Desiring Wellness (the forgotten prayer)

Listen to this solo episode on podcast Wednesdays With Watson.

Dear God,

I don’t think I really meant it when I said whatever you wanted was cool with me. I hate that everyday is a struggle and that most days is just about getting to the next.

Haven’t I done enough?

Haven’t I surrendered enough?

Haven’t I been hurt enough?

Haven’t I loss too much already?

Why tease me only to break my heart into a million little pieces?

Why was my husband so awful and will I ever recover?

When will people stop dying or leaving me?

When will I be able to receive comfort without having to give up something in return?

How long can I go on speaking the words, that You are always there without questioning them myself?

Why did you build me up to tear me down?

Where is this peace You speak of?

Why don’t I have it? Why won’t you at least let sleep come at night?

Why do things change?

Why won’t it stop hurting?

Why can’t you just listen?

Why can’t you throw me a bone?

Will you come meet me in this precipice of life and death?

What did a 7 year old kid do to deserve that kind of abuse? Why didn’t you stop it?

Where were you with every punch for 12 years?
And why, why, won’t you let me just go? Your hold on me makes me miserable. It makes me mad that I can’t just go live my life and put this behind me.

What have I done, O, God, what have I done? Why are You silent?

Nothing can separate me from You, so why do I feel so lonely?

Lord, I feel like she just left me and he just hit me. All I want to do is sleep. I want the pain to go away. I do not know how to deal with this pain. And frankly, I am a little mad at you. I flip through Your Word looking for something to help, and it’s hard to believe it; it’s hard to find it; it’s hard to believe in the unseen. I have never blamed you for the things that happened, but I am confused why You are silent now?

At the end of the day, I do want what you want, but Lord, this is a desert place. I am at a cross roads, either with a choice to completely surrender to You or to abandon You, meaning that I would abandon everything I have ever learned, believed or taught about You. The fact that I feel this way about You right now terrifies me.

Please show up in a way that we humans deem miraculous when in fact, all you have to do is wave Your hand. Please wave your hand, Lord. Please heal me.

Very much like the doctor in the healing pool—I want to know why You haven’t healed. And then I got it. My power is in my wounds.

I do not pretend to understand You. I desire to understand You, but I don’t really know how to do that.

Lord, I don’t know how to surrender. Take this from me, please? Erase painful memories. Please teach me how to make You my everything. Please teach me the concept of constant abiding. Please write Your name on my heart so when the doubt comes back, it is branded; branded with my God who is more than enough.

Thank you for Your word. And even though I don’t understand You, I know You showed up here with me today.

Father, I pray that you would be my dad. I pray that You would speak. I pray that You would comfort me. I pray that You would heal me. I pray that nothing else in life would matter. I pray that I would live with reckless abandonment. I pray that I would live this way BECAUSE I don’t understand You. You are my King, You are my only hope. I beg that you come hold me, Lord. And that nothing else would matter.

Forgive my anger. I sure don’t understand any of this and for the first time ever am willing to admit that. But no matter what, I always come back to the same thing, You. I just don’t always know what to do with that. I am not used to anything or anybody sticking around. If you do not choose to heal, I ask that there would be power in my wounds.

Listen to this episode in it’s entirety on the podcast where you can find here. Do we even want to get well? Listen to the rest of the story, and how my choice to pursue healing changed everything.

Wednesdays With Watson is a passion project but I will spend the rest of my life giving you Hope. There is a lot of it waiting for you in podcast land!

Healing PTSD, Shea’s Story

PTSD, Jesus and You: Healing PTSD, Shea’s story (listen to podcast)

He fought on the battle- field, protecting America and can speak of the things he saw and experienced as he joined hundreds of thousands of soldiers who fought in recent wars. He can tell you how it affected him in ways most of us will never understand. But it was his life before

that point that started the fight of his life, as a young boy he was sexually abused and he speaks of the fall- out from that—he speaks of the confusion of the abuse, the confusion of sexual identity not helped by relentless bullying. He speaks of his first marriage, one that was ill-fated and short but that experience likely not helpful as he fought his demons. He tells of his second marriage and how he is part of the 1:7 men who experience domestic violence, I cringed when he told the story of his ex -wife stabbing him in the back with scissors. Violence in his home notwithstanding, he tells of the eight of his babies that are in heaven because of miscarriages.

He speaks of drug and alcohol abuse, and chasing peace, doing drugs that kept him wide open,likely his way of feeling all of that pain. He tells of being hospitalized by the military for two years as the demons finally caught up with him.

