Stories of stroke survivors and caregivers learning to live again

This picture is of family at Thanksgiving. Both my dad and daughter had suffered a stroke in the past year and our family had much to celebrate. Photo form author’s photo album.

Scanning through Facebook last week, I stopped abruptly on a post. A friend had suffered a stroke. My heart broke, and I was transported back to a time four years earlier when life revolved around hospitals and recovery. During that year, both my dad and daughter suffered severe strokes that changed their lives. On Thanksgiving, we had a lot to be thankful for as we gather together.

Though it is never easy to accept, when an elderly person has a stroke it is understood, at least in my case, because I had witnessed many elderly family and friends deal with…


I learned how to support her and be a survivor myself

Image from author’s photo album

The pillows were too hard. The food was too cold, and the drink was too warm. The room was too dark, and the sun was too bright. Comfort in a hospital bed, for a patient with limited mobility, remains beyond reach.

The first days after my daughter’s stroke felt like we lived in a horror version of Goldilocks and The Three Bears. However as a mother on a mission, I learned through trial, error, observation and research how to support a hospital patient.

As I sat beside my daughter the days after her diagnosis, I wanted to make everything right…


A memory of when daddy had a stroke and a poem

Great Grandpa Nick. Image from photo album.

Friday, I planned to publish the second lesson of the blog series, 15 Lessons in 43 Days. For new readers who are unaware and for established readers who may have forgotten, this series developed following my daughter’s stroke. On September 29, 2018 my 33-year old daughter had a stroke; after 7 months, I decided to share stories of the lessons learned during her recovery. However, on Wednesday last week, my father had a stroke. Now I sit beside his bed, in the same hospital just doors down from where my daughter, Kari, laid.

I do not know if I am…


Photo by Sriyoga Ashram on Unsplash

After a day of traveling, be it 2 hours or 6, our bodies stiffen and tire. It is easy to move from the driver’s seat to the chair and then to bed because everything hurts. Believe me, once you turn 60 everything is going to hurt anyways so you might as well create systems that trick your mind into moving.

Watch Yoga on YouTube

Notice the first word of this directive, watch. If you begin with the belief that you are going to participate, a negative mindset is already established. In the beginning, my interest peeked after twisting…


Responses to COVID through different lenses

Photo by Mohammad Ali Jafarian on Unsplash

Last year while scrolling through social media, I encounter all the hues of emotions: denial, anger, depression, resolution, contentment. I desired to record the thoughts and emotions of individuals during this unprecedented event in history and create poems from their responses, snapshots of a moment in time.

With a desire to illuminate people, I developed an activity to connect faces to this insidious disease, Faces of Coronavirus. Everyone who participated was asked the same questions and their responses grew into poems. …


This Happened

Exercise makes aging easier

Photo by Oz Seyrek on Unsplash

Most mornings I wake with my body stiff and sore. Often it is easiest to move from the bed to the chair because everything hurts. I have discovered once I turned 60 everything is going to hurt anyway, so I might as well create systems that trick my mind into moving. Below are a few of the tricks I use. The first suggestion even motivated my husband.

Watch yoga on YouTube

Notice the first word of this directive, watch. If you begin with the belief that you are going to participate, a negative mindset is already established. In the beginning, my interest in yoga…


6 tips to support your goals of writing

Photo by Sebastian Herrmann on Unsplash

“It is hard!”

“Yes, but it is essential.”

“But it is so hard!”

“Yes, but it is rewarding.”

If we concede that writing is difficult but accept its value, then let’s examine how to ease the stress associated with writing. Below are six tips that serve as stepping-stones to cross the chasm of uncertainty and fear. You can be your own coach.

Honestly stated, writing is arduous, demanding, and time-consuming. However, that does not mean it cannot be enjoyable, enlightening, and reflective.

However, there are ways to overcome the great divide whether you are an executive submitting a proposal, a…


This happened

Learning what is important in life

Photo by Tom Conway on Unsplash

When I was young and still believed in unicorns, I thought buying presents was a way to say I care. Isn’t that what the commercials want us to think?

“Care enough to give the very best.” I heard that somewhere before.

So with my husband’s birthday approaching, I desired to find the perfect present. My husband loved golf and had mentioned several times that he needed a new golf bag. Being the attentive wife, I gathered all the hints he randomly dropped and began researching the perfect product. Since I didn’t play golf, my first act was to talk with…


All images from author’s photo album.

Nature’s calm before humans storm


Image from author’s photo album

Observations while walking in nature

Brenda Mahler

Real life person sharing real life stories to inspire and help learn to love ourselves and others. Let me introduce myself https://medium.com/about-me-stories

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store