I’m with Crazy: A Love Story (Ep4) Death of A Sibling: An Unexpected “It”
My baby sister, her life was pretty much a struggle since birth. She was hospitalized with pneumonia at the age of two. She was pretty much learning disabled, although we really didn’t know it though. In those days, it wasn’t like an official label. She was just ‘slow.’ She was bullied all throughout school and I mean mercilessly. And she was diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic at the age of 24. At that time, she was committed to a psych ward by yours truly. And that continued to happen more times than I care to count. And ultimately, she became a somewhat catatonic, doped up, drug dependent resident at an assisted living facility. She was only 46 when she died of what they said was heart failure, alone in her room.
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Hi, and welcome to Madness To Magic, and my podcast, I’m with Crazy: A Love Story. I’m your host, Paolina Milana, author of “The S Word”.
This show is for those of us who find ourselves surrounded by madness and wanting to find the magic within. We’re going to come together here as caregivers to those who have been diagnosed with a mental illness. Maybe it’s someone in the family we’ve been born into. Maybe it’s someone we love. Maybe it’s someone we work with. Maybe, even, it’s ourselves. Whether we’ve been thrust into this caregiver role or taken it on by choice, this podcast is where we’re going to share our stories and learn to realize the magic in all the madness we may have been experiencing. I promise you, it can be done. So let’s get to it.
Hi again, and welcome back. Yikes. Here we are two weeks into the new year. And I’m already feeling behind. And if you ask me, behind in what Paolina? Well in that, I’m not even sure. And that’s how behind I am. What I do know for sure is that time seems never to be on our side. As much as I race around, as much as I spend plates, as much as I tried to get her done, as I like to say, there’s always something unexpected that knocks on my door. Sometimes, it doesn’t even knock. It just frigging bulldozes its way in.
And that actually reminds me of a greeting card that I once got long time ago. I was actually away at school at Iowa State University. I only could afford to spend one year there. But wow, that year totally made a difference in my life in so many ways. So many ways.
I kept that greeting card push pinned to the bulletin board that hung in my dorm room. On the front of the card, there was this colorful, cartoony animation. The animation was of the word it, right? So it was I and T, and they were drawn so that they would look like a person. Like it was alive. Not only alive, but this it happened to be pretty pissed off. It had crazy looking eyes, and it had these little toothpick arms that bulged muscles. And then it had, I know those Mickey Mouse, those big white Mickey Mouse gloves. It had those on its fists, and its fists were balled up, and it was pounding on this door that was straining and threatening to completely bust open.
I remember when I saw that card, I was like, “What the heck?” And when I opened it up, I completely held. Because the only thing in the card where the words don’t let it get to you.
The card wasn’t signed, and to this day I still have no clue who sent it. It was an unexpected gift from an unknown source. And whoever it was who sent it, they clearly knew exactly what I needed to hear at that moment.
Does that ever happen to you? Good or bad, or somewhere in between, something unexpectedly shows up. Now I’m learning that whether or not I realized it at the time and whether what shows up is exactly what I want, what I even need. I’m learning that later on, I realize that while I may not have wanted it, I got it, and it’s exactly what I needed to get.
There’s a quote, “There are years that ask questions and years that answer.” It’s a quote by African American anthropologist and author Zora Neale Hurston. She’s the one who said it. I know of it because it’s a favorite quote of a very good friend of mine. Zora was the one who wrote the novel Their Eyes Were Watching God, and Oprah turned that into a movie.
Well for me, 2014 was a year that asked questions. And on this day, January 17, five whole years later. I’m remembering that year of questions because that year of questions kicked off with an unexpected phone call. And that’s why I’m here today. Why I decided to do episode four here of my Madness to Magic podcast. I’m With Crazy: A Love Story. And actually that whole title of my podcast, I’m With Crazy: A Love Story has a lot to do with what I want to talk about today. Because it’s a title that that is actually owed to my little sister, Vincenzina, that was her name. We called her Vinny for short. She was two years my junior. And today, January 17, is the fifth year anniversary of her death.
Now my baby sister, her life was pretty much a struggle since birth. She was hospitalized with pneumonia at the age of two. She was pretty much learning disabled, although we really didn’t know it though. In those days, it wasn’t like an official label. She was just ‘slow.’ She was bullied all throughout school and I mean mercilessly. And she was diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic at the age of 24. At that time, she was committed to a psych ward by yours truly. And that continued to happen more times than I care to count. And ultimately, she became a somewhat catatonic, doped up, drug dependent resident at an assisted living facility.
