Half A Loaf    by Janice Tindle


 Photo by Janice Tindle  

 My husband is a plasterer, and as such he has some special acts of kindness bestowed upon him by satisfied and grateful homeowners for a job well done. We have received monetary gifts into my Helphopelive.org fund for my medical bills, a few gift cards to restaurants, a nourishing meal, produce from their garden, chocolates, fresh baked goods, or advice on what might help ease my pain. All these things are greatly appreciated. They always seem to come at just the right time to lift my spirits. I know they mean a great deal to my husband. We are always sure to ask God to bless them for their kindness.

 Then there are the ones who have allowed my husband to take time out from their own project so that he could take me to the doctor, or come home when I need him. In the early days, especially, it was a God send, because  I was screaming in pain with a migraine from a  car collision that left me with brain, inner ear and neurological injuries. These people are truly to be commended for their self-sacrificing empathy. Some did it more than once. God bless them.

 In this world where people are so selfish, greedy and myopic, it’s nice to know that there are still people out there that are willing to be a Good Samaritan and take on an expense, disappointment or delay because a disabled person would benefit if they did.

 My husband always makes sure he repays their kindness with a heartfelt thank you. He gives everybody his best always, but we remember the ones the who displayed kindness to us. Often times, he returns to do more work, and the first thing they ask is, “ How’s your wife doing?” This touches him, and me. And we are always grateful for the work.

 It usually doesn’t cost a lot to be kind. The reward is generally the good feeling that comes from the good deed, but I believe God does notice such things.

 Today, my husband came home with half a loaf of banana bread. The woman didn’t know a thing about me. She was just so touched by my husband’s comment, “Wow!” “Something smells wonderful!” that she gave him half the loaf.

 At the end of the day, they were both satisfied with a job well done.

Here are two other stories that I wrote about the kindness of strangers at The Mighty.com;


Posted in brain injury, disability, human interest, humanity, inspirational, life changing, life changing events, motivational, people, self, thought provoking, traumatic brain injury | Tagged | 1 Comment

March is Brain Injury Awareness Month. Please support the individual progress of those with traumatic brain injury by celebrating their personal victories! 


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The Little Diva  by Janice Tindle

The little girl sat quietly at the window,

her puppy sleeping peacefully in her lap.

A phonograph record was playing loudly

an opera by Verdi. 

She closed her eyes and envisioned 

herself as the soprano in a beautiful red velvet gown. 

The notes were clear and strong, like crystal waters rushing over rocks. 

The little girl lifted her head as the diva does and outstretched her arms. 

The puppy stirred, and curled up again. 

She clenched her fists, as tears ran down her face as she belted out the last note. 

The phonograph went silent. 

A nurse entered the room, put the puppy dog on the floor and wheeled the little girl outside into the sunshine. 

The puppy ran behind them barking all the way to the garden. 

She breathed the sweet smell of pulmaria, but it failed in comparison 

to the breath of satisfaction left behind by the song in her heart. 




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The Mosiac Of The Broken Mind          by Janice Tindle 

He asked me to take his hand and follow him into the deep, dark cavern of his soul.

I hesitated, but he was alone and afraid to take the journey, so I paid the toll. 

I saw the valleys of gray shadows that tormented his utter despair, deep blue isolating grief and entombed black confession. 

I heard bone chilling wailing, haunting calls, and voices of doubt in succession. 

And we were only inside the mouth of the cave. It was to the light I wanted to race, 

but he grabbed my hand tighter and blew the icy cold storm of guilt at my tearful face. 

“You are my only friend. No one else understands.” I felt my feet sink deep into mud and my legs grew weak. 

We then began the excavation of memories, shattered dreams, and lost hopes. I decided to look up to find a peak. 

And there it was, off in the distance, so far that we had to hike most of the way. 

I told him to keep his eye on it, keep walking toward it and when he got there, to stay. 

Resting myself, he went on without me, looking back once or twice, but always talking. 

Eventually his voice got softer, his cries were silenced and he kept on walking.

 I looked down to find that the wretchedness of his life covered my feet, hands, and face. 

My clothes were sticky with the cobwebs of his injustice no one could erase, 

And yet, he walked on through it, leaving me behind to clear the spiders from my mind, and wash the pain from my heart. 

I am him and he is me. The journey is the same, but the path is different.

Out of the darkness and into the ghetto of  gray we are  walking, always searching, 

Until the light appears and a beautiful assemblage of the pieces make a new life. 

Posted in brain injury, Brain injury radio, brain tumor, caregiving, coping skills, dementia, disability, honesty, hospice, humanity, inspirational, Inspiring, life changing, life changing events, motivational, musings, people, poetry, prose, thought provoking, traumatic brain injury | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

I love hugs    by Janice Tindle


Posted in Dystonia, Dystonia awareness, honesty, human interest, humanity, jump for Dystonia, life changing events, motivational, nature, prose, thought provoking, tindle | Tagged | 1 Comment

Goodbye 2015    by Janice Tindle

As I enter into 2016, I do so with great determination, staking my claim on hope.  

It took five long years of hard work and great courage to meet the challenges of the devastating effects of a misdiagnosis and a traumatic brain injury. It left me with  life long chronic pain and the neurological movement disorder, Dystonia, visual snow and a laundry list of medical conditions, most involving pain and frustration.

 I really thought that 2015, was going to be the year that I restored some parts of my pre-TBI life, like, bringing my garden back into a thing of beauty, regaining my singing endeavors and building my body into the healthiest vessel possible. Above all, I truly wanted to expand my ministry. But that was not to be. Instead, 2015 was beset by heartbreaking events and too many nights where I cried myself to sleep.

It started out as a continuation of 2014, the same ol’ same ol’, but quickly turned gut-wrenching when I learned that my lawyer was terminally ill with cancer. At the same time, one of my few and greatest supporters, my great-aunt, was also in need of hospice. The intense stress that was created by the loss of these two people was compounded by the revelation that I was never going to receive justice for the bad driving of a stranger which condemned me to a life of suffering. In addition, I would become my mother’s caregiver because she, at 87, had developed a heart condition and needed to move into my home.

It gets worse. Eight more of my friends died. Several had cancer. One was particularly supportive online, and it left a hole in my soul to lose them all so quickly. Others didn’t die, they just up and left. And I, in my deep despair and overwhelming pain, left most of the ones who were still hanging around online. I can’t explain why, it’s too complicated, except to say, it was an unwelcome start to the travails of caregiving.

The other thing that happened was the Dystonia got worse. The repeated assaults to my ligaments and tendons from the continued contorting spasms resulted in injury. I now wear hard braces from my knuckles to my forearms and a heavy and lightweight brace on my knees. Recently, I found myself needing to use a crutch to walk. Lovely.  So there went the hope of fulfilling some personal physical goals. 

Pharmaceuticals. Lots of them. Not all covered by insurance. Can’t live without them like I had hoped. I hate that. 

Oral surgery. Lost a tooth and had to get a bone graft, with implant to follow. TMJ treatments, physical therapies, holistic and complementary care. All out-of-pocket. 

My health insurance had a huge increase. The house got carpenter ants again, and my dear husband suffered a concussion, and had other several injuries.

The challenge  of 2015 was also getting my mother’s duplex ready to sell. We had to fix it up, clear it and help my beloved mother decide what to keep for her new digs at our house.  Her new digs. Yes, now we have to remodel our house to make a nice place for mom. However, we were already needing to make repairs, so we had planned a home improvement loan. But the house wouldn’t wait and we had to borrow for a new roof. Ever try to get a loan after the financial ruin of a catastrophic injury?  It’s extremely difficult. 

