Tuesday, May 23, 2017

A book I pray you'll never need

I think this is the most important book I will ever work on.

I don't say that lightly. I've worked on some books I'm very proud of; books that will make or have made a difference in people's lives.

But this is the book of my heart.

Some years back Deb Vlock queried me on a novel she'd written about a mom with an autistic son. One day, the mom snapped and left her son alone in a park. He's found the next day, terrified but not injured. The mom returns home three days later. The novel is about what happens after an unforgivable act.

I loved this book with all my heart but finding an audience was tricky. Deb and I worked on the book a lot- changing the title, adding and subtracting characters, digging deep into how to convey what it means to be overwhelmed and at the end of your rope, yet retain the audience's loyalty. What forgiveness means.

Over the course of three years we both poured sweat and blood into that novel. And of course, in that time we became friends. And I learned more about Deb's personal life. Like her protagonist, she too had a son on the spectrum. I met him. I fell in love. This lad is just amazing. Smart and funny. Engaging. And sweet. Oh my god, what a delight to be around. He found my heart and my heart never let go.

In addition to Asperger's, Deb's son suffers with severe mental health issues. One day, just as part of a casual conversation, Deb mentioned he'd first told her he wanted to end his life when he was four. He'd told her how he'd do it

I had to pause the conversation. I could not speak then upon hearing this. I wept then, as I do now, and as I do every time I've written about this. All these years later, just thinking about that wonderful boy in such pain that he wanted to die breaks my heart.

Clutching my barely regained composure, our conversation continued. Deb told me she was not alone.

Suicide is the third leading cause of death among middle schoolers.

I'll wait for a moment while you think about that.

After accidents and illness, little children die most often by their own hand.

It dawned on us both that there was a non-fiction book here. A book for parents by a parent. Not a clinician, not an outsider, but a mom who had stood watch by night, making sure her son did not pad into the kitchen to find and use the knives.

It's been a long road. For Deb. For her son. For the proposal, for the book. We needed a complete story arc. When I tell you I was petrified of what one of those arcs might be, no doubt you can intuit what I mean.

But this story ends on a much better note. Deb's son just turned 17. He's doing very well.

And the proposal is too. In fact, it's not a proposal any more. It's going to be a book.

I believe this book will save lives.
I believe this book will comfort people in dire need of care and kindness and information.
I am very proud to have been a small part of Deb's family's journey.

I pray you do not need, nor will never need this book. But if you do, if you or your family are coping with the devastation of mental illness in children, this book will be for you.

You can reach out directly to Deb via her website here.


AJ Blythe said...

I'm not sure where to begin. I read your post, and felt something akin to what I felt when I heard about Manchester today. Horror. Horror that suicide is so prevalent amongst our children. Horror at what Deb faced when her son was only four and shouldn't have even been able to conceive the idea of ending his life. Horror that I, a mum of two boys 11 and 13, had no idea.

The Hub is ex-military, and we've lost so many of his mates to suicide, my heart bleeds reading this.

Janet, this sounds like a book that is desperately needed. We at the reef know you might have big, sharp, fangy teeth, but you're all marshmallow on the inside. If you didn't, this post shows it. Having someone who cares and willing to go into bat is the reason the book will be on shelves. Hugs to you and to Deb.

I've never heard of suicide being such a problem for that age group. So I've just researched. We don't have middle school, so the best I could find was 1-14 year olds bracketed together, and am so relieved to see suicide doesn't make the top 5 list (any Aussies interested can check it out here).

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

There are times in our lives when we ask, “why am I here, what is my purpose, why was I born.” Let it be known, that while immersed in the murky depths of life and work, if you, JANET, ever ask yourself one of those questions, this book is your answer.
You are saving lives and soothing hearts. I stand in respect and admiration regarding your mission.

Lisa Bodenheim said...

Janet, what a mission of hope. I cannot imagine. Thank you for sharing. I am so glad that you and Deb worked together so that Deb could write this book and you could get it in front of publishers and the public. Bless.

Sherry Howard said...

I'll just say that I have lived through the experience with a child, and parents need all the support they can get. Clinically, it's hard to come by. If a book like this can reach some parents and kids in need, hurrah!

Amy Schaefer said...

These candles in the dark can save lives. All the best to Deb, and to every parent facing such heartbreaking challenges.

french sojourn said...

