Broken Womb, Shattered Soul: Living with Infertility (part 1)

By Barbara Leonhard | Featured Contributor


As we grow and develop, we learn how to identify with many labels or roles, such as daughter/son, aunt/uncle, mother/father, and grandmother/grandfather, to name a few. It seems as though our stories are written before we are born to conform to these labels. In a way, these roles become rituals that comfort us as we agree to them and even expect our lives to go “as planned” based on our social codes and blueprints for survival.

I know I certainly expected my life to unfold much like my mother’s life did with marriage and family. She had seven children, and being the second oldest and oldest girl, I was able to help with all the babies she had. It never occurred to me that I would never be able to have my own children. Little did I know that my helping her at the ages of 9 and 10 with my youngest siblings would be my only times to experience at least part of what a mother does for her kids. I am not sure I appreciated this time because as much as I loved playing mommy, I also wanted to be with my friends.

Continue reading “Broken Womb, Shattered Soul: Living with Infertility (part 1)”

Share Your Blog [closed]

Dear Friends,

Today, I again open up PhoebeMD.com for another Meet & Greet event. Remember, this is your moment to shine! This is a time for you all to come together to share your blogs and favorite posts, make new connections, and broaden your blog audiences.

The guidelines, like always, are simple…

Continue reading “Share Your Blog [closed]”

Grief: Healing Through Poetry

By Barbara Leonhard, Featured Contributor


[Part 2 – Alzheimer’s: Grieving the Loss of My Mother]

I processed grief over Mom’s struggle with Alzheimer’s through poetry writing. The fact that caregivers—such as myself and many other poets—can relieve grief through poetry supports my belief that poetry is both the memoir of and the medicine for the soul. Poetry is a means to storytelling, witnessing the human condition in a personal way. What am I thinking, praying, hoping for? How am I hurting? What has happened to me? How can I understand it? How can I share it? Who will witness my pain?

Poetry provides a creative outlet for the release of pain, for healing. It explores the soul. Reading the poems of others who have gone through similar experiences as mine is reassuring because I realize that I am not alone. I could also share my experiences of loss and grief.

Continue reading “Grief: Healing Through Poetry”

Helping One Another

In response to the worldwide health crisis that is affecting all of our lives right now, I have a special burden for the most vulnerable populations—the elderly and the chronically ill—many of whom are struggling during this time to maintain their health.

I am leading an effort through Pendants for a Cause to raise money to help support high-risk patients at nonprofit California and Texas hospitals. This means that 100% of the proceeds raised through the sale of items purchased through Pendants for a Cause’s shop will be redirected during this time toward preparing essential care packages for patients in need.

While we are no doubt all struggling to get through this time, I ask that you—if you live in the U.S.*—to consider supporting this cause if you have the burden or the means to.

Thank you for making a difference.

Sincerely,
Phoebe Chi, MD

smallwordsfr

*Pendants for a Cause is limited to shipping within the U.S. at this time. 

Gentle George Sunday.

Phoebe Chi and dog

Although we were unable to successfully get a triple selfie this week, the three of us (Samantha, George, and I) would still like to wish you a wonderfully lovely week. 

As a side note, George has been adjusting beautifully from his wandering homeless doggy life to being flooded with love and attention in his new forever home. 

😊

 

Simple Moments.

Meet little Mialy, Mia, and their father…known simply as Baba. They—along with 15 other siblings—made up my host family during a time spent in the arid region of southern Madagascar, where I was doing research on the Antandroy communities. 

I often think back to this family with bittersweet fondness. When I was there, I was profoundly inspired by their love for life and their appreciation of the simple joys it brings…while endlessly cheered by their wide grins and generous laughter.

But now, when I glance at this photo, their visage seems to reveal a truth much deeper…and my heart aches a little. 

Nevertheless, the sound of their laughter will remain with me forever, and I am thankful to have met them…and grateful for the lessons they taught me in treasuring the simple moments in life. 

ambarofamilyl

The Harvest.

Ambaro, Madagascar

Our village specialized in ‘bageda’…sweet potatoes.
After harvesting, we would bring them to the market and trade them for maize.
Although only Hanitra and Puppydoc are pictured above…

Phoebe Chi Madagascar

…the entire family worked very hard.

◊ A poem about this family ◊

Do You Know You Are Wonderful?

