Tag Archives: The BRAVE Interview

The BRAVE Interview #14 September 2017: Sylvia Wesley

Here is this month’s BRAVE Interview with Sylvia Wesley! Enjoy!

  1. WHO are you? I’m a 61-year-old white woman—wife, mother, nurse, and pseudo-bon vivant!
  2. WHAT is your One Brave Thing? Sometimes I feel like just living every day is a Brave Thing and it is difficult to choose a single event!  As a nurse, it seems like so many of my ‘brave things’ encompass caring for people—my dad and my brother, who both died of cancer; my mom with multiple surgeries; friends with HIV/AIDS.  As a mom I gave birth to twins who were 10 weeks premature and their first 6 months of life was pretty hectic, to put it mildly.  As a wife, still being married after 38 years could be considered brave—but probably the bravest aspect there is that I married a black man in 1979, only 12 years after the Supreme Court ruled interracial marriage was not illegal, and our early years involved some struggles in a very white New England. So, after all that, I decided to choose a joyous adventure as my One Brave Thing—I went to Burning Man!
  3. WHEN did you do it? 8/28-9/1, 2006
  4. WHERE did it occur? Black Rock Desert, NV
  5. HOW did you make it happen? Mostly my daughter made the initial experience happen.  She had been going to Burning Man for a few years and always marveled at how awesome it was and she was sure I would love it.  So for my 50th birthday, I was given a ticket to TTITD (aka ‘that thing in the desert’).  Which meant I would be sharing camping space with 38,000+ other adventuring nomads for a week in rather hostile environmental conditions, and only knowing one other person.  A little scary having to be self-reliant in an unknown situation, camping with my daughter’s friends who only had her assurances that I was ‘fun, non-judgmental, fully capable of taking care of myself, and would not act like everybody’s mother.’  So I packed my bags and flew to LA.  We readied all our camping equipment, some party outfits, food and water for a week, and did a 12 hour ride/drive-share to the event with a heretofore unknown person.  After 12+ hours, in a very small mini-van, we were all fast friends.  Getting to and from is just as much of an adventure as being there!
  6. WHY did you do it? For the adventure!  It was one of the best experiences of my life—the bigger-than-life art, the music, the people, the sense of oneness—all magnificent.  I came away with a whole new sense of self.  And as my daughter predicted, I would want to go every year after that, and did so for the next 7 years.  ‘Life’ has since interrupted my annual trek, and I have not been for the past 3 years, but look forward to resuming visits to my personal Mecca in the near future.

Thank you for sharing your story with us, Sylvia!

If anybody wants to learn more about the culture that is Burning Man, go to https://burningman.org/

Read the other BRAVE interviews here: https://kwrites.com/?s=The+BRAVE+Interview

If you would like to be interviewed for this series about something brave you have done in your life, email me at kmcwrites@gmail.com!

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The BRAVE Interview #13 August 2017: Jennifer Davies

Please enjoy this month’s interview with Jennifer Davies!

INTRODUCTION

Hello everyone, I’m thrilled to be here as a featured guest in the Brave series. Thank you Karen for inviting me! A few facts about me; my name is Jennifer Davies, and I’m a fifty something mom with four boys, two cats, a dog, and a husband in tow. I have been married for twenty-one years this August to my best friend and strongest supporter. I’m originally from Wales in the UK which is why I have a funny accent, but I now reside on the East Coast of America in New England.

I have lived in North Andover for the past 14 years, and it’s a perfect distance from the city of Boston, the coast, and the mountains which I love. Living in New England has been a huge source of inspiration for me, but I find inspiration from many avenues, my family, my life, traveling and my persistence to keep writing. As a result, I always have ideas for future books.

I’m a former registered nurse/midwife. I am always battling my weight, but as I’m addicted to chocolate, it’s not a fight I will win anytime soon. I adore Grey’s Anatomy. I love yard sales and get excited at the purchase of old furniture that I can recycle. My goal is to be a NY Times best seller—one day!

MY BRAVE STORY

Well, it’s actually hard to choose which piece of my life to reveal that would showcase something BRAVE that I have done! I believe to be BRAVE you have to face something that is painful, fearful or difficult, and my life has contained many instances that would fit that definition.