She was only 46 when she died of what they said was heart failure, alone in her room. I remember that day getting that call from the Maplewood Care Center in Elgin, Illinois. That’s where Vinny lived alongside others who had a chronic mental illness as well as a whole host of people who were senior citizens who needed 24 hour nursing care. I was out here living my life in California, but I still helped to manage her care from afar for the most part.
I had recently finished the manuscript for my first book, The S Word. That was the memoir that centered around my coming of age, being raised by a mom who was a paranoid schizophrenia. And I was sending it out to agents and publishers. I was looking back at some emails from that time. And that very morning, I had sent in an email to a friend. And I had said to her that I had contacted so far, 22 agents. Two of them asked for the manuscript, and 12 had sent me rejections. But every single one of those rejections was personalized and positive, which sounds funny when you think of a rejection being positive. But they were. And of course I’m not, as much as I probably took heart in that I also was like, “Really, really, can’t you just say something positive and accept it?” But that’s a whole nother podcast. Anyway, point being that was pretty much my priority at the time. That’s what I cared about. I had little time for anything else.
So on that Friday afternoon when the phone rang, I saw on my caller ID that it was Vinny’s residence where she lived. And I, as I did quite often, let it go to voicemail. Honestly, I dreaded those calls. They just, they so angered me. I would play out in my mind before I even picked up the phone, before I checked out the message. I would just play out what I knew for sure my little sister was going to say. And nine times out of 10, it was her saying “Pauli,” and that’s what she would call me Pauli. “Can you send me a couple of bucks? Please, come on.” And that’s pretty much what started and ended our conversations.
So on this particular day, I saw the voicemail message and sometime later on in the day I decided to pick it up and listen to it. I expected Vinny’s voice on the other end of the line, but it wasn’t Vinny’s voice. It was a very hesitant and scared sounding female. It was one of the nursing attendance for my sister.
And even hearing her voice, I remember thinking, now what? I was annoyed from the word go. I was just imagining the latest episode of troubles. Vinny always pretty much was getting herself into trouble. So I was thinking to myself okay, what is it? Was she noncompliant with her drugs, or sleeping, or whatever it was? Was she noncompliant again or had she gotten into a fight again? Or did she steal someone else’s dessert tonight again?
And I was about to phone the care facility back, and the phone rang again. And I saw that again, it was the care facility. And I picked it up. And on the other end of the line, this shaky voice said, “Hello, Ms. Milana.” And I was all full of myself and puffy. And I was like, “Yes.” And the voice hesitated and then all of a sudden it just blurted out, “I’m sorry to tell you, but your sister Vinny has died.”
Just like that. One simple sentence, and life as I had come to know it completely shifted out from under me. Now I do remember saying things like, “What? What are you talking about?” And I just again, that rage, that accusation that this can’t be that everything that you can imagine comes with getting that kind of news.
Of all the possible scenarios however that trampled through my oh too busy brain that day. Honestly, never did I think that this phone call was going to tell me that my sister had died. Never thought that that was one of the possible scenarios of the day.
So the I’m With Crazy: A Love Story would be no more, at least not in the way I had planned. And just to talk a little bit about that, I’m With Crazy: A Love Story. I was with crazy. I was crazy. Yeah. That’s a Freudian slip. I was crazy, yes. And I was with crazy my whole life. Whether it was my mother, whether it was my little sister. Just all of the other things that happened alongside the mental illness that surrounded me. Right? So the madness from A to Z. And yet throughout it all, it has been a love story. So I always knew that. Perhaps I didn’t live it. But as I got older, I did come to this place of yes, I’m with crazy, whether it’s outside of me or inside of me. And yeah, it is a love story. But on that day when I got that call, it ended. What I had thought, what I had planned, what I had hoped for. It ended.
Now you should know that in my first book, I did just briefly introduce my little sister Vinny. But because the book was more about my mom and Vinny didn’t become mentally ill, wasn’t diagnosed until she was 24. It really didn’t touch on that. It touched more on myself, on growing up and dealing with coming of age stuff. Related more to my mom.