So now I’m ending the year selling off as much as possible for as much as possible with as much energy as possible because I also am determined to go to Canada to get a special form of therapy in hopes it will help me move better. And because they say to “write what you know ” I’m writing a book about how to “Get Back Up!”  

So Goodbye 2015, and Hello to 2016. Please be kind. I’ve had a rough year. 

Posted in brain cancer, brain injury, caregiving, coping skills, disability, Dystonia, Dystonia awareness, entertainment, family, gardening, honesty, hospice, human interest, humanity, inspirational, Inspiring, life changing, life changing events, love, marriage, motivational, nature, people, rare disorder, religion, self, singing, spiritual, support groups, thought provoking, traumatic brain injury | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Danielle   by Janice Tindle

 She was 


Utterly and completely beautiful. 
From the deepest of her being, 

To the hidden corners of her soul,
She was 

Like a red diamond that endlessly glistens,  

Saturating the senses and enveloping the heart so that you can’t turn away, 
She was

Warm and luxurious, thick and dense, but  only from her beloved Bear, who comforted her and gave her solice. 
She was

Earthy and elegant, intelligently satisfiying yet, flamboyant and opulent, steely structured and richly complex. 
She was 

In the waves at midnight shining in the moonlight or the Suns rays warming it over sandy beaches,
She was 

Like a sauna pouring beads of sweat down supple skin and washing away pain, 
She was

In a warrior kind of way. 

Quiet and steadfast, unstoppable and unrelenting, but intensely forgiving. 
She was

In her words, her eyes, her deeds,

Through the good times and bad,
She was

To everyone, even when she wasn’t,  

But especially to God


Above anything else, 

She lived for Jehovah. 

And that is why

She was 



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Looking Back   by Janice Tindle

I’d like go back to

Before John Lennon was gunned down, 

Before the Beatles broke up, 

Before ticket prices were a days wage, 

Before record stores went under, 

And there was only one Main St. 

I’d like to go back to before my mind was filled with how to make ends meet, 

And laying awake at night wondering if I have I have enough for “independent living.”

When my heart was pulled towards dancing in places with live music, good friends and laughing til my belly ached. 

When  “Brown-Eyed Girl” became a Sing-A-Along, drummers were respected and everybody knew the name of the bass player. 

I want to go back to when the music wasn’t just in the background and dancing was close and tender. 

When my waist was tiny, and so was his, and gray hair was only on grandparents and wise old folks.

I want to go back, to riding in our pick up truck in four inch heels and staying out all night and rolling it seamlessly into a work day. 

When the face in the mirror was absolutely lovely and nothing could ever change my reflection. 

Before Paul and Ringo had grandchildren and I had to explain The Moody Blues, 

And I got blank stares when I mentioned Bob Dylan, 

Before micro breweries and digital music and live streaming, 

Before the Internet, endless technology and TMI, 

When bliss was your favorite song on the radio, with the top down, your hair in the wind, and the world was your oyster. 

I want to go back to when I had no idea just how fortunate I was to have the young healthy body that I had and my life was being played out by the Top Ten. 

It was fantastic. 

Posted in inspirational, Inspiring, life changing, life changing events, motivational, musings, Nostalgic, reminiscing, the seventies, youth, simpler things, poetry, prose, thought provoking | Tagged | Leave a comment

A Spiritual Moment     by Janice Tindle

To see an eagle fly, 

By and by into the great blue sky,

Soaring, gliding, ever abiding,

Multiplying solace in the altitudes,

Gaining strength by the Sun’s power, 

Wings spread, absorbing, always enduring, 

Rising higher and higher unto the glory of God, 

Above the clouds, above the Earth’s divides,

He’ll hold your hand, He will make you rise, 

Like an eagle,

He will make you fly, beyond your heart,

Beyond your thoughts, beyond your intentions, 

And you, like the eagle, will see, 

The seemingly impassable yet perfect,

Journey into spiritual peace.  

photo by Ron Foreman. Used with permission.

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Brain Injury Radio Show

I’ll be doing a reading of my work and talking about brain injury. Tune in Wednesday night to listen! 


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You Don’t Know Me     by Janice Tindle

Where were you when I cried out in pain?

Where were you when the heartache began?

When the world moved so fast that the images were just a mass of hues

And the noise made my ears bleed?

Where were you when the light made me scream

And the confusion made me wish I was dead?

Where were you?

Alone in the darkness I prayed for mercy, the sweet release of death,

Or the strength to carry on.

Where were you?

When the strength came and I rebuilt my life,

When I put the pieces together one at a time,

And made a new me?

A me you don’t know.

A me made from carnage and hope.

A me made from lost memories and broken dreams,

From courage and a new found personal power,

From perseverance and the entrance into a new life of the broken,

To find the beauty in being alive,

No matter what.

No matter what.

Beyond the ridiculous ridicule and judgement,

I survived.

I survive still.

And am whole in my brokenness because I am beyond the scope of definition.

I am a traumatic brain injury survivor.

Beyond your comprehension,

But more than I ever expected.

And with the influence of God,

I am.

And the shame is,

You don’t know me.

Posted in brain injury, disability, hospice, humanity, inspirational, life changing, life changing events, motivational, people, poetry, prose, thought provoking, traumatic brain injury | Tagged , | 3 Comments

Beyond Hope  by Janice Tindle 

In the dark, behind the presence of emotion,

Absolute stillness and unrelenting silence,

I am rhythmically breathing.

I am not lost.

Even though the darkness envelopes me,

I am here.

Believe me, your shame is not mine.

I am steadfast.

I won’t let you fall into the night.

All that I am, all that I will be,

Is right beside you.

In the morning, you will open your eyes and see tomorrow is today,

And hope has risen with the sun,

I stand beside you, your hand in mine,

No hidden fears, no painful secrets.

These words are true, words of hope,

Words of love and revealed truth,

In the midst of chaos, I am your peace,

In the midst of confusion, I am your clarity,

I am your child.

I am your hope, beyond your trial,

I will be there, past, present and future,

I will be there, loving you, even when there is no hope,

I will be there.

Into the cold, dark night of

Fragmented fantasies and misplaced dreams,

You have my immovable presence and undying loyalty,

In this world and on into the next,

My eyes are fixed, are fixed on yours.

My heart beats unified with yours,

I’ll stay with you, beyond hope.

Posted in caregiving, coping skills, disability, duty, family, honesty, hospice, humanity, inspirational, life changing, life changing events, love, motivational, people, poetry, prose, self, spiritual, thought provoking | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

The Invisible Imprisonment    by Janice Tindle 

I lie in my bed,

I can not feel it’s comfort.

The iron bands, tightly wrap my forearms,

My hands feel the head of the hammer.

“Just lie still and remain calm.”


The reign of pain is on the march.

I feel it’s oppression overtaking me.

The sobs of exhaustion echo through my bed chamber.

Suddenly, my neck jerks to the right, my torso to the left!

A hot steel rod sears my spine!

“Breathe. Remain calm. It will pass.” 

I wait for a break to escape. I am always looking, but so far, none.

Fire ignites inside my shoulder while icy fingers grow numb. 

Twitch, twist, ratching vertebrae,

Click, Snap! Pulling muscles, I can’t breathe!

Hold on, just keep holding on.

Breathe, try to breathe. 

And yet another reason to hope.

Which drug will they try tomorrow? 

How will my body react? 

The twisting has stopped.

For now. 

