’s…

Falling Star

For several years, my friends have been suggesting I write about my daughter, India’s struggle with epilepsy. Originally I rejected the idea. I wanted to keep my creative work separate from my life as a mother of a chronically ill child. In hindsight, I believe the reason I didn’t want to write about it is…