But Then He tells us about what Jesus did.

Today we honor Shea Watson and thank him for his service to the United States, and grieve with him as he tells of a TBI and then rejoice with him as he tells us about where he is today. To hear his entire story, head over to the podcast and here this amazing story of Hope and redemption. Shea embodies I Peter 2:9 and his story brings Hope to us all.

Click here to hear this unbelievable story of Hope and healing.

Living With PTSD, A Warrior’s Story (Angel’s Story)

Podcast Version? The whole story is on his 30 minute episode, click here.

“They don’t know that I go running home when I fall down, they don’t know who picks me up when no one is around, I drop my sword and cry for just a while, because deep inside this armor, the Warrior is a child” Twila Paris

He told me that he did not have a memory of his parents where violence was absent from their home. He easily told me of four or five places his father moved the family in an attempt to win the battle against the demons of violence that played out in their home. 

I met Angel when I was 17 years old. He and his older brother Joe, his younger brother Isaac, and younger sister Anna Marie were in the same children’s home as me. As you may imagine, sad stories were easy to find at a children’s home—but the Rivera’s story affected me then and now as a domestic violence survivor, their story has impacted me in a completely different way. I want to shout their story from the mountaintops because theirs is a story of hope through unimaginable pain. They have navigated the crooked roads of pain and trauma to find Hope. AnneMarie shared her perspective (blog) on my podcast Wednesdays With Watson, she was not there that day that changed everything.

I still remember meeting them at the children’s home, I remember the sound of the wings of bugs flickering inside the blue and white sign that read “Faith Children’s Home”. Angel was the leader of his pack, and we all knew it. By the time they arrived I was in my senior year and considered more of a staff member than one of the kids. I took the Rivera’s under my wing, and I will never forget the day they arrived. Their story is here and on the podcast, but suffice it to say there is so much we aren’t telling you. It is simply amazing that they even breathe air, even thirty years later.

Sometimes it does come down to the areas of life that don’t reside in gray: they are black or they are white. Angel told me that the argument that led to both of his parents’ deaths was over the color of a Bible they were purchasing. She wanted white because it signified purity, forgiveness and the hope of a new start; he wanted black because it would not show dirt.

They went to church and had Sunday lunch as a family.  Angel told me how the night before, police officers pulled his mom out of a ditch after she over-indulged in alcohol. It seemed that she’d had enough of the abuse in their home.

Angel said that his parents separated and left them with their father. But despite his mother’s attempts to hide from her abuser, the ex-narcotics agent had his ways of finding her. The fear of his rage drove her and the kids to a local shelter a few times. But after the cops brought her to her old home after that ill-fated night of drinking, she found herself right back in the line of fire.

The next morning, they decided to go to church and try to stay together as a family. Angel told me on the interview that his parents went forward for prayer that day. They went to the store to purchase those Bibles and that argument continued after arriving back at their home.

Angel told me that he and his brothers were outside playing basketball and listening to music. And then they heard it. As he was telling me the story, he struggled to find a word to describe what he heard. “It was like a light bulb breaking,” he said. 

He continued to tell the story of how, ultimately, those four children ended that day with both parents dead–one of them said his last words to Angel, before taking his own life. Angel explained how he tried to stop his dad from taking his own life.

He told me how they saw their mom lying in a puddle of blood. 

He told me that they still don’t know if he killed her or if she killed herself. 

He told me about his father throwing him across the room before jamming the gun three separate times before clearing the magazine and finally succeeding at a fatal self-inflicted gunshot wound. 

He told me his father’s last words over and over again:  “Tell your sister I love her and call your grandmother.”

That day changed their lives forever, and soon I was to meet all of them under that blue white flickering sign. Hope was on the way. Today, we bring you a story of Hope as Angel has a beautiful family and is still very much working out how this trauma affected him. His wife told me that every day is different but his PTSD is well managed through counseling and community.

My interview with Angel was not easy, but his strength and resiliency is to be commended and his faith, though different, still in tact. After the interview, he committed to more counseling as visiting the property, talking about it and handling all the emotions that came with it highlighted his need for help. Head to the podcast to her the full story, click here to listen or pick your favorite platform.

Holding On To The Unseen Hand

Podcast Version–Wednesdays With Watson Podcast

I met her under the blue sign that read “Faith Children’s Home”, it flickered with sounds of the the bugs in the sign. Countless goodbyes happened under that sign. By the time AnnMarie and her three brothers were dropped off under that sign, I had been at the children’s home for a couple of years, and had been assigned a big role in the welcoming of this family who’s story we saw on the news and read in the newspaper.