Now I always fully intended to tell Vinny’s story, because it is a story that deserves to be told, and one day I will. But the short version, she was the youngest sibling of four. She fell through the cracks pretty much. She was kind of like the runt of the litter. By all external measurements, right? But in truth, the more that I explore it, the more I realized she was anything but.
So here was a kid who was born C-section. And after having been deprived a bit of oxygen at birth, which nobody really even knew about. She ended up getting pneumonia when she was a toddler. I remember my father used to break up at the stories he would tell of how they had to leave her in the hospital. Right? And back then, the rules really were that there were strict visiting hours, and they would leave the kids in their little incubators. And he told us a story that he would stop there every morning before going to work. And he would see her just crying in her incubator in her baby battle. It makes me very sad.
Makes me sad to think of a child, a toddler, baby bottle on the ground. Nobody caring for her. At least, that’s what it must have seemed like to her. Clearly, it seemed that way to my father. He would rant and rave at the nurses. There was very little though back then, that he could do or he felt he could do, especially with the language barrier. But anyway, I can only imagine how abandoned she felt. And from there, her learning disability got the best of her. Went undiagnosed. My mother’s illness took center stage. So Vinny wasn’t seen, so to speak. Wasn’t helped. When in second grade they wanted to keep her back. There was a whole bunch of stigma associated to that kind of thing, at least in the eyes of my mom at the time. And they pushed her through, just kept pushing her through. She wasn’t learning anything, wasn’t building on anything. She was bullied at school to no end. With rare exception, she was friendless. And to top it all off, she inherited the insanity genes. And as I said, diagnosed with schizophrenia when she turned 24. So at that time, I was 26, and it was my hand that signed her commitment papers.
Vinny had every reason to give up on people. She had every reason to give up on love, give up on life. Yet, it still amazes me that she made it her mission to champion the underdog. Almost dismissing that she was one herself. And in doing that, she would get herself into even more trouble.
She loved music. She knew the lyrics to every song, and I mean every song. She was sort of like a savant in that way. And she wrote poetry. She wrote song lyrics. She dreamed really of being a rock star. And if she were here again today, I would tell her the one thing I wish I had. The one thing I wish she would have believed and been able to realize, and that was that she was so much more than a rock star. She was life’s purpose. She had become definitely mine. And she was someone who was surrounded by madness. She was actually swallowed up by it. Externally, internally. And yet this kid, she found things funny, cracked jokes, sang songs, was always ready for a party. She even found love with a guy named Bob. He was a teddy bear of a guy who was plagued by his own mental illness demons. But I tell you something, he loved Vinny. Loved her in the very best sense of the word.
At that time, I had yet to find my imperfectly perfect match. I had basically yet to even seriously date. And I remember how surprised I was at how kind, and caring, and loving metal sister Vinny and Bob were to one another. I just thought everyone should be so much in love and just full of life as they were. At the same time of course I also used to think well hell, why her and not me? How unfair is this? And in a way, I actually envied Vinny because of the love that she had found, right? That magic in the middle of the madness. That was something else.
I thought to myself, despite how much more I had in the way of monetary things and my physical and mental health, and my career, and all of these let’s call them lifestyle opportunities. I thought here was Vinny, she landed on the one thing that we all truly want. The one thing that’s most important. Love, right? Real love. And yet here I was begrudging her of the tiniest bit of happiness.
So today, five years after that fateful call, I think to myself of how much my life changed. Obviously, her life here on earth was no more. But my entire purpose really for being my caregiver, the final caregiving note, right? So first it was my mom, then it was my mom and my sister, then it was my little sister. That was gone. Right? And if that’s not what I was anymore, what the hell was I? What was my identity? I had associated myself so much with it, that I really, that year was a year of some serious, serious soul searching and questions. And now, five years later, I think to myself what I wouldn’t give to see her name once more pop up on my caller ID. I would love to have that kind of a conversation one more time.
You know, being a caregiver of anyone is a four letter word, right? I mean, it’s spelled J-O-B, but it’s a four letter word. And being caregiver to someone with so many disabilities, especially mental and emotional issues. That is not just the four letter word, or the J-O-B, or that whatever we want to joke about. But it’s also Q-U-I-T. It’s also the job that you want to quit. And yet, for whatever reasons, we all have our own. We can’t, right? We can’t.
Love has a lot to do with it. So does obligation. So does shame, so does just being lost and not knowing what else to do. So does that feeling of power of of being in that position of caregiver.
