Build it and I will write?

Would I finally do it? Answer that voice whispering, “Should.”

Ugh. “Should.” No one ever succeeded at anything because they should. They’re passionate and caring and have a story tugging at their heart. So they DO. And I’m doing it. After always finding a reason NOT to do it. To write.

I can’t help it. These stories, these thoughts, these worries and insights, they keep crashing against the shore of my own stubbornness. Flowers trying to thrive in the garden of my neglected literary life.

Neglected? Yep. Working full time, managing two kids and their activities, checking off the 1,345,654 DIY project on the house, trying to plan an occasional trip OUT of the house, and oh yeah, letting my husband know he’s like, awesome sauce.

Life is hard, people.

Like you don’t know.

What I haven’t mentioned, the so-called elephant in the room, is that one of those two kids of mine is a 15-year-old with a cornucopia of physical and emotional needs.

Epilepsy. Autism. Intellectual disability. Sensory issues.


Sixteen years ago, I was 29 and working in corporate communications for a large health system in St. Louis, Missouri. Loooooooong story short, we had a baby. Six months later, we moved. To my hometown. Of less than 3,000 people. Did I mention it was my hometown? You know, the one I swore I would never live in as long as I was still breathing?

Yeah, that one. It formed the backdrop for a diagnosis I never thought I would hear and a process of dealing with its implications that will last the rest of my life.

I started “dealing” with those soon after his diagnosis, blogging out the process as a way of processing my own feelings. You can read about those early years of juggling medications and doctors’ appointments, social services and other interventions, including epilepsy surgery, in this post.

It’s not exactly light reading, but I hope it’s enlightening, especially if you’re facing a diagnosis of your own.


I will write a lot about Aidan. And my 11-year-old daughter, who is giving me a whole different set of growing pains to manage. But there’s lots of other things to talk about in this big, messy life.

Kids, life, work, aging. Four short words that combine to kick this Gen-Xers ass on a daily basis. All good stuff to write about, discuss, debate, and cry and laugh about over a bottle of wine.

I am thankful I live in wine country and am equipped with all the essential tools of my generation: sarcasm, cynicism, skepticism and even slactivism.

I’ll do my best to use them for good as I tend my new garden, plant ideas and sow hope, understanding and acceptance not only for Aidan and others like him, but for all of us as.

We’re all in this together, folks. As Jim Morrison says, “No one here gets out alive.”



  1. Rose is 26. Her brother is 29. I am ahead of you on the mama trauma journey. Read us and see some familiar struggles. Good job mama. I will add, we moved to my husband’s little hometown. Almost thirty years ago. Still here. I hear you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Kat Stroppel says:

      Thank you! I look forward to reading your blog. I appreciate your support and for you sharing your story. I didn’t think I needed anyone’s help/support/story in the past … one of the many things I was wrong about.


      1. Don’t beat yourself up. I couldn’t find anybody else twenty-plus years ago. That’s why we wrote the book. It was a lonely time.


Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s