What will happen next?

“Don’t breathe too deeply or another attack will come.”

Dystonia, you evil persecuting Dictator of my body, 

Why are doing this? I’m innocent! 

I’m innocent.

And I’m stronger than you.

I’ll always be stronger than you.

Posted in coping skills, Dystonia, Dystonia awareness, honesty, humanity, humor, jump for Dystonia, life changing, life changing events, marriage, poetry, rare disorder, support groups, tindle | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Daniella: Dystonia’s Warrior Princess                                     by Janice Tindle

Daniella with her mother, Pia Bredahl

They called her Princess. From the moment she was born, there was no denying the resemblance little Daniella had to older brother Lukas Bredahl and her beautiful mother, Pia Bredahl of Vejle, Demark. She laughed. She sparkled. She shined. She was a light that filled the room and opened the heart to joy.   

  But there was a darkness that covered that light. Dystonia. A rare, neurological disorder that causes painful involuntary muscle spasms. It made Daniella scream. It made her twist into contortions. It made her cry. It made her break your heart.  


Dystonia has no known treatment or cure at this time, so when Pia realized that she could not bring relief to her child, she went to social media for help. She posted the above video of one of Daniella’s “storms” desperately asking for something, anything, to bring an end to her daughter’s suffering. Immediately, the suggestions came, but really, those who made suggestions, myself included, were also searching. Dystonia is a frustrating disorder because the doctors don’t immediately know what to do or say that will be even be a symptom reliever because everyone with Dystonia is unique and reacts differently to things, especially medication. It is not uncommon to have a severe dystonic reaction to the very medication that was given to help, and sometimes those reactions can be permanent.

In Daniella’s case, she had been given a lot of medication. It did not stop the spasms. Daniella spent many days and nights in the hospital. She had pneumonia more than once, and this time on August 15th, 2015, at just two years old,  it was too much for her withstand. After enduring a spinal tap and drilling in bone marrow to receive fluids, Daniella’s little body laid down the fight and she breathed her last breath.  

Daniella with her father, Nicoljai Nulle Fomsgarrd

The muscle spasms in the chest of someone so tiny can prove a great challenge in one with Dystonia. Even a cold can become a major obstacle in a child with Dystonia. It’s rare, but under the right metabolic or neurological complications, a person with Dystonia can pass away. 

The thing that drew me to Daniella was not just the heartbreaking video of her dystonic storm or the pictures of her in a brace, so she could be upright, 

 but in the way she smiled and laughed. Daniella did and was able to experience joy and happiness. And when she did, her joy and laughter was infectious. Captured forever in pictures, a face of delight. In spite of her suffering, Daniella knew she was loved. And she gave love. Bushes of it. Her father, Nicolaj Nulle Fomgaard,  was absolutely in love with his darling little girl.  

Daniella with her father, Nicoljai Nulle Fomagaard

Daniella with her brother, Lukas Bredahl

Her brother Lukas adored her. 

Her uncle Johnny Bredahl  was smitten with her (not pictured) and her grandmothers, Vera Bredahl (not pictured) and Jytte Brauner Fomsgarrd cherished her. 

Daniella with grandmother, Jytte Brauner Fomsgarrd

They all wanted the best for her, and as any family does, they wanted her out of pain. But not this way. 

It’s heartbreaking. The helpless feeling of losing a precious child to a mysterious disorder. To do nothing is intolerable, so Pia Bredahl advocates raising awareness about Dystonia and finding a cure. At least a treatment that works, not a temporary ease, like some find with Botox injections or deep brain stimulation, but something that arrests Dystonia so those suffering don’t have storms, spasms or tremors. She wants this unreasonable, unresponsive and incurable disorder to gain recognition among the medical community and be brought into the forefront of neurological disorders so that people will realize that research isn’t just for this rare disorder alone, but for every neurological disorder that causes involuntary movements. And she wants it done for every child who suffers. Every child who is held captive by their muscles and kept from having the life that every child deserves. She wants Daniella to be remembered. Not just for the darkness that surrounded her, but for the light she brought into the world. We promise Pia, we will remember Daniella.  ❤️ 

Here is Linda Thompson’s video: http://youtu.be/HNuGK6G9_KQ


This is the fundraising campaign for Little Daniella’s Headstone : http://de.gofund.me/e92qa2j8

Another beautiful video:

Please visit: dystoniauk.org or dystonia-foundation.org 


( the information for this article was taken from the Facebook page, Daniella’s fight against Dystonia )  



Posted in caregiving, disability, Dystonia, Dystonia awareness, hospice, humanity, inspirational, jump for Dystonia, life changing, life changing events, love, people, rare disorder, short story, thought provoking | Tagged , , , , , , | 6 Comments

A Message For Those Who Have A Life Changing Disability   by Janice Tindle

“I don’t think I’ll ever be happy again,” is the worst thing you can say to yourself. You WILL be happy again. Tell yourself that. You will. I promise. Maybe not all day long, but you’ll have moments. Everyday, do one thing to make a difference in someone’s life who is worse off than you. I know it doesn’t seem like they’re out there, but they are. Five years ago, I was you.
I could not see my future. 


It got better. Not great. Better. 


I’ll always be post TBI, but I’m able to keep moving ( I have Dystonia) on my journey http://youtu.be/-oUZATXQQTk

because I never gave up on myself and I never will. Believe in yourself. You’re totally worth it. DMRF.org


Posted in brain injury, caregiving, coping skills, disability, Dystonia, Dystonia awareness, honesty, human interest, humanity, inspirational, jump for Dystonia, life changing, life changing events, love, motivational, musings, people, poetry, prose, rare disorder, self, spiritual, support groups, thought provoking, tindle, traumatic brain injury | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

To Be Still                             by Janice Tindle 

Oh! To be still-

To lay down and not feel the war within,

The muscles, like revving engines, 

Raring to go, ramping, ramping, and off! 

Off into a race to nowhere. 

The twists and turns, the dangerous road of pharma, 

Suddenly, a dead end. 

Exhausted, a resting place is found. 

But there is no stillness. 

Just the tightness of a thousand muscles, tendons, ligaments and nerves.

Too twisted to move. 

This is the sleep of Dystonia. 

Posted in disability, Dystonia, Dystonia awareness, human interest, humanity, inspirational, jump for Dystonia, life changing, life changing events, musings, poetry, prose, rare disorder, self, thought provoking | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dystonic Disaster          by Janice Tindle

Spasm rocks the chair

That hits the wall

That knocks down the picture 

That hits the table

That shatters the glass 

That flips the coffee cup

That crashes to the floor

That stains the carpet

In the house that Jack built.

True story. 
(An homage to Mother Goose)

Posted in Dystonia, Dystonia awareness, poetry, prose, rare disorder | Tagged | Leave a comment

Jump For Dystonia: A Voluntary Movement That Serves A Purpose    by Janice Tindle

July 13-19 is Jump For Dystonia week. https://www.facebook.com/events/652856684814611/


They want you to post a picture of yourself jumping in order to raise awareness for Dystonia.

Many people have been posting videos as well. http://youtu.be/0KNo5oKS-C4

What is Dystonia?

Dystonia is a rare neurological disorder and can come in many forms. It can affect one or more parts of the body. It causes involuntary muscle movements. For me, it feels like my muscles are being wrung tight, twisted and suspended and encased in barbed wire. It starts when it wants and stops when it chooses. Mine is the rarest of the rare, called Segmental and Paraoxysmal Dystonia.  I have no control over Dystonia, but like most people with Dystonia, I can control my reaction to how I choose to deal with the loss of physical freedom. I do my best to put on a brave face and most of the time I try not let it get the best of me, but at times, it does.