Most recently, the one I still process is the loss of my mother. Even now, six months later I miss her. My mom, lived with Alzheimer’s, and had for the past almost five years. Living overseas made it difficult to provide the care I wished to, but in the early stages I could help by having mum visit through the summer and stay for several weeks at a time. As the disease progressed, even that wasn’t an option. Feeling frustrated and needing to do something, I started a support page on-line called ALZHEIMER’S SUPPORT, which still provides help to those going through the painful and heartbreaking experience.
https://www.facebook.com/groups/291824310860629/
In December 2016, my mother entered full-time nursing care and shortly after her renal disease deteriorated to the point that we knew we were entering the final stages of her life. At Christmas, my wish and prayer was to be able to care for mum in her final days. God answered in a strange way that enabled me to spend four weeks with my mum in the UK until her passing on the 29th January. Even now, I have tears as I write this because knowing your loved one is dying is devastating no matter the age or the situation. Being a former nurse, I knew what to expect to a degree, but I wasn’t prepared for the emotional trauma and loss as I watched my mum slip away.
The memories of her final four weeks are ingrained on my brain, good and bad. I remember the days that she slept, and we weren’t sure if she would make it through the next twenty-four hours, to standing next to her in the make-shift church singing hymns in shock at her complete turnaround, to holding her hand as she took her last breath. Those final hours were heartbreaking, and I have no regrets. In life, mum had always been there for me, and this was the least I could do no matter how hard or painful it was to ensure she wasn’t alone as she made her final journey onward to my dad.

All through the night there was a panic that I wouldn’t be able to face the end that I wouldn’t be able to find the words of comfort as her condition changed. In the early hours when the built up fluids became noisy, “death rattle” I lost it. Tears poured, and an overwhelming sense of panic and futility washed over me. I wanted to leave, but as I watched mum, I couldn’t let her down. I needed to be strong and to be there for her right until the end. I hated the thought of her being alone, and now, it gives me comfort to know she was surrounded by love, and her death was peaceful. My mum enjoyed a long and happy life, she was a brave woman loved by all her daughters and grandchildren. She is missed every day.

MY LIFE

My mum was always a strong supporter of my dreams to become a romance author, and her encouragement kept me going. I’m now a multi-genre author, and I’ve been writing full-time for the last eight years.  Every good and bad moment of my life has helped shape me as a writer. Throughout my life, I have always been an avid reader, and from that stemmed the desire to create my own stories.

My Latest Release THE WITCH’S HEART is the second book in the Rise of Orion series.

I love to hear from readers and these are the ways you can contact me…

FB Author page https://www.facebook.com/Jennifer-Owen-Davies-YA-J-M-Davies-Adult-1421409368089313/

Website            http://www.jenniferowendavies.com/
Email                 Jendaviesuk@gmail.com
Twitter              https://twitter.com/jendaviesuk
Instagram        Jengal124
Blog                  https://welshjensblog.blogspot.com

Thank you, Jennifer!!

Read the other BRAVE interviews here: https://kwrites.com/?s=The+BRAVE+Interview

If you would like to be interviewed for this series about something brave you have done in your life, email me at kmcwrites@gmail.com!

The BRAVE Interview #12 July 2017: Amanda Moore

Please enjoy this month’s interview with Amanda Moore!

I am Amanda Moore and I live in Southern Maine. I am raising three children, ranging from second grade to college. I was raised to be brave and encouraged by my grandfather early on to think creatively.

My recent “Brave Thing” is part of my continued focus to balance life and participate again in the creative parts. Writing , drawing, painting, along with reading, cooking, and gardening!

Three years ago, I began by using technology to connect with my talented group of friends. Day Dreamers Book Group opened up to me what others are creating: artists, musicians, writers, deep thinkers!

The focus of my current project is a gift to my friend that recently passed away. With the creative input of a friend of his, I hope we can write his story. Karen is a great inspiration to me and everyone who knows her.

Be Brave.

Here is the link to join Day Dreamers Book Group on FaceBook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/318995978286930/

Thank you for sharing your story with us, Amanda!

Read the other BRAVE interviews here: https://kwrites.com/?s=The+BRAVE+Interview

If you would like to be interviewed for this series about something brave you have done in your life, email me at kmcwrites@gmail.com!

The BRAVE Interview #11 June 2017: Chris Ann

Here is this month’s BRAVE Interview with Chris Ann:

The concept of being brave has never been a foreign one to me. Bravery is what I have embodied through out my life. I was brave when I become very ill as a child and had to suffer painful stomach problems when the doctors could not figure the issues until I was an adult. Bravery is what I had to channel when I was a young woman going to the big city of Boston to be an intern. I was so scared to take the train in by myself and navigate the streets of Boston to later become the youngest, degreed Sign Language Interpreter in the State of Massachusetts. I was brave when I was no longer able to work due to a life altering work injury. I was brave when I suffered miscarriage after miscarriage in my pursuit of being a Mom. Brave was all that I could be!

