Posted in (All Posts), Autism, Family

Meet Julia!

I wish this had been a thing when my little one was little herself. She was diagnosed with ASD twelve years ago at age 2.5. Julia, as most people have heard by now, is the newest member of the Sesame Street gang.

The role of Julia is played by Stacey Gordon … a Phoenix-based puppeteer who … has a [13-year-old] son with autism, and, before she started her family, was a therapist to youngsters on the spectrum.

It’s about time Sesame Street saw the introduction of an autistic muppet!

Continue reading “Meet Julia!”

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Posted in (All Posts), Family

My Bandit Brother Justin ♥ Gone Too Soon

safe_imageEvery family has that one special, magnetic, irreplaceable person… a person who lights up a room and always brings joy into every situation, a person adored by so many, one who never had an unkind word and who just loved being in the heart of the family that loves him so very much.

Our family lost this special person on May 11, 2016. At 22 years of age, Justin was just entering adulthood, and he was taken from us too soon.

Justin, how can we go on without you? With your energy, your life force and your joie de vivre, you inspired us all to come together and to have fun. I’ll never forget your big laugh and your goofy grin.

Rest in peace, little brother. I can’t wait to see you again and to play some ‘Cards Against Humanity’ on the other side. Love you.

Your big sis

It has been nearly impossible for me to write this post. My baby brother died two months ago, and I’m just now putting pen to paper.

Justin was a fresh-faced and boistrous kid of just barely 22 years when he decided to enter a popular half-marathon race in our city, Vancouver, Canada. It was a beautiful, warm spring day: Sunday, May 1st. Justin, his aunt and two sisters all entered the race together. The only problem was, Justin wasn’t registered for the race, a practice known as “banditing.” He ran without a number alongside others who did.

Continue reading “My Bandit Brother Justin ♥ Gone Too Soon”

Posted in (All Posts), Family, Homelessness, O Canada 🇨🇦, Personal Anecdotes

The Lights are on, but…

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the concept of “home.”

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Reynolds’ House, 1970s

I had a really chaotic childhood. I spent my years moving from place to place, relative to relative, making and then losing friends one after the other. I didn’t know where I would be from one year to the next. I don’t actually know how many different homes I have had in my life. It would be impossible to count, but I’ve just made a mental list of 30 places where I can remember living since I was four. There are probably at least ten more that I can’t remember before that. The concept of “home” to me has always been a tenuous one. Continue reading “The Lights are on, but…”

Posted in (All Posts), Autism, Family

Zoë’s Locks of Love

 

 

Last week, my daughter stunned me. She has been growing her hair out for quite some time, and it was starting to get pretty long. I have been telling her all along that she needs to take care of it if she wants it to look nice. She is growing up, and she can’t rely on me to always make sure it’s tangle-free and looking good. She has really risen to the challenge, and I’ve been pretty impressed.

IMG_5879Then, last week, she announced to me that she wanted to donate her hair to Locks of Love, a non-profit organization that provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children Continue reading “Zoë’s Locks of Love”

Posted in (All Posts), Family, Fiction, Personal Anecdotes

I Remember

This is a story that I wrote in 1990, when I was 15. It was published in a student anthology at the time.

 

They were right when they said it would be different after grandpa died. It’s been a year and my life hasn’t – and never will be – the same.

image5My grandpa was a kind, loving, handsome man. He loved music and dancing. He loved to sing in the church choir every Sunday. But, above all, he loved his grandchildren.

The youngest of 12 children, he grew up just outside of Vanderhoof, British Columbia on a little farm in Chilko. His parents had emigrated from Ireland hoping for a better life in Canada. Times were rough, but they managed. They named their youngest son Arthur Percival (Percy, for short.) Continue reading “I Remember”

Posted in (All Posts), Family, Rants

Wow, you look so much better (with makeup)

“Anything that you do to increase the self-consciousness of a teenage girl makes you a bad mother.” Hanna Rosin, writer at The New Yorker

4b831ba2b283257962ca949494503aebThis past Halloween, I dressed my daughter as a mime. We had gone to the costume shop together, and I was utterly appalled at the costume choices available to young women and girls. Every single thing she picked up was some hyper-sexualized version of a tired old archetype. Of course, there were the old standbys: sexy nurse, sexy police officer, sexy maid, sexy schoolgirl, but this year, it seemed even worse than usual. Perhaps that is because my little girl is rapidly coming of age and I was horrified at the idea of her wearing any of them. Continue reading “Wow, you look so much better (with makeup)”