Anyone can get Dystonia at anytime. One of those people who knows this is Pamela Sloate. Pamela Sloate is a health activist who is involved in an array of awareness efforts, moderates a patient support group, advocates for the dystonia community, and advances fundraising. She holds degrees from Brown University and NYU School of Law, and her career spans law, marketing and non-profit administration. Pamela can be found blogging about life with Dystonia. You can read about her passion for Jump For Dystonia here: http://www.dystoniamuse.com.http://dystoniamuse.com/2015/07/13/a-hop-skip-a-jump/

So what causes Dystonia? There is no easy and definitive answer. What does Dystonia look like? Here are some examples from YouTube.

Kids with Dystonia. http://youtu.be/RBSRPd_Cwuk

Dystonic symptoms after being given a certain drugs, like Reglan have been reported. This is Tricia Morton. http://youtu.be/DeR5wFOC4Ow

For others, it affects the voice and hands, like the remarkable James Sutliff of the United Kingdom, who has able as been able do something most people with Dystonia can not do, body building. http://youtu.be/

Focal Dystonia is more common in musicians as seen here in this video. It is a type of Dystonia that can respond well to therapy. But it is a long road. Any musician will tell you that losing the ability to play music is like losing a part of your soul. http://youtu.be/Ihew0-BAkC8

Dystonia can get progressively worse with time. This often leads some to a life of isolation and a need for a caregiver. Unfortunately, a full support system of family, friends and community is often lacking. Support groups, like those online, become a lifeline of precious resource information. There are dozens of groups on Facebook where people go looking for hope and solace. When I found those supports, I became less lost and afraid. I was no longer alone.

Most doctors don’t recognize this neurological disorder for what it is and therefore many people go for years misdiagnosed and misunderstood. That type of suffering is psychologically, emotionally and financially devastating. That’s what happened to me. No one should ever have to walk the medical road I have traveled. The Dystonia community wants to get Dystonia in the public consciousness. With events like Jump For Dystonia, awareness is raised. Tom Seaman, Author of “Diagnosing Dystonia” says this about raising awareness, “Dystonia awareness is not only important for those living with this life altering chronic health condition, but necessary for those who have yet to be diagnosed or have been misdiagnosed.”

The medical community currently offers Botox injections, dangerous pharmaceutical drugs and deep brain stimulation to help ease the suffering of Dystonia, but none of these are a treatment or cure. Every patient is different and these do not always help. If something does help, it may not do so long term and everything has side effects. It is very confusing and often very scary and frustrating. Alternative therapies can help one but not another. Here’s an example of dancing therapy:

Here’s what you need to know. Dystonia is real. Dystonia is painful. Having Dystonia is lonely. Dystonia can affect anyone at anytime. People with Dystonia need your support.

But I have to tell you that the people I know with Dystonia are some of the most courageous, intelligent and bravest I have ever met. They have endured life challenges quietly and gracefully while generously sharing whatever information they can to help others. Recently, I had an opportunity to lunch with three lovely women with various forms of Dystonia who have been dealing with its challenges for decades. They helped me acclamate and transition into a new mental focus for the long road ahead.

The Facebook page is called Jump For Dystonia.https://www.facebook.com/jumpfordystonia They are asking you to post a picture of you jumping. That’s all you need to do. If you can’t jump, do your version of jumping. Jump For Dystonia wants your support to raise awareness so effective treatments can be found and research can be done for this rare and often painful disorder. Jump For Dystonia wants you to show your support to those with Dystonia who even though they suffer, find joy in the gift of Life. Having freedom of movement is a gift. If you can jump, by all means, JUMP!

 For more information on Dystonia see DMRF.org or Dystonia.org.uk

Find me at Janicetindle.com @janicetindle on Twitter, on Facebook as Janice Tindle – Creative Writer and on LinkedIn


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Medical Care Fund For Janice Tindle

Thank you for sharing this post. Your tax deductible donation is deeply appreciated.  Please read the campaign for Janice Tindle. Keep hope alive. https://m.helphopelive.org/campaign/3788

Posted in brain injury, caregiving, coping skills, Dystonia, honesty, human interest, inspirational, life changing, life changing events, love, marriage, motivational, musings, people, self, thought provoking, tindle | Leave a comment

Dystonia Awareness by Janice Tindle

Today is May 8th. It’s Dystonia Awareness Day. I spent eight hours this week in the ER because of an overly aggressive PT appointment. The therapist had never heard of Dystonia. She was willing to help, but, she didn’t understand how my body would react to anything other than a light touch. It reacted by going into crushing spasms in my chest. My pinkie and ring finger felt painfully numb and at times felt like someone was twisting and pulling them backwards. My arms ached like someone who had overworked at the gym from lifting too much weight. And worse of all, came a mind-blowing migraine. I lost my ability to speak and see. I had to get a painful nerve block from the headache doctor. Most of the migraine subsided, however, the chest pain was too much to endure. I felt nausea, dizziness and was having hot sweaty and clammy skin.  I decided I had to go to the ER. This was pointless because the medical staff had never heard of Dystonia. They decided I should be checked for a heart problem. I knew it wasn’t my heart. So I laid there for six hours while they did their tests. Everything was within normal limits. Conclusion: Muscle spasm.  

There is no awareness in the medical profession for Dystonia. Because of that, people with Dystonia can’t go just anywhere for medical treatment. We need our Dystonia specialist. But they too are limited in what they can do. They treat the symptoms, that’s all. 

In the hospital they have no idea what to do except to say, ” Try this medication and see if it helps.” It is a problem for me because too many medications cause adverse dystonic reactions. The last one I had left me shaking for three months. Not only is Dystonia exhaustingly painful, it has no real medical treatment or cure. People with Dystonia suffer greatly. Most are invisible because they are confined to home shrouded in agony and loneliness. Imagine feeling like an invisible force was twisting, pulling and contorting your muscles while sending electrical charges through your nervous system. This is my Dystonia. We need compassion, support and assistance. 

Dystonia can hit anyone at anytime. Mine is the result of brain and neck injury. 

Today I am raising my voice in an effort to make people understand that this is a heartbreakingly disabiling neurological condition.  

 People with Dystonia have strength beyond what most deem intolerable.  Please do what you can to render aid to someone with Dystonia today. For more information  :https://www.dystonia-foundation.org/

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Three Is All You Need  by Janice Tindle

Three Is All You Need  by Janice Tindle.

It was first published by Mainline Rehab newsletter March 2012. Then, by Fearless Caregiver #88 then Caregiver Magazine April 2015 in which they used it as the title and republished it again in Fearless Caregiver. You can't find it there anymore though. But it's in my blog and it's still in NeuroConnect Magazine and the Mainline Rehab newsletter.

I think it's best thing that I've ever written and I'm immensely proud that so many people have told me just how much it has helped them through not only their brain injury recovery, but in life in general.

I'm a very flawed individual. I don't think I'm particularly special or even important. But if I never do another worthwhile thing in my life, at least, one night, God blessed me and I wrote this piece of precious hope.



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Gaining Perspective Through Observation  by Janice Tindle

It’s never pleasant to have surgery, but there are times when gratitude is the requirement of the day. That is how I felt sitting in the waiting room of a Mohs Surgery Center. 

Mohs surgery is almost exclusively for skin cancer. With the use of a microscope, the surgeon is able to remove all of the margins thus reducing the chance of reoccurrence to practically nil. That is wonderful to hear for those who get the cancer diagnosis. 