Reading this post, I found myself on the edge of my seat. Teetering. To live this situation every day has got to be so mentally, emotionally, and physically exhausting. My heart goes out to them, and I am semi relieved that he's 17 and doing well.

Wonderful post, and I look forward to seeing the Kindle version upon it's release. (Living in France makes it prohibitive to get books in English.)

Cheers Hank.

Amy Johnson said...

Janet: You're doing so much good in this world. Years ago, I was a psychiatric social worker for my state's children's department. Sadness. Sadness. Sadness. And hope. Thank you, Janet.

kathy joyce said...

I also have a son with autism, and a daughter with neurological and learning difficulties. It's tough being different, and that struggle can lead to depression. My husband and I are open about our kids and their difficulties, and that leads to other parents seeking us out to talk about their kids.

There are two comments that I hear again and again.

First, parents suspect their child has a problem, but balk at testing because, "I don't want them to be labeled."

I say, "They're already being labeled. As a 'behavior problem,' or a 'slow learner,' or 'shy.' What they're not being is helped."

Second, if parents do get a diagnosis, they try to minimize it, especially if someone recommends medication.

"I'm not doing that! Do you know the side effects?"

My response, "Do you know the side effects of untreated depression?"

I could write a book (pardon the pun;) about how poorly we approach mental health in the U.S., and about how we've somehow bought the arguments that our kids are over-medicated. If they're killing themselves at that rate, I (and researchers) would argue they're under-medicated. Services for care (in addition to medication), especially for children, are woefully inadequate. (And veterans too, but that's a rant for another time).

Mental health is complicated, with multiple and interwoven causes. It's no one's fault, or weakness, or imagination. But it does need treatment. Ignoring it only compounds the problem.

If you're a parent, I plead with you to face it squarely if your child is struggling. It's not about labels or side effects. It's about life and death.

PS: Whatever your politics, please note that Obamacare treated mental illness on parity with other illnesses. Current proposals do not. That means children (and others) will have annual and lifetime limits on the amount of care they can receive. Imagine if we did that to diabetics. "Sorry. You've reached your 26 treatments for the year. Good luck until 2018!"

kathy joyce said...

Another PS: Thank you Deb and Janet for this book. I can't wait to read it and recommend it to others.

Melanie Sue Bowles said...

I realized I was holding my breath as I read this post... then I needed to step away from the computer for a bit. Approximately one month ago, I stood right here in my kitchen holding a friend while we both sobbed. But her sobs were a million times more gut wrenching than mine. Her young son had taken his life. A boy with a megawatt smile that could light up any room.

Kathy Joyce, Excellent input. Especially: "how poorly we approach mental health in the US."

The importance of Deborah Vlock's book will be a powerful step toward change. And, as you said Janet, saving lives, and offering comfort and information. Thank you for recognizing this.

Now I need to go for a walk in the woods to settle my heart...

Deb Vlock said...

Oh, Janet. Thank you for this loving tribute--to me, to the book, and to my boy. And as your readers rightly note, cheers to YOU!! Your determination to see this through has been a lifeline to me. And your stubborn insistence (haha!) on keeping me as a client, after we tried so hard with the novel to no avail--well, that speaks for itself.

A big thank you to the folks who commented so kindly here...and I see (that is, I'm *sorry* to see) there are some fellows in adversity among you. I believe that connecting with people who "get it" is the best thing we can do to keep ourselves standing and moving forward. Whether it's mental health or other differences we share; whether we connect in the flesh or in the ether.

Thank you so much, once more--and to Janet: <3

Sam Hawke said...

This hurts my heart, but I'm so pleased the project has become a book. A friend of mine just lost his young nephew to suicide so this is feeling rather close to home. :(

Bravo to Deb and you Janet. I wish people didn't need this book, but I'm so grateful it will be there when they do.

Donnaeve said...

How sad is this? We need a book about suicide for middle schoolers...?

Suicide. I know three people who took their lives. My brother in law was one - my husband's older brother, Eric. Two co-workers. It's one thing when it's adults. It's a whole other mind blowing concept when you think of someone 12-15 who would think to do this.

I had shivers as I read the post. I can understand, Janet, why you'd feel this way about this book, and I agree, it's going to be an important project, and sadly, it can't get done quick enough.

Donnaeve said...

Oh, I was so addled by the post, I meant to add that the both of you must feel a sense of relief this was recognized as being very important! Congrats to you both on your perseverance to this project. Onward.

Colin Smith said...