All four of them became orphans in the span of just a few minutes. The three boys saw things I would never articulate in the spoken or the written word, nobody should have to hear what thy saw.

I asked AnnMarie to come onto the podcast because I knew that she is still healing and that she would bring a perspective to people who are still working their way through trauma, even if it is thirty years later. Her answers are not predictable and her story brings hope to such tragedy. The reality of living with such trauma is so real, and we are here for it–we are here to help people heal. We believe that healing people help people. This blog and the podcast is the healing zone. Head over to the podcast to hear AnnMarie’s story and then her brother’s which will be published on Feb 24, 2021.

When I asked AnnMarie for a song she gave me 4Him’s “Why”

“I know down here I may not understand, but I won’t let go of the unseen hand, for it holds the reasons why”

Such hope, even when we don’t understand, don’t miss her story over in podcast land.

Special guest Anna Marie Rivera Alberts joins the Wednesdays With Watson podcast with her story of the crooked roads of trauma and pain that has led to a beautiful, albeit still difficult life. 

Show Notes for podcast-Wednesdays With Watson

Her family’s story made the news headlines. A visit to the scene of the tragedy yielded stories from neighbors who remember the story, 30+ years later.  We attempt to tell her story with the delicacy it deserves, yet listeners are still able find Hope in a story that most people would describe as unable to be redeemed. She has broken the generational trauma “curse”.

Hebrews 11:1
For Him “Why”–lyrics. quoted:
“I know down here, I may not understand, so I won’t let go of the unseen hand, because it holds the reasons why”

“What Love Really Means”–JJ Heller
“Who will love me for me, not for what I have done or what I will become, who will love me for me, will somebody show me what love really means?”

Podcast Engineer & Producer:  Amy Highland
Podcast Cover Art: Brittany Knight & Anna Roberts
Episode Graphics: Rebekah Millet
Episode Trailer: Rebecca Reed
Host: Amy Watson

**If you or someone you love is in crisis, reach out for help**
NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness.
Text 741741 for free crisis counseling

Call 211
Suicide Help Line:  800-233-8255
Domestic Violence Help Line: 800-799-7233
NAMI-800-950-6264 or text 741741
Additional support focusing on childhood trauma:

Moving Beyond The Wreckage, Lindsay’s story

Lindsay’s story, Living Beyond the Wreckage

PTSD, Jesus, and You

By Amy Watson

Prefer podcast version? Click here to pick your platform and listen.

I remember the first time I heard about the night the black ice in Indiana changed everything for her. I was at a Christmas party when I met her and while there was then and is now a special light in her eyes, it was obvious to me that she had been through some suffering. As part of the trauma tribe, we know our people.

Her story starts on a dark night in 2001. That day was as you would expect it to be in the middle of the winter in Indiana, and the midwest native was in charge of three children who sat in the back seat of her car. They were merely running an errand and getting ready for an important church event the next day.  When her car hit a patch of black ice, it  spun around 45 degrees stopping only when a utility pole demonstrated the laws of physics.  The driver’s side hit first and her glasses were thrown into a snowbank, making her already blurry vision even more so. Life would remain and probably still does remain a version of blurry as such trauma leaves it’s marks, and as you will hear, the body truly keeps the score.

She describes her life to me as “before and after that day” as a literal line drawn in the timeline of her life. Like most trauma, she remembers.

I remember smelling fire.

I remember screaming and yelling.

I remember holding him in my arms.

I remember hearing my dad’s voice.

I remember the ambulance ride and calling Brian, my youth pastor, from the ambulance.

I remember seeing my mom as I was wheeled into the hospital.

I remember all of the blood, and could barely see without my glasses, but the stitches in my face, I remember them. No one cleaned me up, no one washed my face…

I remember feeling scared, alone and helpless.

I remember when Brian, youth pastor at the time telling me that the little boy had died. I remember how he and my parents and I think my brother all triangulated around me, as if to catch me when I crumbled.

I remember wearing the Columbia fleece I had on in the accident for 2 days after.

I remember not being welcomed to attend the funeral.

I remember the sadness of the brokeness of that relationship.

I remember being asked not to attend the only grief group in the area because his parents and siblings also  attended there. I remember feeling less important, like my pain didn’t matter.