I was sent here by my plastic surgeon. He had removed a cylindroma from my forehead. The scar was hardly noticeable and all seemed fine, but unfortunately he didn’t get all the margins and it grew back, so he sent me to see a very nice doctor in this field of specialized surgery. However, my insurance denied the Mohs surgery and we had to go with a similar technique because my progressive cylindroma was not suspected to be cancerous. Mohs surgery is very expensive so insurance companies are not about to pay for it for a cylindroma even if it is on my forehead. They did however pay for the removal of the precancerous tissue on my lip. It was done by my plastic surgeon twice and is currently still healing. 

Today’s surgery was an excision. It is a similar surgery, but leaves a slightly larger scar. So no small horizontal one like before, but a large vertical one. I was not happy about having a large scar on my unspoiled forehead. Botox injections for my Dystonia had made it smooth and taut. One tiny scar was bad enough. Now, I was to have this huge imperfection. After everything I had been through in my life, my face had been spared the outward appearance of injury. The car collision which led to head, neck and neurological injuries, thankfully did not leave any facial scars. Now, this cylindroma, tender to the touch, was going to erase all that and cost a pretty penny to boot! Despite the facts, it will look like I had skin cancer surgery. Wearing bangs are now mandatory. They will serve as camouflage to hide this irony.

The surgeon took what he thought was the complete tumor and I went to sit in the waiting room with the other patients. Based on what the doctor told me about his practice,  I presumed they all had skin cancer. My situation was unique. It wasn’t easy-going through this with my dystonic spasms, but we worked around it with no problems. 

 All the patients had long waits, so we started chatting about our surgeries. Precancerous, basal cell carcinoma, melanoma. Just as I was about to feel relieved, they called me back. He didn’t get all the margins and had to go deeper. So back I went and we did it again after which I went back to the pleasant waiting room.

I could hardly feel sorry for myself. It was going to leave a permanent scar, but It wasn’t because of cancer. Just a pesky growth with tentacles that if I had let go would have gone deeper and possibly wider. That would have meant a deeper surgery with more tissue and skin removed leaving a dent along with a nasty scar. 

With the exception of a young man and woman, the people in the waiting room were seniors with the tell-tale signs of a life in the sun. Maybe it was the wisdom of their years or resignation, but they seemed to be taking it all rather well. We sat in comfy chairs listening to classical music, and watching the pink coral swaying rhythmically in a large saltwater fish tank. Sipping on complementary coffee and eyeing a plate of cookies, I waited for the test results. It had already been several hours. My stomach was calling for lunch. I took a protein bar and a bottle of water from my bag. 

Finally, it came. All clear. The next step was to get stitches. The surgery site looked like a big red harlequin diamond. Pretty gross and kinda horrifying. Getting stitched up was uncomfortable, but it wasn’t until 5:00 in the evening that I began to feel the pain of the incision. Advil wasn’t touching it, so I took the pain med they gave me and went to bed.

As I lay in bed I reflected on the day. This was going to be a long drawn out process of wound care and healing.  The scar would take three months to begin to look better and the healing pains could be up to a year or more, but it would heal. I was sad about the scar, however, I was sadder still when my thoughts turned to Heather.

Heather was a dear friend of mine who loved to sunbathe. She was diagnosed with melanoma and like lava from a volcano, the cancer overtook her and in what seemed like an instant, she was gone. 

My cylindroma was benign. I don’t have to worry that it will return. This chapter of my life will close with me going on to deal with other things. No one will grieve. No one will miss me. They won’t have to, not yet. And with time, make up and bangs, no one will notice the scar. 

Sadly, the invisible scars of life affect everyone. Emotional scars. Scars that make some people abuse themselves or others. Scars that cause depression or some other mental disorder. These are harder to hide and if they do heal, it can take a lifetime. 

So goodbye little cylindroma. Hello big scar. You’re just another one of my life tattoos as a warrior and survivor that say, “I’m still here and grateful to see another day. 


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Last minute tax deduction – medical care fund here. 

Thank you!  


Posted in brain injury, caregiving, coping skills, duty, entertainment, family, gardening, honesty, human interest, humanity, inspirational, life changing, life changing events, love, marriage, motivational, musings, nature, people, self, singing, spiritual, thought provoking, tindle, traumatic brain injury | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Three Is All You Need   by Janice Tindle

Three Is all You Need

By Janice Tindle 

I’ve always been a person who likes to have her ducks in a row. And just like a good mother duck, I was constantly checking, going back when I needed to, keeping all my little ducks in line. It was an exhausting job, really; but at the end of the day, I slept soundly knowing all was well. On those occasions when things weren’t well, I would always have a plan on how to make my line straight again. And I always got my ducks back in a row.


When I suffered a brain injury, it was like someone threw a giant boulder into my pond. All my ducks scattered. Some were tossed high up into the sky and some were thrown onto dry land. Others were slammed against the shoreline and others still remain unaccounted for.


For the first year, I was frantic—trying desperately to collect all my ducks, honking and squawking, searching, and grabbing onto any duck I could find. I couldn’t keep the ones I found together and some were too far off in the distance to be reached safely. I hoped they would find their way back to me on their own and I held onto the three I had. 


They were and remain the three closest to me at all times—Faith, Family and Friend. Faith is a healthy, loving duck that helps me out when I am low by moving out in front and taking the lead; and I am only too glad to follow. The other two, Family and Friend, are scruffy runts, but never have any trouble keeping up with Faith.


I’m still in the same pond, hoping to one day soon be reunited with my lost ones. I know when I do, they won’t be the same as how they would have been had I been taking care of them the whole time. Oh, they probably won’t look as good or be able to stay in line as well; but still, they’re mine and I’ll be glad to have them back. A few, I fear, are gone for good, and it’s sad to think I’ll never see them again. But the first three, the ones who are always with me, make me feel truly safe and warm at night. When I look behind me, my reflection is still murky; but I can see three is all you really


Posted in coping skills, essay, family, Fearless Caregiver, Today's Caregiver, Neurosurgeon Connect, Neuroconnent, Mainline Rehab, human interest, humanity, inspirational, life changing, life changing events, love, motivational, people, short story, spiritual, thought provoking, traumatic brain injury | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

My article is on page 4. March is Brain Injury Awareness a Month. This is an account of the acute stages of TBI. 


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Meanwhile, in a eagle nest in Hanover Pa….

The iggle is in the igloo and is sitting on iggs. – Janice Tindle

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“Only those who walk the path understand the journey.” – Janice Tindle

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Dystonia is not a disease but it is a rare disorder. I have dystonia and today I am supporting Rare Disease Day. 

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Every new day is a new beginning. Make the impossible…POSSIBLE! – Janice Tindle -TBI Survivor

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2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,200 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 37 trips to carry that many people.

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The Color Of Your Voice /Written by Janice Tindle

The year was 1987. I was between jobs, so I answered an ad for the position of a part-time receptionist.

My interview was done over the phone. The young man who interviewed me was the new sales manager for a marketing company that sold high quality knives and other kitchen utensils. He was specifically interested in the impression I gave over the telephone. He said my voice and my manner of speaking was the first impression of the company that people would get when they called, so it was important that he hired
the right person. The interview went well. He told me I could start the next day. I found him to be upbeat and personable. The job sounded pleasant. The company had a good reputation and a great product, so I was pretty happy when he gave me his approval. There was one thing however that seemed out of place. During the phone interview, the young man had me repeat a series of specific words such as; Hanukkah, kreplach and menorah. Everything went fine, so I shrugged it off as a test of my pronunciation.