Honestly, so many times I think about it. I did the job pretty half-assed. I was tired and giving to everyone else. The last person I was giving to was me. And then in a catch 22, because I wasn’t giving to me, I wasn’t my best at giving to them. For that I still struggle at times with the guilt, the regret, the shame.
And that’s what I was thinking just a few days ago. I was driving, I have a canyon here, Eaton Canyon near where I live in California. And I love to go there early morning for a hike. I tell people God lives in that Canyon, and I believe it. He does, or she.
Now every year during this time, I seem to fall into a funk. I think that in all fairness, I think everybody does, right? So you’ve got the holidays, and then you’ve got January with all these new hopes. And a lot of people do resolutions. I don’t do them anymore, but they’re thinking this is going to be my year, right? And yet, here we are, middle of January. And here’s the funk again, right? For many of us, it’s cold outside. Gray, slushy. Here in California, it’s been raining and unusually cold. And it’s just all breeds funk. Let’s just say that.
So anyway, so little over a week ago, I was in just such a funk. And it had gotten that morning into such a funk that I might as well call it the bunny hole of blues. When you crawl into that hole and you can’t even see your way out. And that morning, that’s what it was.
Now the day before, maybe the day before, a couple of days before. A friend, who I am in constant contact with since the eighth grade or actually beyond, I think we met maybe in second grade. First, second, third grade, somewhere around there. Jenny is her name. And she had contacted me and said something about another friend that we also went to grammar school with, Judy. And just mentioned had I known anything about, had I seen what she posted on Facebook, blah, blah, blah. Just chatting. And I was like no, I didn’t. And then I checked out her Facebook page. And something in me really felt like I needed to call her.
And believe me, on the whole drive to the canyon, and it’s about a 30 minute drive. I was at war with myself because I was already feeling in a funk. I really didn’t want to talk to anybody. I just kind of wanted to have my own pity party and not invite anybody to it. But I couldn’t shake it, and something in me just kept saying call her.
So I didn’t have Judy’s number or even her cell, or anything even to text. All I had was the Facebook messenger. So I go ahead and I placed the call. And surprise, surprise, this gal pal from the eighth grade. She picks up.
And Judy and I back then, we each had our challenges, right? I won’t share her story other than to say that we actually both worked at the same donut shop. And I remember Judy coming over and she had a baby girl when we were in high school. And my mother just kind of fell in love with that baby. Even though Judy wasn’t married, my mom did show a lot of affection. I remember that, that day when Judy came over.
And I remember Judy, I don’t believe she really, really kind of knew everything that was going on with me. Everybody, especially teens, you’re just trying to survive or figure things out on your own. Right? But Judy was aware of my little sister Vinny in great part because while I went to Catholic high school, you had to have the grades to get in. Vinny did not. So Vinny went to the same public high school Niles North in Skokie, that Judy went to.
And when I started out the call with Judy, it really was all about Judy. “Hey, just wanted to reach out. Saw the stuff you posted on Facebook,” and that kind of a call. And Judy shared some things about her life. It was funny, we haven’t talked, I swear in decades, well over a decade at least. And we just picked up where we left off. Which is one of the awesome things about people who knew you way back when, before it gets to you.
So anyways, so as Judy was sharing some things about her life, I thought I’m going to be in service here, and I’m going to pay it forward in some form or fashion. I don’t know how, but I’m going to listen. And I’m going to offer up whatever it is that I can to help Judy.
What I wasn’t prepared for, what was very unexpected, was Judy paused and was like, “Hey, hang on a second. There’s something I wanted to share with you. It’s a story about your little sister Vinny, and I don’t think I ever told you this.” And I was like, “What story?” And Judy shared.
She said that when they were in high school, Judy remembers walking into the school cafeteria. And there was Vinny sitting as usual all by herself at one of the tables. And Judy said she made eye contact with her and that Vinny gave her, as Judy said, one of those little Vinny smiles as much as Vinny could smile in the situation.
So Judy said she walked over to her and sat with Vinny. And at that point she said Vinny just put her head on Judy’s shoulder. And Judy said it was so bittersweet. And her heart went out to her. And honestly, listening to Judy share that and envisioning the whole scene, it’s bringing me to tears now again.
