Call the Rosario Strait curtain for nature’s theatrical scenery on this stage. Canada is on the canvas of the backdrop

What would you put in your time capsule for the pandemic?

A time capsule for 2020 starts with a face mask. N95, surgical, cloth, bandana…

Bandanas always remind me of a skit from summer camp. Clustered by cabins, we sit with our group on the grassy knoll rather than the splintery and hard benches which make ten minutes feel like forever. On skit night, counselors and brave campers take to the wooden-planks on the stage of the amphitheater. The backdrop is a curtain of velvety deep blue sea. Camp is rich in skit tradition and this skit is a tried-and-true favorite; invariably, it gets performed every year. It starts when a…


Laurel Braitman, #writingmedicine

It’s called Reflective writing. I participate in a virtual writer’s workshop led by Laurel Braitman. Laurel holds the official titles of PhD, Director of Writing and Storytelling, in a program known as Medicine and the Muse in the Center for Biomedical Ethics. She is also Adjunct Professor, Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine at Stanford University’s School of Medicine. (Whew!) She tells it with so much more eloquence and concision here: www.laurelbraitman.com

Why is this important for you to know? Because once a week, I sit down with her, and many others, in the comfort of my own abode and am…


What is Mutual Pretense? It is when everyone knows the party is over and the patient is dying, but all parties involved act otherwise. It is a masquerade of hope. It is denial and it is a burden. We owe medical honesty, awareness, and agency to our dying. This can be done with love. Its time to get off the carousel of unawareness. Exit this way.

“It’s called a carousel. It lets us travel the way a child travels, around and around and back home again to a place where we know we are loved.” Mad Men. S:1, E13

He was dying, and fast — but neither of us knew it. Ten delicate, long fingers that could easily snap puzzle pieces into place just a few weeks earlier no longer flushed back with…


AUTUMNAL EQUINOX

Usually, the equal light, half day, half night, falls on Ewan‘s birthday
September 22nd

It’s odd — not this year

Not this second sepia season of shawls and sipping tea without him

A season of soccer and sneakingly early sunsets

When school sets in and maple trees drop their helicopter seeds as they rub their tired eyes and fall to sleep

It’s odd — my son is not here

To scoop up tawny leaves baked by the last of sun’s amber light

When the crunch underfoot is muted by a child’s laughter

Leaves billow up into the air and mist…


Ewan’s Heart Art

Izabela Cruz is the first ever recipient of this new award, for her remarkable compassion, connection, and caretaking for Ewan and his family during his illness. It will be given in future years to other au pairs who go above and beyond the call of duty.

You know the expression, “they broke the mold after making her?” In this case it’s more like, they made a new mold inspired by her.

As a result, Ewan will be indirectly responsible for $1000 worth of good being done every year around the world — directed by the brains of the most selfless…


“that split second, that thin line between breathing and not breathing”

Pacha

I look out the window and cry. I see three bunnies grooming themselves and each other. Having watched my own child die, being present and bearing witness to his final breath, I agree with Barbara.

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/03/how-barbara-bush-decided-she-was-pro-choice/585589/

I believe Ewan’s soul left his body in that split second when he died. His soul left and only the body remained. And I believe I know where his soul went.

It is on our back porch. A part of his soul lives in a caramel-colored bunny that is chewing through the railing…


Half Birthdays and Other Anniversaries After Loss

With one heavy foot forward and one foot dredging backwards, it is difficult to be in the present. I didn’t realize, until midmorning, that today is was Ewan’s half birthday. On this March 22nd, time marches forward toward another birthday Ewan will not know. I didn’t make the connection with the date because I was so busy looking backwards: a year ago today, he left the house never to come home.

Ewan had been sick and lethargic for over a week. His condition was worsening. I knew why but there was nothing I…


An Open Love Letter To My Little One

Hi Ewan,

You can tell I’m having a hard time today. It’s been a difficult week, too. I don’t know if it’s because we’re going into a new season without you. Or because of the memories of where we were a year ago. Your cancer was found in full-swing on March 22nd and you had to go back into the hospital. You didn’t come home, again. Not until I picked your ashes up from the QFC, near the bakery department (a kind woman from the funeral home met me there). …


Dragon escaping Gringott’s. Photo Credit: Jenny Harrington

My one and only fan mail letter.

Back in January of 2017, I wrote one letter. I was too tired to write anything else. My son was deep in treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukemia and he was deeply in love with Harry Potter. So, I penned a thank you note to JK Rowling.

His treatment exhausted us both to the bone. But the one of the biggest lessons I learned in our experience battling his cancer was the importance of gratitude. Gratitude for every little thing: meals delivered, LEGO sets sent, empathy, comfort in the form of hot tea or…

Jenny Harrington

Author, researcher, mother living on an island near Seattle. Now, notably, an international bunny smuggler. Find her struggles and snuggles at www.teamewan.com

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