The office consisted of three rooms. A small room was off to the right as you entered. Down a short hallway was a large main room banked with folding chairs for the applicants and lastly, there was a medium-sized room at the back of the large room. I sat at a desk and answered the phone in the smaller room while the handsome young manager occupied the office in the back room. I could hear him as he spoke on the phone in a boisterous manner to his salesmen.

In my orientation, it was explained to me that I would be screening male applicants to be salesmen for the company. I asked why it was not open to women and he said the job was too dangerous for a woman. “Women buy knives, they should not sell them, ” he said. This was not what I wanted to hear. But, since I could not see myself selling knives in people’s homes, I decided I’d overlook it until I became more familiar with the company.

He told me I was to specifically look for people who sounded “good over the phone.” When I asked him what that meant, he said I was to look for “an articulate person who expressed himself well and had a good attitude.” He then gave me a list of questions to ask. As I looked over the questions, I became more and more confused because they didn’t seem to have any thing to do with the job description. Nevertheless, I figured there must be a good reason for the questions. I sat at my desk and waited for the phone to ring.

It did not take long for the phone to start ringing. A lot of people were interested in the job opening. I asked the questions. Depending on who called, the questions were either readily answered or the caller would abruptly end the phone call. I concluded that even though I did not understand the process, this must be a good screening tool so I continued to ask the questions. I filled the schedule with appointments for the next day. This made my new boss very happy.

The second part of my job was to greet the applicants when they arrived. I would take their coat and have them wait in the large room to fill out the application form. After their interview, I was to take their paperwork and file it according to the symbol that that my boss made on it with a marker. The marks were either a check, an “X” or a circle. He did not explain to me what the marks meant. However, when I went into work the next day, he had me call all the ones with the check mark to tell them that they got the job. I noticed something right away when they came in for orientation. They were all young white males. After they left, he said to me, ” Those are the kind of sales people I want. Do not make interviews for anyone who does not sound like the ones that just left.” I asked him, if it was a coincidence that they were all young white males. He said yes. So the next day, I continued setting up the interviews. And the result was the same as it had been from the first set of interviews. I asked him again about his choices and this time he told me that he would be happy to have one of “my people” or even someone of the ” Italian persuasion,” as a salesman too. My people? I had not mentioned my ethnicity so just who did he think “my people” were? My grandfather’s entire family was Italian, so clearly he had misread me in more ways than one. At his point, I knew I could not stay in this job. However, before I left, I wanted to make certain I knew exactly what I had been hired to do.

The next day when the calls came in, I did not ask the questions. I scheduled everyone who called for an interview. Men as well as women. As you can imagine, he was very surprised at the turn out. After they had all left, he came into my office. He tried to explain to me that my job was to make his job easier. I told him I didn’t know what he meant. He said I was to bring him “the right people.” I asked him ,” How can I possibly know who “the right people” are over the phone?” He got up and started to pace. He said woman were “unsuitable.” He continued by telling me that there were “some people that would not buy knives from other people or even let them in their homes because they would be too afraid.” I said, that I would be afraid of a criminal, but, he did not ask me to ask if anyone had a criminal record, so what other kind of people was he talking about? And then it happened. He said, “People who have a skin color darker than ours should not sell knives. You should have been able to figure out who was who when they called.”

I sat there and stared at him for a long time. Then I said what needed to be said. “I cannot work for you anymore because what you are doing is illegal. It is morally and ethically wrong. I think if I called the company headquarters, they would agree with me. I also think I should make a few other calls as well.” He looked frustrated. He asked me if he paid me to the end of the month, would I reconsider not making the phone calls. I told him if he paid me to the end of the year, he couldn’t keep me from making the calls. After that, things got a little tense. He became as ugly as his words. He began to rant about how people, ” like me,” don’t understand the way things work. I tried to explain that regardless of how he thought things were, I could not buy in to this mindset, but he had stopped listening. I knew it was time for me to leave. He was still “educating me” as I gathered up my things and walked out of the office.

I made the phone calls. A month later, a sign in the window appeared; OFFICE FOR RENT.


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This is an open invitation to come and “LIKE” my page on Facebook. Janice Tindle – Creative Writer. Thank you all so much. I’m glad you enjoyed my writing!

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Dystonic Jerk /Written by Janice Tindle

I reach for a glass

Arm extended, fingers twitch
Crash. The shards scatter

I reach for a broom

Searing hot poker of pain
I tell myself
I wasn’t really that thirsty.

Posted in brain injury, caregiving, coping skills, honesty, human interest, humanity, inspirational, life changing, life changing events, motivational, people, poetry, prose, self, thought provoking | Leave a comment

War On Dystonia /Written by Janice Tindle

Brain spasm.
As if trying to extract its juice.

Violent contortions.

Judge me not, for
I am a warrior.

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The Principled Man /Written by Janice Tindle

I was standing in the doorway of my father’s hospital room. He was asleep. He had been there most of the week,so I had become familiar with the nursing staff. His room was just outside their station. I found myself listening to a conversation they were having about favorite patients. It was a delightful diversion from the stress of the week. It was especially nice to hear them sharing a few minutes of cheerfulness in what was usually a busy and serious cacophony of male and female voices. I was under the impression that with so many people coming and going, that they would never specifically remember anyone at all, but to my surprise, they did indeed. They remembered quite a few, and what struck me is that every patient had something in common. Something that had made an impact on the nurses. Something that left a mark on their hearts and in their memory.

They remembered the patients who were nice to them. They spoke of the ones who were kind, patient and polite. The ones who smiled and were positive. They remembered them by name. Of course, their names meant nothing to me, they were strangers, but then one of them said something that suddenly made me part of the group. She said, ” But you know who was the best patient we ever had ?” And without out missing a beat, in unison they said aloud,
” Mr. Dawson!”
” Oh yes!” said one.
“He was so nice!” said another.
“I loved going into his room”- and before she could finish, again they said in unison,
“For his stories!”
She continued, “I learned so much from him!”
Another remarked, “He made you think.”
And yet another, “He taught me things about the Bible I never knew. He was such a good listener too. I felt like he really cared about me.”
A new voice asked, “Who are you talking about?”
“Mr. Dawson!” they replayed.
“Oh!” she said,
“You know, I had a conversation with him about something when he was here the first time and when he came back, he remembered me and asked me how I was doing. I never had a patient do that. He was a nice man. Always positive and happy.”
“Which we don’t see often,”” said a male voice.
“Yes, he was,” they said in unison. Then a single voice said, “I wonder if he’s okay.”

I wanted to leave the privacy of where I had been eavesdropping and join in the conversation. I wanted to share in their admiration of the man I knew as a deeply respected man of God and a pillar of strength that so many held in high esteem. I wanted to tell them everything I knew about him, but I didn’t, because if I did, I would also have to tell them that he had died of the cancer that had brought him to this hospital floor. So I kept silent. It was better to leave them with their good memories and happy moment because they deserved the peace he left in their heart and I wasn’t about to spoil what was so characteristic of him, that warmth and enthusiasm he left behind, well, most of the time.