Congrats to you Deb, both for having the courage to write this book, and to both you and Janet for tenaciously seeing it through to publication. I pray it will be of help and comfort to many. And I agree--it's beyond sad that such a book is needed.

lamandarin said...

As someone with a son about to go into Middle School, I know how much this is needed even though it breaks my heart. It keeps me up sometimes worrying - knowing how hard this period can be on children. Thank you both for bringing this book into the world.

Claire AB. said...

How devastating that the world needs this book. Thank you for this post, Janet, and to both you and Deb for having the perseverance, bravery and kindness to spread the word.

Susan said...

Thank you, both of you. <3

Timothy Lowe said...

It's a huge, huge issue. The high school I work at, 1 this year. The one 6 miles down the road: 4 in the past 18 months. My brother is in Texas. His son's school has had 6 this year.

Courage to anyone who is touched by this reality. This book is very, very needed.

Poignant post.

Claire Bobrow said...

Deb and Janet: thank you for bringing this important book into the world. I'm encouraged to think that the more depression and mental illness are brought into the light, the more people will find tools and support to help them.
My heart goes out to all who have been touched by these devastating issues. I'm in awe of your strength and courage. Hugs to you.

E.M. Goldsmith said...

My oldest friend's oldest son is exactly this- on the Asperger's spectrum, brilliant, but has always struggled with several mental health and sensory issues. He was, in his early adolescence, confined to hospital because of suicide attempts. In addition to his autistic issues, the sensory issues also plague him. Crowds and loud noises can really rattle the young man as can certain smells and textures.

Although, he has grown now, he is not able to function independently. He could not manage traditional college though his SAT scores were perfect and the college having resources to deal with Asperger students. The social interaction involved in college overwhelmed him and he had to move back home. He makes great progress at considerable medical expenses, but then something will trigger him and he totally withdraws. It is not a condition that can be medicated away.

My friend's marriage has been severely challenged including a period when her husband fell into a very dark depression. At one point both her husband and son were hospitalized at same time due to suicidal depression. I don't know how my friend has managed. The stress has been awful as so few understand the issues her son faces and often blame her. I wish this book had come sooner.

When kids with no obvious issues such as autism as young as middle school seek to destroy themselves, that screams of some kind of societal failure. Add autism or additional stresses to those same kids, it is a powder keg. What has gone so wrong in this land of plenty?

Sharyn Ekbergh said...

I read this and couldn't comment right away. It hits too close to home.

One of my "Gang of Four" killed herself at 14 in a very shocking way and it still haunts me because I don't know why. One of my plays was about this and the young actress...whew. You could hear a pin drop in an audience of 350. Two more high school friends.

I had a four year old friend who was anxious from birth. (his birthday party, he invited four little boys and me). His family moved so I lost touch and he was gone in his early 20's. The loss devastated his mother, one of my best friends. She disappeared down a deep hole for quite a while. This child has a father with major depression issues.

I'll never forget being at a craft fair years ago and meeting two teachers who told me that half of the children they taught had serious emotional issues.

I also see the wreckage all around me of families attempting to help. The costs are immense. Is it our cruel society? Our vast human needs for love and security? Are young children born with our anxiety and stress? I see one relative struggling to raise four children and I don't know how she holds it together. One child is brilliant, high strung, complicated and sweet natured,

Is it the huge burden on young people trying to make a life? I have a young relative who looks all around her at what she will have to do to make a secure life for herself. Her childhood was insecure, her mother is insecure and her father has a new family. She is pulling herself together to get through a final year of college.

And that doesn't begin to look at the drug problems. An Irish friend saying to me ages ago "We'll all so damaged."

This is a deeply meaningful crucial book and I am grateful you both stuck with it.

LynnRodz said...

With autism on the rise (highly debated, some say it is, others say it's better diagnosed now) and suicide among young kids also on the rise, this is a much needed book. Congratulations to both of you!

BJ Muntain said...

I debated for over an hour whether to post this. Then I thought, we need to end the stigma, and we need to show that more than a few children have these problems.

When I was a kid, kids didn't have mental health issues. When I was a teen, symptoms were brushed off as hormones, simple teen contrariness or - worst of all - laziness.