Throughout my life, I was the one with the brave face. I was brave when I finally become pregnant and the local hospital did not believe me and proceed to give me 8 abdominal x-Rays and 2 abdominal CT scans. I was very brave when they later told me that I was in fact pregnant but not to expect my baby to survive. I was brave and defiant in the face of extreme adversity but my tenacity, stubbornness and inner sense of knowing kept me going for the next 8 months and my baby was born!

I was brave when I knew he had extreme health issues and I went from doctor to doctor looking for a knowledgeable and friendly soul who would listen. I suffered tremendous disappointment in the medical system as they ignored my son’s suffering. I never revealed that I was an internationally renowned Psychic because it would not have made a difference. If they could not listen to me as a mom then they were not able to hear! I was used to working with the deaf population but the medical field was truly full of individuals who refused to listen!

There were days that I was so discouraged but my son was more than worth any of the insulting comments, strange looks and a general sense of disbelief! It look 8 years before a doctor came into our lives who suspected my son had a rare disease. He was in fact diagnosed with Ehlers-Dalos Syndrome. A rare disease that causes extreme hypermobility, subluxations, dislocations, fractures, digestive issues, headaches, falling, exhaustion and more! We had some answers!

But we were not done yet! He had started to vomit more and more. Of course everyone dismissed it as nerves, etc. I insisted that vomiting 8-9 times a day every day for months was not nerves! He has lost 20 pounds in less than 1 month when I finally begged the gastrointestinal to do a colonoscopy. I was brave to even want that test for my now 9-year-old. Every adult knows the unpleasant nature of such a test but I felt it was the answer we were needing.

So glad I’m a Psychic because I was right! He was covered in open sores throughout his entire gastrointestinal tract. He had Crohn’s Disease from mouth to anus. I was incensed that my son had suffered for so long when I clearly told them what was going on! I needed to brave as we focused on the journey to health. The doctors reassured us that chemotherapy was the answer for both diseases and it would put him in remission. I had such a bad feeling and was reluctant but I knew we needed something. The plan was chemotherapy for life but we were assured that remission was within months.

A year later, here we sit. In as much pain as ever. Vomiting lessened but is still a regular part of life. Mobility is a daily challenge. He has lost all his friends and is unable to attend school. My now 10-year-old has never had the promised remission and the assurances of a quick turn to good health has passed us by. Life is full of doctor appointments, trips to the bathroom, and laying in bed with profound sadness. My daily hope and wish is to hear laughter and see a smile. Some days I get my wish and other days I don’t.

When I think of what it means to be brave, my struggles are so minuscule compared the bravery that my son exemplifies minute to minute. He has carved out a new path for his life with connections on Xbox and YouTube. He is trying to reach out to a global community through touching souls while they have no idea of his constant struggle and pain. He has taught me the real definition for BRAVERY! I’m so proud to be his Mom because he is the greatest teacher I have ever met and ever will meet. He is my joy and it’s my honor to hold his hand through live as we brave it together!

If you wish to connect with my son on YouTube and watch his channel, it is gamingwithconnor1

Connect on Xbox 1 at R56COOPERSLCI

He is always looking for friends!  Thanks for your bravery in our story!

Thank you for sharing your brave story, Chris Ann!

Read the other BRAVE interviews here: https://kwrites.com/?s=The+BRAVE+Interview

If you would like to be interviewed for this series about something brave you have done in your life, email me at kmcwrites.com, or message me on my Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/k.m.creamer.author/

The BRAVE Interview #10 May 2017: Andrea

Please enjoy this month’s BRAVE Interview with Andrea!

WHO are you? My name is Andrea Maffeo and I am Karen’s sister-in-law.  LOL! I am a medical secretary and have worked for MGH Medical Group for 18 years now. I have been married for over 25 years to the most patient man a wife could ever ask for.  Honestly don’t know what I would do without him.

WHAT is your One Brave Thing? My one brave thing is not something you would expect…….but to me it was my one brave thing.  It’s not something I did for myself like overcome a fear, it’s something I did for someone else.

WHEN did you do it? I did it in July 2016.

WHERE did it occur? Melrose Wakefield Hospital

HOW did you make it happen? Well, that’s a tough one.  I just had to say the dreaded words………’It’s time to let her go.’