My family first met Mr. Dawson as a young man when he knocked on their door in 1946. He was with his father and was offering a Bible study. My family agreed and learned how to quit bad habits and started living a lifestyle that was more pleasing to God. My parents were engaged then and Mr. Dawson presided over their marriage. Though my father did not continue to live by Bible standards, my mother did, and raised her children in the same way so that when it was our turn to be married, Mr. Dawson, or Brother Dawson, as he was called, presided over our weddings as well. I asked him once how many weddings and funerals he had presided over and he said he had lost count, but while the weddings were joyous, and the funerals grievous, the funerals were more memorable because it is ” Better to go to the house of mourning than the house of feasting, for that is the end of every man, and the living should take heart.” ( Ecclesiastes 7:2) And ” A good name is better than good oil, and the day of death is better than the day of birth.” ( Ecclesiastes 7:1) Then he asked me,
“Why do you think it says, ” the day of death is better than the day of birth?”
I said, ” Because when you are born, you have not made a good name with any accomplishments yet, but when you die, you leave behind a legacy, hopefully one that has made a good name with God.”

He smiled.

That smile could light up a room. As did his laughter and tremendous love of God. He never lost his excitement over The Word, even the most subtle nuances were like finding priceless treasures. He couldn’t wait to share his newly discovered gem with everybody. He’d tell you and then get a big grin on his face and say, ” Isn’t that neat? Don’t you just love it?” And he’d laugh with delight!

I remember working on a volunteer building project in Johnstown after they had a flood. He was a bricklayer on the job site. I was a teenager and I spent the day with dozens of others passing bricks to the bricklayers. While we were laughing, talking and singing as we passed bricks, we were also watching the men work. I had never seen him do hard physical labor before and he went after it with the same zeal as he did in his ministry. This was also a part of his ministry and he made sure that every brick was laid properly. It was, after all, God’s House.

As much as I admired him for those things, there was another side of him that I loved just as much. He was fearless, courageous and bold. During World War II, Mr. Dawson was working as a research chemist, so he was exempt from military service. A war bond drive was introduced at his job that required all employees to buy a bond for $20.00. But because of Mr. Dawson’s religious convictions, as a man of peace, he declined to support the war. His manager thought he’d make it easy on him by offering to pay all but ten cents of the bond for him. Mr. Dawson refused. He said, “If you can afford $19.90, you can afford the other ten cents! You don’t want my money. You want my principles!” It cost him his job. This lead to his being called up in the draft. And so, in spite of his activity in the ministry, he was sentenced to five years in a federal prison. While in prison, his wife had to raise their baby daughter alone.

After prison, he went back into the ministry and took work as a bricklayer. He raised a family and took on many, many overseer and teaching positions that glorified God. These assignments had far reaching effects and resulted in a worldwide network that saved countless lives through education. His goal of, “communication instead of confrontation,” was a motto he ascribed to and it proved to have immediate and long term success. He was a humble man who ended up being loved and respected by not only his fellow believers, yes, but he also had the respect of authority figures and decision makers. At anytime of the day or night they would call upon him for help and advice.

Throughout his life Mr. Dawson was well known for his love of Jehovah God, his family, hard work and of course, for people in general. He loved learning and was open to new information. His love, warmth, and enthusiasm was endless and like I said at the beginning of my story, he never stopped being concerned about others even in his final days. When he died, over 1500 people attended his memorial service.

Brother Dawson’s warmth and exuberance lives on in my heart and mind. He had such a beautiful energy about him that it was privilege to be in his company. Everything he did, he did with gusto. I look forward to the time when I will see him again in the resurrection. I have no doubt his joy will fill the very earth.

” With that I heard a loud voice from heaven say, “Look! The tent of God is with mankind, and he will reside with them. And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away.” And the One seated on the throne said: “Look! I am making all things new. Also, he says: “Write, because these words are faithful and true.” – Revelation 21:3-5.


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Pia /Written by JaniceTindle

High above a lake of beauty,
Is an Osprey nest, with a post for sentry duty,
Inside were laid three speckled eggs,
That soon became three adorable Ospreys.

Their parents were exceptional feeders,
Rachel and Steve, a pair of great breeders,
Peace and order abided in the nest on the pole,
Each parent was diligent with their assigned role.

The feasting was good, the weather a bit dicey,
The hatchlings grew strong and a wee bit feisty,
Yet all the while they were safe and serene,
Overlooking the boats in their sanctuary scene.

They were banded and named Pan, Poole and Pia,
And cheered on by thousands in the online arena,
Loved they were and into our hearts they flew,
All eyes were upon them and whatever they’d do.

Then the time came for each one to fly,
Pan and Poole practiced, while Pia, stood by,
To a troller in the water flew Pan and Poole,
Pia watched from the nest; ” fools do what they do.”

For she was always there when it was time to eat,
She grabbed that fish in the talons of her feet,
She wasn’t about to miss a good flounder,
And with a full crop she slept ever sounder.

She took her pose on the weathered post,
Pia exercised her wings, but that was the most,
Then one day she up and flew to the troller,
To join Pan and Poole and boy, did they holler!

Yet Pia would always return to the nest,
Even with wings, it was the place she loved best,
She spent time with Mom in the noon day sun,
And watched the sunset when the day was done.

Yes, Pia loved fish and grew quite round,
She preened, but siblings were South America bound!
With Mom gone with them, it was just Pia and Dad,
He supplied her with big fish and she ate all he had!

And just as we were beginning to wonder if she’d leave,
She flew off one September morning with Dad Steve,
With bittersweet tears, farewell Pia, we all say,”So long!”,
To the littlest Osprey who grew up healthy and strong.

Next year, Rachel and Steve will return to the nest,
And raise more Ospreys that Nature will test,
In lovely Bremen, Maine, on their Hog Island home,
And there they will stay ’til it’s time for them to roam.

9-15-2014 Janice Tindle


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The Storytellers /Written by Janice Tindle

I have always loved a good story. My love of storytelling began with my father and my grandmother. My father told me stories about his time in the South Seas during World War II where he was stationed in the Philippines, Fuji and several other islands. On one of those islands, he encountered friendly Pygmies who loved to exchange goods for chocolate and cigarettes. During one of these exchanges, my father traded for a parrot and another time for a little dog. He taught the parrot to talk and he taught the little dog to do tricks. This was the company entertainment. My father was the radio operator and he was called Radar. One, because he was the radio operator and two, because this last name ended with r-a-d-e-r, so that was his nickname. So you can imagine when the television show M*A*S*H came out, I was amazed how much my father had in common with their Radar! Anyway, he taught the parrot to say, “Hi George!” ( which was his first name) and “Sorry Johnson!” Johnson was the last name of his bunk mate. They spent a lot of time playing checkers. My father was unbeatable. No matter how hard he tried, Johnson couldn’t win a game! He would play several games before getting so mad that he would throw the board up in the air, checkers flying everywhere! It was at this point the parrot would scream, “Sorry Johnson!” his wings flapping while sitting on my father’s shoulder. This made Johnson sulk, but the camp got a big kick out of it. As each soldier would pass by him, they would say, “Lose again, Johnson?” Soon, the parrot picked up on this and began crying, “Lose again Johnson! Lose again Johnson!” My father would laugh and laugh when he told that story. So would I. That was one of my favorite stories, mostly because of the way my father told it, by imitating the parrot and that it still made him laugh! Sitting on his lap as he told me that story was one of the best memories I have of my father. When he was my Daddy and I was his little girl.