That didn't mean mental health problems truly didn't exist. It just meant that they weren't recognized. Like celiac disease - celiac disease didn't show up in adults. It began in infancy or early childhood. Otherwise it wasn't celiac disease. So my celiac disease wasn't diagnosed until I was in my 40s, once modern endoscopy techniques had revealed that, yes, celiac damage can be found in adults who weren't diagnosed celiac as children. I'd had symptoms since I was a teen. Possibly earlier.

Depression is comorbid with many illnesses. Including celiac disease.

The bluntness of a four-year-old. Before they've learned that those thoughts are 'bad'. I would never have told my parents those thoughts at 12. If I'd mentioned them earlier, I doubt I'd have been taken seriously. Maybe I did. Maybe they weren't. I don't honestly remember. I don't remember a lot from when I was a kid - or a teenager for that matter. Depression kind of clouds things.

I'm so happy to see that mental illness is now being seen in children. NOT that it occurs in children, but that it's being SEEN. Books like this are so essential, not just for parents of suicidal children, but for all parents, so they know what to watch for in their children. Untreated depression can affect a person their entire life.

Thank you, Deb and Janet.

Casey Karp said...

Congratulations for finding a home for this book. If it saves one life, it will have justified all of the years of effort you've put into it. And I'm sure it will save far more than one life.

Kudos and thanks to you both!

Jessica said...

Janet, thank you so much for this post. I read it earlier, had to step away, read it again, had to step away, and now, here I am typing. I don't know if I can send it, but I'll do my best.

First, to Janet and Deb, THANK YOU. You have brought light to a sensitive and misunderstood issue with fearlessness and undoubtedly love. I can feel the emotion in this post. I will be one of the first ones to order this book, and I'm sure I'll cry all the way through. Heck, I'm tearing up right now.

I debated on whether or not to say this, but here it is: I struggle with severe depression and have struggled for years. Almost alone. It is a horrible, horrible thing to deal with and I cannot imagine what Deb's son had to feel all his life. I was clinically depressed at 16. At four? I know I wouldn't have made it. Your son is so brave, and I'm so glad he's still here.

Depression is some of the worst pain I've felt, and no one ever takes you seriously. I've even had a friend tell me she thinks I'm faking it for attention, ha. It's one of the most misunderstood mental illnesses out there, and I'm so glad Deb has brought light to it. That said, I really wish I could read a book by your son, Deb. How did he make it for so long? How can he bear this pain for for over a decade? I'm always searching for answers. I hope I can find a few in your story, Deb :)

I'm rambling at this point, but if anyone wants to write about depression or needs a sensitivity reader, I'm your girl. Just let me know. Don't be afraid to write about "taboo" subjects like this. The world needs it. I need it. And so, once again, thank you Janet and Deb for bringing one more spotlight into the book world.

kathy joyce said...

Thank you to all for sharing your experiences, especially those who suffer with depression. I share your pain. The light of Deb's book and your honesty can save lives. Maybe it already has!

Barbara Etlin said...

Thank you, Deb and Janet, for your courage and persistence. And congrats on getting this book published! You are both amazing.

Terri Lynn Coop said...

It's not something I lead with, nor is it something I hide, the fact that my husband died at his own hand.

It's a completely different situation on the face, he was a man grown and terminally ill. However, I was one of the very very few who knew that this thought had been on his shoulder since childhood when he was abused by more than one family member. His situation just finally made it acceptable and even desirable to act on it.

Books like this are important. These are the stories that can move mountains and shift grains of sand. A parent who reads it will notice something that they'd been missing and stop a snowball from rolling downhill - even if it's just for that day. Another will be able to pull their child back from the brink. Another will understand that what happened wasn't their fault.

I hope it sells eleventy-million copies and saves lives.

I wish it would die on the shelf because it wasn't needed.

Good job my friend for being the conduit to get this out there. You just shifted a grain of sand in the right direction.


Lennon Faris said...

What a task. Thank you Janet and Deb. hugs to all of you. Your stories just prove how much this affects everyone.

Wish so much that mental illness didn't carry stigma. It's one of my life goals to make it less so.

Jessica - I've only experienced depression for short periods of time in my life. It is remarkable how incapacitating and yet invisible it is. Thanks for sharing.

Joseph Snoe said...

So many directions to go. Timothy Lowe’s anecdotal stats of high school deaths are sobering. I wonder if school size makes a difference or if it’s suburban or urban, etc.

I’m sure cyber-bullying and the feeling of isolation are adding to the list.

Suicides have always caught me surprised.

The people I know who committed suicide were good people, at least one or two suffering in a temporary depression state.