I remember I visited his gravesite at least once a week

I remember court cases and chaos for 3 years after I moved to Florida – finally ending in 2007

I remember convincing people I was moving to Florida to help my parents…

She remembers….. 

Head to the podcast to hear her hope and healing story, provides a place for you to listen or pick your platform.

The Interview:

Lindsay and I recorded this episode “Living Beyond The Wreckage” on December 27, 2020. I was super nervous about sharing her story as the podcast is the first place she told her story publicly. I was nervous about triggering her, and I was nervous that we would both cry. She was not triggered but we both cried. At the very end of the podcast, she pointed out to me that she was wearing the beanie that she wore on that day that changed her forever.

After The Interview:

On a whim, I shared the podcast with an organization called CADI (Cause Of Accidental Death or Injury). When I did that, the founder of that organization reached out to Lindsay and she is now part of their support group and told me “I thought it was only me, I can’t believe the amount of people that have been through this, I am healing.”

What Happened Next?

We don’t know what kind of reach Lindsay’s story has already had or will have, but the reality is her healing made this episode worth all the work, all the tears, all the promotion, all of the things–more than worth it. It will be fun to watch Lindsay continue to heal. I told her we would have her on update episode, that will be fun to hear towards the end of the season.

For her full story, head over to the podcast, it is also on youtube if that is your preferred method.

Her scripture resonates with us all, that is original artwork by Hollis Orr.

Her story is heartbreaking, but her Hope is unexplainable, and isn’t that the best kind of Hope?

Podcast Credits:

Executive Producer: Amy Highland

Main Editor: Crissy Loughridge

Original Logo: Anna Roberts

Podcast cover: Brittany Knight

Healer of all things: Jesus

Shattered Safety

Podcast version:

I was sitting beside her as we were celebrating her birthday, I picked the place, I think. I picked her up for our night of fun and as we drove east we chatted it up, and when we pulled into the parking garage, I didn’t even pay attention to where we parked, and as it turned out finding the car that night only served to intensify the stress of the terrifying events that would unfold.

My own trauma was almost always related to alcohol but I have never had the conviction that it is Biblically wrong when used appropriately, though generally not my thing, I was proud of my drink ordering skills when we arrived at our destination. I ordered us both an apple martini. The size of the opening in the martini glass and the green hue of the drink made it easy for evil to derail not only the night, but the rest of her life.

She grinned playfully, yet competitively as we sat down to compete in a game, and that is when two men flanked us. Neither of them seemed like a threat, both good looking and “in from out of town”, she sat on the end where she could put her drink down to play the game. He slipped behind her, and then beside her as he continued to chat. I was talking to the other dude and was watching her beat me in the game, but I didn’t care, we were having fun. It seemed like the birthday celebration was going off without a hitch until I looked over at her blank, dim and closing eyes, I knew something was horribly wrong. The guys disappeared and my blood ran cold.

She stared at me like she knew who I was but could not speak. I knew she had not had enough to drink to be so out of it and I knew I needed to get her out of there. She couldn’t string words together, but as I slung her arm around me to help her walk all she kept saying was “north, go north”—and that is how I found the car but not before I had to leave her by the elevators because her legs would not work.

I got her home and chalked the whole thing up to too much alcohol even though I had seen nothing to indicate that. My own trauma forced me out of her door and on my way home as fast as possible. I wish I would have stayed just 30 more minutes…..

Click here, for the rest of the story, or here.

OR return to the blog tomorrow for part 2 of the blog!

What If You Are Just A Vessel?

Hands of a potter. Potter making ceramic pot on the pottery wheel

Progress. I don’t even like the word, because like perfection, it seems incredibly illusive to me. What is progress, who defines it? Who deems a thing to have progressed? For the writer, in a vacuum, it is us—we are the ones that define progress, if we choose to stay in a vacuum. I am writing this piece for a Hope*Writers prompt, and without the prompt, I would not write a single word today. I honestly have no idea if any of this will make sense, but in reality, the words you have read already equals the amount increase over zero.  Progress? Maybe..

Peck, peck, ping! Peck, Peck, ping!!

I was probably ten or eleven and I sat at my favorite uncle’s desk and recorded my imaginary stories on that old school typewriter. I have loved words for as long as I can remember and have always taken to the pen in times that my brain looks like the losing screen of a Tetris game, sometimes torture and sometimes therapy, it is always worth it. But progressing to the point of starting often feels like climbing Mt. Everest.