Now on the phone, Judy tried to console me. She was saying, “But no, it’s so sweet.” And she was telling me how she cradled her for a bit and caressed the side of her face, and she gave to her that comfort that Vinny needed.
So at that point, I couldn’t continue with the call. Emotionally, I was having my own private meltdown moment. And logistically, I had now entered into the canyons parking lot. And as usual, calls just kind dropped. There’s very little, if any connection there. So I thought I just need to go. So I hung up from Judy. I was trying to hold back tears. I got out of my car. And I just start walking further into the canyon taking the pathways towards the waterfall that’s there.
I so needed to clear my head. I just thought of all the years that had passed. I thought of how many times I wish now that I could have shown my little sister back then the kindness that Judy had shown her that day.
I know for those of you out there who are caregivers, believe me, I know it’s very different, right? When number one, it’s not ‘your’ person. Number two, when it’s just a one off kindness that’s so simpler to let’s just say, to maintain, right? Rather than like caregiving over an extended period of time, especially if you’re not taking care of yourself. it’s exhausting. But still, I do wish. I do wish.
So I thought about Vinny on that canyon walk, and I thought about all of the things. All of the things, even when she was little, that happened. The red flags that maybe today teachers or a little more awareness would have helped get her the help that she needed early, early on with learning disabilities, etc. Set aside the mental illness part.
But one of the incidents that came up crystal clear in my mind, and it will illustrate for you how I exercised my own brand of what I call caregiver cruelty. I’m going to read you a scene that I wrote as a possible opener for the actual book I am starting to work on called I am With Crazy: A Love Story. It’s a young adult book. I’m hoping it to be, I’m just starting it off now. But it really, I do want to tell the story of Vinny and her own menace to magic, so to speak.
So I hope you’re still with me. I hope you’ll indulge me in hearing just the beginning. It’s short. And when I’m done, if you want to post comments, I’d love to know what you think about this. But here is the opening scene, and one of my first memories that actually did happen with Vinny.
I tried not to think about my hand touching a bag with poop in it. I tried not to breathe in too deeply lest I get a whiff. I tried not to hear the whispers and laughter of kids in the hallway surrounding us. And I tried not to jump to conclusions. “Your sister had an accident. She didn’t want to interrupt class and asked to be excused to go to the bathroom.” Vinny’s first grade teacher, Mrs. Morris looked like one of those plastic dolls with the too big for her body head and eyes that never blinked. Mrs. Morris nodded, looked at me, and said, “It happens.” And she pivoted and made her escape. It happens? Those voices in my head screamed silently. As if this is normal. And why did it always happen to her? Or actually, to me. To me, since I always seem to have to clean up my little sister’s mess. “I’m sorry Pauli,” my sister squeaked.
I couldn’t wait until next year, when I would go to junior high miles away and be rid of her. At least during the day. “Let’s go.” I shoved the paper sack at her. “You hold your own poopy pants.” Our school bus was just closing its doors when I hopped on. Vinny followed. So did the crude comments. “Ew gross.” “It’s shithead.”
The ride was long. The ridicule didn’t stop. I thought about turning around and punching some kid out. It’s not like I hadn’t done it before in her defense. But this time, I sort of wanted to join in, and the one I wanted to punch was Vinny.
We sat in silence, shoulder to shoulder, the whole ride home. When I finally got to our corner drop-off, still a whole three blocks away from her house, that’s when I finally said something. “What is wrong with you? How could you shit in your pants in front of the whole class? God Vinny, are you that stupid?”
In the tiniest of voices, so quiet I could barely hear, my sister tried to hold back tears as she explained. “I raised my hand, but Mrs. Morris said to let her finish. She went on too long and I couldn’t hold it. It was an accident, Pauli.” “You’re an accident.” I said it without giving a shit about the damage I was doing. All I could think was how everyone would be making fun of not just her, but me too. It’d be for the coming days, weeks. Who knows how long? And that wasn’t fair to me. I could be normal if it wasn’t for the fact that I was stuck with crazy.
So that’s the opening of what I hope this book, this honor to Vinny might be. And then I think of what I called her, an accident. I’m sure I called her a million other things.