Memories of them are filling my head now. (and outside my window the sky is crying) .

Megan V said...

This post hits home. It's not a surprise to me, not a shock, but always saddening. I lost several of my peers as a middle schooler and high schooler to suicide. So many more I knew attempted. It's something you never want to see or know. But it happens more than people think.

I have a friend who HATES Sundays. The reason? They work for poison control. Sundays are better known as Suicide Sundays because so many children attempt suicide by overdose on that day.

RosannaM said...

Yes, Janet be proud of this book. Bringing this to the public will help so many.

Anonymous said...

I remember reading, years ago, a blog post Deb Vlock wrote about her young son and how he wanted to die, and sobbing my way through it. The writing was powerful, a combination of strength and vulnerability. It was haunting, the achingly matter-of-fact way she spoke about this unimaginable horror that was their reality. I can't tell you how many times I've thought about her and her son in the years since, but I always felt a glimmer of hope knowing that Janet was championing Deb's writing.

Reading the beginning of this post, I was so happy Deb's book finally found a home, even if it wasn't the novel version. And then this sentence, with its past tense, goddammit, nearly killed me:

"Like her protagonist, she too had a son on the spectrum."

I couldn't read past that. I had to step away. I couldn't even begin to accept that outcome, and I was sobbing again. But I did come back and read the rest. And now, knowing that her son is doing well, I feel . . . more than just overwhelming relief, but also a profound gratitude.

I don't "need" this book in the same way others have talked about here in the comments. But I need this book. I've been waiting a long time for it. Thank you, Deb and Janet, and especially Deb's son, for persevering.

Deb Vlock said...

I wanted to jump in again to say how gratified and moved I am by all the encouragement and support here. I'd respond to each and every post but then I'd never finish the book. ;)

The best thing I see going on here is the way people feel safe to open up about the stuff they live with (or have lived with) every day. Janet--what you did was create an opening for some honest, if painful, dialogue about mental health. (YES!!) I wish people could/would continue this honest discourse on mental illness everywhere, all the time. When folks are shamed or even threatened into silence, there's no moving forward--personally or as a culture.

And when those of us living it can't talk freely about mental health disorders, we open the way for others to control the narrative. When our narrative gets co-opted by others who don't truly understand it, we just feel more silenced.

It takes real courage to expose yourself to misunderstanding (or even worse). I'm just always proud to see people willing to give it a go. There are a hell of a lot more of us out there than one might think. We *may* even be a silent majority! (?) In any case, sharing my family's story made me feel much less lonely. I guess that's one reason I write about this hard stuff--for my own sake and the sake of others in my shoes.

Thank you all, so very much!! XO

Gypmar said...

Deb, I'm so glad this book will be out in the world.

Janet, I just love your heart.

Jen said...

Oh, wow. Thank you so much for sharing this, Janet. And thanks to Deb for having the courage to want to write about something so close to her heart. My son was born with developmental delays, and all the children I got to know through his special ed program were the most beautiful children God ever put on this Earth...

And now I'm crying, too. I will definitely be buying a copy of Deb's book when it's out. Tissues, anyone?

Her Grace, Heidi, the Duchess of Kneale said...

Amy: total respect! That is a job I could not do. But someone needs to do it. Glad you're one of the ones who could.

Debbie Dorris said...

Thank you. I'm speechless. *tears hit my keyboard*

gypsyharper said...

I am weeping as I write this. Thank you for your fight to make this a book. Others have been so eloquent, and I can't find words, but the world so needs this book. And I am SO GLAD that Deb's son is doing well now.

Anonymous said...

What an extraordinary woman, family, post
Janet, I have no words, but thank you so much for sharing this story.
What an incredibly important book.
Heartbreaking and Inspiring

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

JEN, tissues here please.
This is the first time, in a long time I have read, not skimmed, every single comment.
I am overcome by our stories, our feelings and our support.
We are educating each other, for each other, how precious is that.

This is a special moment for this place.

Janet, I hope you and Deb realize that you are standing on a curb, with your hands on the shoulders of lost souls about to step off the edge of their road into the path of heavy traffic. Bless you both for pulling them back.

Emma West said...

This post really touched me. I've been lurking for a very long time without ever leaving a comment, but I can't help wanting to add my voice to this thread.