Lately, I’ve been telling an old friend of mine how wonderful the WordPress community is (at least the little snippet of it that I know). I’m always amazed at how a community of people who have never met, and are so different, can be so kind and supportive of one another. Because of that, I really wanted her to ‘meet’ you guys, since she very recently started blogging and wants to connect with others. Aside from giving her blogging tips, I specifically wanted to connect her with those of you that I already know, because, simply put, you guys really warm my heart (and secretly, I feel that you all are the coolest bloggers on wordpress!) So that is the purpose of this post. 

Continue reading “Do You Know You Are Wonderful?”

A Letter to Grandma.

Fragments of moons past
sketch silhouettes of
a scenery divine.

A daytime reverie.
Fond memory.
A granddaughter missing you.

Do you recall, grandma?
Long ago, a grandbaby born
into an era of bitter lack,
that enriched by your presence,
comforting embrace,
renewed to an age of precious worth?

Do you suffer, grandma?
Parted by spanning seas,
my tears diffuse beneath the rain.
Had I a wish and a dove I became,
my wings would span,
sealing the distance between us.

Do you remember me, grandma?
Though the crook of time
has stolen your sight,
stripped your mind,
blunted your strength,
with a heavy heart
I still see you as before-

with beauty so simple,
love so pure
to inspire
a nightingale’s lament.

So fear not the season’s change, grandma,
nor the graying sun,
the silvering stream-
as at the end of the road
will glisten a rainbow,
and the mists of tomorrow
will clear away your fog.

And then I will again be your grandbaby.

 

Blessings.

bolivia_family
• La Paz, Bolivia •

This time of year always reminds Puppydoc to be thankful for all those who have come into her life, past and present…to cherish the memories of those who have left and to treasure each moment with those who are here.

Wishing everyone a wonderful holiday week.

🙂

Behind the Smile.

family

• Melchor de Mencos, Belize •

Meet the Aguado household. A place where love runs deep…simple are the joys…and wide are the smiles that shield the scars aching to heal beneath. 

Here we see one of the effects of inaccessible health care. Where fathers lose their lives to otherwise treatable diseases, leaving two mothers and seven children with little more than the lingering fragrance of memories.

Here we also see a strength undeniable. Where the youngest to the eldest come together to care for one another…encourage one another…support one another. 

And finally, we see ‘little Juan,’ whose palpable nonchalance tells you really all that you need to know:

He is now the man of the family. 

🙂

Conclusion.

orphanage

Quillacollo, Bolivia

Now that Gabriel, Juan, Angelica, and Alejandra
have been properly introduced,
it’s time to say goodbye. 

But I hope you won’t forget us,
nor the other kids at the children’s homes,

but that you will keep us in your thoughts and prayers
as we continue on this journey called life.

🙂

father1

La Paz, Bolivia

A moment between little Ester and her father.

The Birth of PuppyDoc.

Once upon a time there existed a doc
who had a pet cat and listened to Bach.

This doc was described as, ‘fun, loyal, and lovey,’
therefore she eventually was dubbed the name Puppy.’

In general, this Puppy lived quite a blessed life,
but a life of high pressure and occasional strife.

She loved her profession and for this she was glad, 
but certain times events would make her feel sad.

She cared for her patients and strived to make them well, 
So when they declined, she’d be down with no one to tell. 

In a way, this describes how “Musings” was born–
Because poetry was, in a manner, her way to mourn.

But then little by little came some blogging buddies–
so dear and supportive– for this she felt lucky.

So all you should know that she treasures EACH one of you,
for when reading your blogs…why–she can never be blue! 

In short…this is how a doc who thinks she’s a dog
winds up creating…a poetry blog.

🙂

photo

A big thank you to PlotlessOne for this award.
Your blog is full of awesomeness.

🙂

Now for my nominations (in alphabetical order):

Christopher of The Brown Bag Special

Colin of A Dog’s Life

Debra of C-Dog & Company

Jane of InLoveLustandLaughter

Noodle of The Adventures of Noodle

Pam and Sammy of OneSpoiledCat

And finally, PuppyDoc’s encouragement to new bloggers: 

Keep on blogging your heart out!
You may not know it, but what you write is making a difference to someone, somewhere.

🙂

With Love, 

PuppyDoc

Ode to a Cat

Oh Saman.
You’re so round.
You just go ’round and ’round and ’round.

Aww Saman.
I like you.
Cause you’re just so fuzzy too.

Though others may giggle
when they see you wiggle,
my heart you kindle
cause you’re just so gentle.

So Saman,
you and me,
buddies for life we’ll be.

•      •      •

♦ An Introduction to ‘Saman’ the Cat ♦

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