dear reader

Eleven years ago today, when Calvin was just six, I wrote my first blog post. I didn't really know what a blog was, but despite my ignorance, Michael encouraged my endeavor to create one. He suggested I simply dive in. I did, and it was fun.

My initial hope in writing this blog was to increase awareness of epilepsy's prevalence and plight, and by doing so, increase funding to find a cure. For the first three-and-a-half years, I posted something every day. At some point in the process, my goal shifted into something more broad—a desire to inspire empathy for others, no matter their situation.

I hope every day I achieve that goal. I wish for others to somehow see themselves in my crafting of words about my peculiar, nonverbal, legally blind, seizure-racked, suffering child's struggles. My desire is for readers of my stories to feel less alone and hopeless in this hot mess of a world.

Unexpectedly, writing my blog has made me into a deeper thinker, a student of mindfulness, a healthier person, and perhaps even a better mother of my enigmatic child—and lawd knows, I could use some help in that department. What I didn't bargain on was the amount of love, kindness and generosity that has come my way from so many friends and strangers who read the blog.

So, I guess what I want to do is to thank you, dear reader, for believing in me, for sending on those messages of gratitude, encouragement and love, and for letting me know I'm not alone.


  1. Thank YOU. I've learned much from reading your blog, about others and about myself.

    1. Your writing and observations
      Are getting better all the time.

      Saw this and thought of Calvin.

      "There is growing evidence for the efficacy of music, specifically Mozart’s Sonata for Two Pianos in D Major (K448), at reducing ictal and interictal epileptiform activity."

      Old but maybe some new music also has the same effect.?

      Go Calvin!

  2. I delete a lot of email without reading but never, ever your posts. Thanks for offering a valuable view into another world for me. If your goal was to inspire empathy in your readers you can put at least one notch on your belt for me!

  3. I read almost everyone of your.. While a continent away, I still feel your pain and frustration.. My heart aches for you and Calvin every week, but I find your blog a source of inspiration and that damn Shake persistence which has been the strength in your family since I knew them.. Go the distance my dear friend...

  4. I feel so blessed to be just a small part of your journey, and to learn something new about dear Calvin everyday. Your strength amazes me! I'm sure this life is not easy, but you have done a great job of making it look beautiful. I see how excited he gets on his way home from school and to me that says you are doing your job as a Mom very well because he knows love, and shows love for you. And that is the key to happiness. Keep up the great work Mama! You are very much appreciated for everything you do!