My son is also on the spectrum and when he was ten years old, he had such a hellish time in school that he began talking about suicide. Daily. It was a very dark time. He's never been talkative, never a sharer, so many things that happened to him we didn't know about until later. We sold our house and moved fifty miles in a big part just so we could put him into a better school district.

He's blossomed. I never take anything for granted, but he's doing well, has developed a wicked sense of humor, plays two instruments in three bands, etc., etc. I will never forget that he has this darkness in him.

My brother killed himself when he was eleven. I was terribly suicidal as a teen and young adult. It's scary to be depressed, but so terrifying to see it in your child.

Deb, my hat's off to you for being able to write about this. I hope your book helps many.

I do have a question - how does your son feel about what you're writing? Does he know he's in your book? I'm asking because I find myself constantly writing characters who are like my son. At the moment whether this is okay or not is a moot point since nobody's reading it, but... eventually it will become a real point.

Thank you,

Colin Smith said...

Hi, Emma! Thanks for coming out of lurkdom to share your story. :)

Melanie Sue Bowles said...

Thank you to everyone for sharing their journey/stories/struggles... If I could convey one thought to all, one bit of hope, one thing to cling to, it would be: you are not alone. How ever buried you feel you are, you are not alone.

On that note, may I now offer my world famous "Group Hug"...? It's not a fancy fix for the serious nature of the topic at hand, but it can remind us all that we are not alone.

Jessica, You invited folks to reach out to you, but there's no contact info in your profile.

Emma, Welcome, and thank you for sharing.

Panda in Chief said...

Just wow.

Thank you Deb, for sharing your story, and Janet for fighting for it, as only a shark can do.
Perhaps great white sharks are so named because of their marshmallow centers?

I've lost several friends to suicide, both in their early 20's. Both talented, amazing people. I hope this book helps many. I wish it wasn't needed.

Thanks for this post and this community.

BJ Muntain said...

Melanie: I'm always up for a group hug. (((hugs))) everybody!

Craig F said...

I too wish to add my thanks. That thanks goes to Ms. Vlock, My Queen and all of those who related their stories. It takes courage, determination and grit to get to this point.

The part so many miss is the stigma that also weighs on those close to what others don't think of as perfect.

I have my own problems but they are not of this scale. I have met children who are branded as part of the "Autism Spectrum" (I say it that way because I disagree with this particular terminology) and have found that each of them has a facet that shines like diamond. The problem is that they don't know how to bring that to the light.

It is a communication problem that takes time, effort and eternal patience to bring to bloom. I hope someday more than lip service will be paid by our politicians.

Jessica said...

Sorry about that Melanie. It's fixed now!!

Just want to say again that this is a lovely community. I'm so glad to have found Janet's blog and had the privilege of interacting with Reiders :)

Kae Ridwyn said...


I've not been as regular a commenter this year as I would have liked, due to my new job : Head of Middle School.

Today, we had several students grief-stricken, trying to cope with the suicide of their friend last weekend. He was a student at the local state school.

This book is NEEDED. Thank you, Janet, for this post. Thank you for the heart-and-soul that you, and Deb too of course, have poured into this book.

And as the mother of an autistic son myself: thank you, thank you, thank you.

I have no more words. Thank you.

Brenda Buchanan said...

Such an amazing story of your personal connection with this important project. Thanks to Deb for writing the book, and thanks to you for helping to get it out there in the world, Janet.

John Davis Frain said...

It's an unfortunate side effect of my life that I can't get to this blog on Tuesdays, but I'm here now. A day late. And blown away.

An amazing post, of course. Thank you, Janet and Deb.

But also, amazing stories throughout the comments. It's ironic, I've never seen so many beautiful typos in the comments. I call them beautiful, because the emotion of the raw stories jumps out of the page and you can feel the person's mind moving faster than their fingers are able to follow. So there are missing words, typos and more. But they aren't frustrating. They're part of the story.

I'm gonna do one more amazing, if you'll allow me. Deb, congratulations on an amazing son. He sounds wonderful. I stand here most curious about how any book signing will go for you. Guessing you might be wise to bring some Kleenex along with you.

Morgan Hazelwood said...

<3 I'm torn between sharing this and not. A friend's son recently lost the batted. :-( <3

Thank you for this.

Ann Bennett said...

Well said. I am a caregiver of a sister with schizophrenia. Medicine lessens her symptoms. We are in a lot of trouble if the Affordable Care Act is replaced with one that reduces care for mental illness. It's a shame more people don't know that mental illness is treatable.