Granted, the me of today realizes that I was only two years older than my sister. So that was the first grade, I was in the third grade. And that being a typical little kid, being a typical teen. Every one of us struggles with fitting in and being considered normal. Right? Flying under the radar basically. And let’s face it, every one of us wants to also be the cool kid or at least not the crappy kid, so to speak. Right? Or the kid that’s made fun of, the targeted kid. I think we all can agree that this little bathroom mishap of my kid sister’s sure wasn’t helping me score points in the cool kid category. And back then, it was about me.
So present day, I’m trudging through my canyon. All of these thoughts, moments in time filling my mind. My eyes are welling up with tears, and my heart is full of regret. Shame. As much as I was confident that I did do the best I could with whatever I had at the time. And as much as I know that I did go above and beyond. More than a lot of have siblings, friends, authority figures, parents, more than than several would do. I took care of her the best whenever I could. Despite knowing all that, I still, still have moments when I find myself wishing for something I know is just not possible. And that is a better past. Was my shrink [Lynn 00:40:33] of more than a decade, who snapped me to one day when we were in therapy and I was losing it. And she just said, “Paolina, when are you going to stop wishing for a better past? Because it’s never going to happen.” I still want to make it happen, but I know, I know it’s not possible.
So in the silence of that canyon, I prayed that wherever my little sister Vinny was at that very moment, that she somehow knew what was in my heart. That she knew that I loved her, that I love her. And that I hoped she could forgive me for all the times that I didn’t give her that comforting caress she needed so badly.
Now, this isn’t made up with what happens next. But at that very moment, no sooner am I praying. Then my cell phone rings. And I reach into my pocket and I pull it out, and I hold it up to my eyes. But the ringing stops, and there’s no number that shows up on the screen. And I just figured to myself okay, big deal, mixed signals, it’s something that happens. You’re so deep in the canyon, that reception is really bad. So I don’t think much of it. And I moved to put the phone back in my pocket. And it slips out of my hand, and it hopscotches over the dirt around my feet, and it kicks it up. And in doing so, the soil that’s been rearranged, it shows something. I reach down, I go to grab my phone. And that’s when I really notice it. And right there that my feet is what looks like a lattice, a turquoise color lattice something. And I brushed the dirt away with my fingers, and that lattice grows into wings. And what I see is a beautiful little butterfly. It’s a piece of artwork kind of like an iron work made out of some sort of metal beautiful. It’s no bigger than, I don’t know. A half dollar maybe. And I would’ve just stepped over it, stepped on it. Who knows, not even seen it. Had it not been for my phone ringing, and it dropping.
So at that moment, a feeling washed over me. And somehow deep inside, I don’t know. I felt like this was indeed a sign from my little sister. She was free, she was happy, she was transformed. She was okay. And this sense of peace and understanding filled me.
At the same time, so too did the whole irony, the whole unexpected it that shows up, right? So five years ago, a phone call announcing the unexpected end of my little sister’s life, and of my own life as I had known it to that point, comes my way. Then a phone call with a childhood friend, completely really unplanned, unexpected. I speak to her, and I haven’t even thought about her in years upon years. And yet, that phone call unexpectedly connects the past with the very present, right?
And then third, the phone call from some wrong number, some wires crossed, or from nobody at all. Right? Or so it would seem. That phone call opens my eyes to something I would’ve missed, and gives me a message that again, shifts my perspective, gives me a whole nother higher level of exploration, if not full on understanding and appreciation.
So, it’s true. Wishing for a better past is something that just isn’t ever going to happen. I know that. But learning from those years gone by, taking the time to ask the questions during the years of questions, right? To sit with their sorrow, to listen to whatever answers may come from wherever they may come. That truly is the magic to be found in whatever madness surrounds us.
So to my baby sister, be at peace and at play. And thanks for the phone call. Thanks for the message. I’m so glad I picked up. And for the renewed purpose. Love you, Recamaterna.
Thanks so much for listening to Madness to Magic, and my podcast I’m With Crazy: A Love Story. I believe we’re all here for a purpose, and I know that this is part of mine. Please share this with anyone you think might benefit, or might even have a story of their own to share. You also can visit me at madnesstomagic.com, or check out more of my stories, including info on my book The S Word, at paolinamilanawrites.com. I hope to hear from you and to join forces with what I consider a unique caregiver tribe. As we all learn to embrace all of ourselves, to have compassion for others, and to come into our full power by the grace that is both madness and magic. Until we meet again, I’ll leave you with one of my favorite mantras. Be bold, and mighty forces shall come to your aid. Thank you.
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