Today is one of those days. Global events have me in a place where I can barely compose a complete thought much less pound out on my keyboard anything that remotely makes sense. But then there is that word again: progress. Thus, I sit and stare at my screen, clean it, change a load of laundry—anything to avoid writing.

But that writing prompt and the investigation into the word progress deserves examination and effort. After all, I call myself an author, I have won the awards and written for all the things, but when it comes to my manuscript, progress is not a word I would ever use, but am I right? I am calling it a manuscript and not a work in progress on purpose.

A few years ago, the ABC drama “Nashville” highlighted a song– even then it served as a call to me or maybe even a conviction that I am to be behind a keyboard directing my fingers to type words—and trust God for the rest. When contests, prompts, or deadlines force me behind this keyboard, I usually deem that day as having progressed at SOMETHING, but it is never my main manuscript—and guilt comes with that because I know I need to write this manuscript, or fix the approximately one hundred eighty five versions of it on numerous devices. But these lyrics speak to me when I think about giving up, when I throw away the pen or let all my computers die so I “can’t” write, these are the words I hear:

“What if you are just a vessel, and God gave you something special? It ain’t yours to throw away, it ain’t yours to throw away, cuz every time you open your mouth diamonds come rolling out, it ain’t yours to throw away”

We are all gifted in our own ways and whether or not God gave me something special in the ability to write or if He is calling me to learn to write, progress is obeying Him.

Because what if, what if I am just a vessel?

What if God gave me something special?

It is definitely not mine to throw away.

So, on this day, I deem any words that I write progress, and I call it obedience too. Progress is obedience, and like anything else obedience isn’t always fun, but always right and always worth it. And as far as that vacuum, if you are reading this and are a writer and in one, get out of it and Hope Writers is a great way to do that!

Sweeping Change

I recently heard an expression “sweep the corners” and now I notice every single spec of dirt in every corner of my house. As It turns out that fancy robot vacuum doesn’t get the corners, it requires focused attention, and wow did the corners of my house need some attention! I assaulted them with the broom I had to find, and when I was almost done, my heart was pricked and that still small voice:

“Now, what about those corners in your heart?”

Welcome to the brain of a nonfiction writer.

I grabbed my pen, Bible and journal and headed out to my hammock that has served more as a woodshed lately. Staring into the sky, I remembered the last time that still small voice prompted something big as I laid in that hammock on a spring day in 2020. My pandemic panic prompted a question: “what now, God?” and the Wednesdays With Watson podcast was born. However, on this day, God was asking the question and I understood the connection between my question and His. I feel the responsibility of getting behind that microphone, probably more than I could ever articulate. I began to go to the places in my heart I assumed were cleaned with normal heart keeping, thinking those areas were well tended. I was wrong. My heart was dirty, my daily robotic attempts of confessing sin had failed, very much like that robot vacuum in my house.

You know what isn’t fun? Sweeping out the dark corners of your heart.

Names, faces, places and circumstances played like a film strip in my mind. I wrote down the names of people I needed to forgive and was shocked at the length of that list. I vacillated between thinking those corners weren’t dirty to thinking they were King David kind of dirty, Psalm 51 kind of dirty, Bathsheba kind of dirty. I found the familiar scripture:

V7: “purify me with hyssop, and I will be clean, wash me and I will be whiter than snow”

David was in a spot for sure and maybe his dirt filtered out of the corners and into his behavior- my heart sunk at that thought. As if on auto pilot I prayed the verse a Sunday school teacher taught me decades ago

V10: “create in me a clean heart, renew a right spirit within me”

It is easy to read a devotional, say a quick prayer and call myself of lover of Jesus, but in these precious exchanges, I understand the price Jesus paid so that I could sweep the corners of my heart with a simple prayer asking for a renewed spirit and forgiveness. The gravity of the ease of such a transaction rocks me to my core. I am so grateful that my best friend gave everything so that my heart could be clean.

David asked to be washed with hyssop, a bitter plant used for cleansing in that day. He understood that cleaning his heart was going to be painful, as the cleansing process almost always is. But he chose discomfort so that he could step into his familiar standing with God as a man after the father’s heart. I understand that my sin separates me from deep commune with the Star of my story, Jesus–Who is everything to me.

Sweeping is hard work, acknowledging the pile of dirt is usually of my own making is excruciating. But I will sweep on, because I am not called to be comfortable, I am called to be courageous and in these times, this new year, courage looks a lot like sweeping the corners of my heart.