WHY did you do it? My mom has never been a well woman, at least not for the past few years.  She was in a rehab/nursing home when she became ill.  She was rushed to the hospital and diagnosed with a small bowel obstruction.  While having a CT scan she vomited and aspirated.  She ended up in the ICU and all her organs started to fail.  She went into septic shock due to the aspiration.  The only thing that was keeping her alive was the ventilator.  So the decision had to be made.  And since I was her healthcare proxy, my poor dad couldn’t make the decision at the time, I had to make the decision to let her go.  It was the hardest decision I ever had to make in my life, but I knew it was the right one.  I didn’t want her suffering anymore and I knew neither did she.  This is my One Brave Thing.

Thank you for sharing your heartfelt story, Andrea!

Read the other BRAVE interviews here: https://kwrites.com/?s=The+BRAVE+Interview

If you would like to be interviewed for this series about something brave you have done in your life, email me at kmcwrites@gmail.com, or message me on my Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/k.m.creamer.author/!

The BRAVE Interview #9 April 2017: Charlotte

Please enjoy this month’s BRAVE interview with Charlotte!

Who are you? I am a Registered Nurse, a Mom to 3 adult children (where has time gone?!), and a 5 month Golden Retriever named Charlie. I was born and raised in Maine, and have lived here ever since. I live in the small town of Limerick, Maine, a quiet country town.

What is your ‘one brave thing’? My One Brave Thing?  Let’s see. I have done a few brave things up to this point in my life, but the one I’d have to say that tops all was taking care of my terminally ill brother. He was 51 yrs old when diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer, mets to the brain. His wish was to get home to Maine to die. I had no choice but to be brave, and honor is wishes. It was a very difficult, emotional time.

When did you do it?  In June 2007, my brother called me from the hospital in Florida, telling me he was very sick and needed me to fly down to help him.

Where did it occur? Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

How I made it happen: flew down, packed up his apartment.  I rented an RV, and found portable oxygen, filled his meds and things for the trip. Right out of the hospital, we were on our way home to my house. It was a rough ride in the back of an RV. I stayed back there with him, while my fiancé and my brother’s friend took turns driving. I wasn’t sure my brother would make it all the way, but he said he was okay each time I asked. I had spoken with hospice while traveling, and I got things set up for when he arrived. My bother lived only 5 days here, but made it to where he wanted to be, and that was home!

It is an honor to print your story, Charlotte, and I thank you so much for sharing it with us all!

Read the other BRAVE interviews here: https://kwrites.com/?s=The+BRAVE+Interview

If you would like to be interviewed for this series about something brave you have done in your life, email me at kmcwrites@gmail.com!

The BRAVE Interview #6 January 2017: Linda Buoncuore

Hello! Here is The BRAVE Interview for this month. ENJOY!

lindaI guess it’s not the biggest thing anyone has ever done, and of course many have already done it, I am sure.  I am an introvert in many ways. Going to work everyday in sales is a challenge for me, as many people are not very nice, as this society has changed so much. I brave going to work everyday, and holding my composure to many that think that the world revolves only around them. I used to work part-time, but now I am full-time, which makes it harder and sometimes tiresome to trudge through the day-to-day occurrences.  Retail is not easy, and it’s not my dream job, but I get through it.

The winter time is the hardest time for getting to work, as I have to catch a bus, and I have to walk a half mile down a steep hill to get to it at 5am. Luckily, the weather has not been too bad. I worry, as I have broken my ankle twice in my twenties, same ankle, the breaks an inch apart, and I fear falling, and getting hurt again, but I go. I know I am tougher than that, and do not let my fear control me. I just leave a little earlier, so I can walk a little slower. 

Each day I have to sell, sell, and sell memberships and warranties, as well as the products themselves. Not a very easy task. It seems you have to put up a front, almost to a point where you have to give so much to get very little in return. As I feel there isn’t much of an initiative to sell them.  I try not to lose myself, and my integrity, to do this, and it can be a battle at times.

So, I guess my brave thing is going to a place everyday that I am not even sure I want to be at times, and do what I am supposed to be doing there, though wishing I was somewhere else.

Trying to figure out what my next step should be to be happy. Don’t get me wrong, I do like the people I work with, and I do like some of my customers, but I am an introvert, and it’s not always easy for me to be someone I am not sure I really am.

Thank you so much, Linda, for your candid and honest expression of your brave thing. 

If you’d like to read the other interviews in the series, click here for the list: https://kwrites.com/?s=the+BRAVE+interview

If you’d like to be interviewed for this series about your own ‘one brave thing’, email me at kreads@gmail.com.