The other storyteller in my life was my mother’s mother. She and my grandfather lived next door to us. My grandfather was famous for his stories, so much so in fact, people still repeat them to this day. But like my father, my grandmother would sit me in her lap as well and tell stories just to me. Her stories were much different. She would make them up with me. As we went along, we would decide what would happen next. They always started with, “There once was a little girl named Janie…..( which was my nickname), and it would go from there. I guess my grandmother was my first creative writing teacher. She was great at making up a short story and they always had happy endings. We would giggle and she would hug and squeeze me and tickle me until I yelled laughing, ” Stop!” Then we would have milk and cookies and she would tell me about her mother and father and her life growing up with five siblings and a widowed mother. She also helped me learn to read. She was an avid reader and I remember sitting and reading books with her.

I hope that in today’s world, children still get to have storytellers in their life, where they sit in a lap and delight in the experience of the heartfelt and skillfully crafted story.

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The Misunderstanding /Written by Janice Tindle

I have a traumatic brain injury and so I am misunderstood quite often. I am sure it happens to everyone. It hurts when someone misunderstands you, but it hurts even more when you apologize and they refuse to accept your apologies.

Why? Of what benefit is it to refuse to acknowledge that a misunderstanding has taken place? Where is the pay off for holding onto that pain? To punish the person who hurt you in your own mind? If it is a misunderstanding, and they have offered correction, why not accept it and move on?

Perhaps it is a matter of ego. Or a need to be in control. But in control of what? Are you not hurting yourself in the process? Mahatma Gandi said, " Nobody can hurt me without my permission." While Eleanore Roosevelt said, "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." And yet, at that moment, when words are read, or said, it is virtually impossible not to feel the sting of the heart being struck.

And so what does one do when they have either through their own imperfection or through that of the person do when the misunderstanding has gone without forgiveness after an apology has been made?

It is an embarrassing situation, being misunderstood. But even more embarrassing is not being forgiven for being imperfect and making a mistake. Who of us would not like to rewrite the past by seconds, minutes, hours or years? How many of us would have wished we would never have pressed that 'send' button on our phone or computer at least once?

I do not know why an apology over being misunderstood would not be accepted, especially from a disabled person, I mean, that seems like a given, doesn't it? And yet, you would be surprised how often an offense is taken and kept. The reason is beyond my comprehension why someone would want to hold on to that extra baggage.

Eleanor Roosevelt also said, " I know that we will be the sufferers if we let great wrongs occur without exerting ourselves to correct them." – "My Day," August 13, 1943.

Well, if we do our utmost to correct our misunderstanding and it falls on deaf ears, we have done all we can do, and have no recourse than to get on with our lives as best we can, no matter how difficult it may be from that point on.

It has been my experience that most breakdowns in life are misunderstandings and perceptions of situations and not always the result of the true reality.

And so, I have learned to look at life as a series of lessons. Some days the lessons are inspiring and delightful and other days, the lessons take on a serious and rebuking tone. But we are never too old to learn and we are never too old to became better at communication and forgiveness.

Posted in brain injury, caregiving, coping skills, essay, family, honesty, human interest, humanity, inspirational, life changing, life changing events, love, marriage, motivational, musings, people, self, spiritual, thought provoking, tindle, traumatic brain injury | Leave a comment

Who Will Advocate For The Children? /Written by Janice Tindle

A man, is driving along on the street where he lives and he notices two neighbor boys playing with a mid- century chair in their driveway. He approaches them and asks where they got it. They tell him that another neighbor has thrown it away. The man, who sells things online, offers the boys five dollars for the chair that is in disrepair knowing it is worth more than that and the boys accept. Later, as the man does research, he finds that the chair is worth hundreds if not close to over a thousand dollars. He does not see what he has done. He sees only through the dollar signs in his eyes, and scoffs at the mention that his tactics were less than what was in the best interest of the children. Whether he sells it “as is,” or refurbishes it is not the point. The point is that he went onto private property, made a deal with naive, uneducated children, without any parent around and basically ripped them off. He did not think about the consequences of his actions on the children. It maybe tomorrow, next year or years from now, but one day, those children will find out that they were ripped off by a neighbor. They will find out the worth of that chair and it will have a profound affect on them. How will it make them feel? Well, try to remember the first time you were taken advantage of by an adult. Has the scar healed, or is it fresh in your mind as the day it happened? How did it impact your life?

There was a choir boy in a Catholic church. He was poor. His parents were alcoholics. In a day and age when divorce was considered a sin, they divorced. When the boy went to the back door of the church to get rations for the poor, he was turned away because his parents were divorced. The other boys beat him up and broke his new glasses. He was beat again when he got home for getting into a fight and breaking his glasses that could not afford to be replaced. He reasoned that there must not be a God who cares and turned his back on religion. He led a very unhappy life with low self- esteem and never matured emotionally. He used alcohol and his fists to solve problems and as soon as he could, he enlisted as a soldier in the Army to escape and try to make a better life. But it never happened. He died an old man, unable to cope with emotions or make meaningful relationships.

Then there was the girl who had parents that were musicians. They had rowdy friends and drank a lot. One day, one of the “friends,” assaulted her and she became emotionally unavailable to her family, found life difficult to handle and had frequent outbursts, She lived her life with bizarre behavior and acted out in ways her family never could or would not come to understand until after she died. She never forgave them for not protecting her.

A boy, forced to dig sewer ditches at the age of twelve, another forced to work the mines, and another, a girl, taken out of school so her widowed mother could work while she watched her five siblings. Not one of them lived a life of prosperity. Hard work was all they knew.

And saddest of all, a boy with his sister, find a loaded gun while playing in their mother’s bedroom and shoot out an open window into the woods, killing a man who had just stopped to take a break from work. A man, whose infant son would never know him and his teenage son left angry and alone. The boy, upon realizing what he had done, needed therapy to deal with the fact that he killed a man. He was just a little boy. The mother, had the gun illegally. His entire life is marred by a careless mother.

It pains me to say, that children have been subjected throughout history to some of the most heinous events possible and some go on to this day.

So much of what we do or do not do to and for children will affect the rest of their lives. Events, even small ones, can change a positive direction into a negative one simply by viewing children as non persons. When the fact is, when you interact with a child, you are talking to the future. You are molding a heart and mind into what will become a successful life or one of pain and struggle. The value that is placed on a child, largely depends on the mindfulness of the adult. But it is much more than that. The basic truth is that love is the single most important element that every child needs in order to grow up and become a complete and happy adult.

No one knew this better than Jesus. When the children were brought to him to lay his hands on them and offer prayer, his disciples discouraged them, but Jesus said, “Let the little children alone, and do not try to stop them from coming to me, for the Kingdom of the heavens belongs to such ones.” ( Matthew 19:14.) He loved and cherished the little children, because he knew the importance of kindness and never missed an opportunity to preach about his Father and give them a hope for the future.

Today, children are growing up with technology and losing the face to face interaction as well as being bombarded with fast moving video images and a, “what’s next lifestyle.” In a way, every child today is more prone to being abused by the world we live in simply by their exposure to life. What are you doing to ensure that the psyche of the children whose lives you touch, whether in a moment or in a lifetime is held by you as precious and sacred?

And so I offer this: that you commit to being mindful of the children by stopping and taking that moment to show love, in a smile to a passing child, a hug to your own, or a hand held for the long haul with a heart that is always willing to listen so you can be there to protect them from the opportunist, the abuser, the bully or the hard hearted. If you commit, show your support for the children and show others that you are up to the challenge of caring for the future generation and will stand up to right the wrong that comes their way. So that one day, they will not have to find out that their neighbor, family friend, parent, trusted clergy or stranger came into their lives and changed the course of their life from one of comfort into one of angst.

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New essay being written!

I am writing a new essay “Who Will Advocate For The Children?” I am fired up! Stay tuned!

Posted in poetry | 3 Comments