Thank you, Jesus for cleansing me and making me whiter than snow. Please let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be pleasing in Your sight. (Psalm 19:14)

Memory Keeper

Memory Keeper (Podcast Version)

She stood out of everyone’s way as if she were hiding, I would learn later that she was hiding, but stood patiently waiting to talk to me. I had been in Clearwater almost a year and was very plugged into church and was on the teaching rotation for our life group.

We exchanged pleasantries and then she pulled out the big guns when she started talking about my Jacksonville Jaguars. She had been paying attention, it was clear she didn’t miss much when it mattered to her, and simply put, I mattered to her. I admit, I felt the warmness in my chest that she’d paid attention to my not so quiet obsession with the worst NFL team in the history of football. But she recalled other things she’d heard me say to other people or from that teaching chair in that circle of women. One thing was clear, she paid attention, and she remembered. Her memory is annoying, mostly, but never without merit, and mostly useful.

After that day, Crissy was diligent in her pursuit of our friendship and slowly and without even knowing it, she joined the inner circle, the ones with 2AM friends, the league of five -star friends. We slowly got to know each other, but by the spring of the next year, we went on an epic trip to California where we (and by “we” I mean Crissy) drove a good portion of the Pacific Coast Highway—a bucket list item for me and still one of the most amazing experiences I have ever had. We were essentially inseparable that summer, eating out way too much, staying up way too late chatting and a lot of uninvited knocks on my door for what was essentially a welfare check when I wouldn’t answer my phone.

In due time Crissy asked me if I would like to move in with her, “for three months” she said, I agreed, which shocked both of us. But before I completely moved out of my apartment, I was already hospitalized because the trauma finally demanded ALL of my attention and so for five days, the doctors tried to help me pay attention in a locked hospital ward. Crissy was at that hospital every time they would let her. While I was there, she finished moving my stuff out of my apartment and called in support from my other friends, of which she was the newest. She also was the one that first read the death threat emails. This part makes me sad because of her gift to remember, she will never be able to forget what she read in those emails. True to form, though, she stepped in and because of her we got a restraining order against the man who had vowed to love me and never hurt me.

I got out of the hospital and life got HARD, I am not even sure there is a word in the English language to express how difficult that season was. To say that season of life was difficult for Crissy too is a massive understatement. We got through it though and those “three months” turned into six years! We moved and started a business together in those six years and today, her friendship, her sisterhood is one of the most precious gifts ever entrusted to me.

It has been twelve years and Crissy and I are family now. She lives next door to me and her family is my family and not unlike every other human on this planet, our lives have been turned upside down in 2020. I found myself with a bunch of extra time on my hands but a business and career in peril–the writing words would not come. I had so much momentum coming out of 2019 too. It seemed every time I sat down at my computer all the words and clarity flew across the keyboard. I’d met an interested agent, placed second in a large writing contest and could see my name on a publishing contract.

Enter March, C19, and ridiculous uncertainty that ranged from my livelihood to navigating anticipatory grief of Crissy’s mama, who is like mine too. She is in late- stage Alzheimer’s.

Saint Patrick’s Day ended with twelve phone calls, each of them harder than the one before. I had to furlough my entire team—still one of the hardest things I have ever done. My heart hurt and all the words dried up, there was no typing, most days I never opened my laptop. But the words seem to come audibly and I knew I wanted to remember this season (2020) in my life, and the Wednesdays With Watson podcast was born.

As part of my tribe, Crissy is one of my beta listeners and after listening to one episode she came to me and sheepishly said to me “that isn’t how that happened”; at first my previously noted annoyance of her insane memory drove my negative response to her. But I also understood I needed to know what really happened in those days and so I asked the shyest person on the planet if she would come on to the podcast, and serve as my memory keeper. She agreed, and I was shocked. We sat down to record and the pain of those days was fresh. As she recounted some of the things I remembered incorrectly, I had to deal in the real, AGAIN, and I was not there for it, you can hear it in my voice on the podcast.

The Memory Keeper podcasts are hard for me to listen to, and in fact, haven’t since I sent them to my producer to edit and publish. But they remain two of the most popular episodes because people want to know how to help those they love. But something weird happened too as a result of subsequent processing of some things I didn’t remember:

More healing. I never saw it coming.

And the keyboard is getting a work out again. My old manuscript needed healing and the new one is reflecting mine.

All because someone cared enough to talk to me about a stupid football team.

Look for Crissy to be a co-host on the podcast, everyone needs her gifts; I need her memory. So, do you.

This picture, taken last summer, is a perfect snapshot of the memory keeper.