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How to make a memory…


No kidding.

I rather wish I’d gotten my arse in gear a lil’ earlier in this regard, instead of the superficial flight through all things chronic illness.


“Seriously, what are you ON?!?!?”

Here’s the thing: No matter your current condition…healthy, not healthy, unhealthy, fitness addict, couch potato…you are here “For a limited time only!!!”

So? It’s especially difficult for those afflicted with chronic illness to find that “joie de vivre” to make just getting out of bed in the morning worthwhile.

I know.

I *know*.

Thus? I have endeavoured to take advantage of opportunities as they present themselves. Boating trips, mask-making workshops, learning a new board game…to my love of camping.

“I can’t camp, it hurts.”

Ya, I get it.

Well, while you’re hurting over there…I’ll be hurting over here…and making a memory.

1) Make the choice to make a memory.

2) Gather the supplies required to assist in the making said memory a reality:

medications, pain-relief rub, sunscreen and bug-spray, for example…

3) Go have a mutha’ freakin’ life while you are privileged with the opportunity to do so!!!!!!!!!!

So many tweets…so many +1’s…so many, “I do not let my chronic illness define me!!!”…so many enabled by their own choices that let their chronic illness define them…

Here’s what I did this weekend. I ate and slept and taught my children about the old ways and chatted with friends and played Kubb and made connections with people who share similar thoughts and ideas about virtue and worth and honour.

…and I did it while under a blanket of pain. Like usual. As always. For realz.

…and today I listened to my children telling their daycare friends how COOL it was to make offerings and have new sleeping bags and their tent is WICKED as they showed off their plethora of mosquito bites and sun-kissed freckles.

Well, isn’t that cool…a “memory by association” continues thereafter…Huhn. I like it. ๐Ÿ™‚



Camping under our family banner and shield was…epic.

Words fail to articulate what it means to us to establish our family hearth in a public community.

Thank you SO much for so many kind words and reactions to our banner…it makes its impression all the more strengthened.




Each year I have taken this same photo, so that when my youngest are older, we can visually remark about their changes, both in height…and in spirit.




Hangin’ with the Gnomies.

Making offerings at the Gnome Home.







Teaching your children about the old ways, in a place that has been permanently established as a sacred site upon the land that you, in fact, helped to establish…



…while your children make offerings to the Old Ones…


Words again fail to articulate the awesomeness.

My ancestors would be proud.




Then you’ve just gotta’ get yer game on…

I don’t care about pain 24/7. You have to come to an “understanding” with your pain.

It’s a choice.

I choose this.




It’s a challenge of the mind versus body.








My older twin was very brave and wanted to try his hand at shooting an arrow under the watchful, helping hand of our friend, Tim. Tim regularly presides over archery workshops during festivals and events, and there is always something for the children to participate in!!

No bubble-wrap for my kids ๐Ÿ˜‰




I was able to do a very important thing while on the land this past weekend.

Bury the ashes of my childhood friend, Taffy.

Taffy died when I was 21 years old and miles away from me. My mother had her ashes in a small urn to give to me when they returned from a posting in Anchorage, Alaska. I held onto them ever since, because I simply didn’t have “the right” place for her. When they created a pet cemetery at Raven’s Knoll…I immediately contacted them to reserve my place for my BFF. As an only child, she was my world when moving from city to city as an Air Force brat.



Goodbye, my dear companion.

My tears were not merely of your passing, but from having finally found your final resting place.

I am at peace.




They are a reminder that we have a life.

When you stock up on the good ones…you have something to “read” in your mind on the days that are less-than-stellar.

You don’t want to run out on those days…

Go make a memory! ๐Ÿ˜€

Memory… is the diary that we all carry about with us. ย 

~Oscar Wilde, “The Importance of Being Earnest”


  1. sarah mccormack

    I love this post, and relate on so many levels. I am a huge believe in “making memories”, from the simple to the more elaborate. I spend most of my income on travel.. so many “memory making” opportunities when we travel with our kids. I once asked my son (he was 7) if he thought I was crazy spending so much money on holidays…to which he said “No, Mom. Our memories will never go out of style!”.. …… WOW, right? he gets it!

    • Brynn

      WOW, indeed!! That is fantastic!! And I appreciate you sharing this especially because I think it illustrates the concept of “choice” amazingly well. How many people will say they cannot travel because “it’s not in the budget”? I’ll bet you simply make it so. There are adjustments necessary, but you choose the opportunity. Thank you SO much for sharing, and high-fives for your son!! ๐Ÿ˜€

      • Sarah McCormack

        yep… it is all about choices. life is.

        if you saw my car, you would see how we can afford our awesome holidays ๐Ÿ™‚ lol!

        I think that living life to its fullest is the one gift that disease gives us.. we appreciate every moment that we can participate in life. that said, it’s not a gift i’d want to give anybody.. ..

  2. Tracy

    Can’t help but love this post. So much truth to it. People always ask me how I can do what I do for a living, and have chronic pain everywhere. How can I be so active, being going out or hanging with friends, or any number of things with the ‘supposed’ amount of pain I have. Just as you said Brynn; you will have that pain sitting on your ass letting the pain be your world, or you will have it while doing what you love, being who you are, and making memories. I love my job with so much passion when I see people leave my clinic with less pain than they came. I am in an almost meditative state when I work with my clients, so I transcend my own pain. Thank you Brynn for reminding us when sometimes we let the pain override us for a while. Much hugs.

  3. Michel Daw

    The wonder of it is, in later years when your children are grown and gone, that the natural ‘what else could I have done to give my children a good life’ questions that come up are immediately answered with these wonderful memories, and feelings of pride, serenity and peace follow. Parenting, you’re doing it right.

  4. Nadine

    You have truly touched my heart and opened my eyes, my Canadian Sister. There is so much possibility in the world if only we allow ourselves to see it, feel it and do it (even in small doses, even if it’s in one’s own backyard–so to speak). Yes, traveling and doing with Chronic Illness is a HUGE pain in the arse. This is brought home to me anytime I endeavor to travel and create my memories, but dammit, I GO.

    Right now, I am packing for a trip to Michigan with my friend Marcia. We are attending Media West Con (similar to Comic Con, but with TV show and Movie fandoms). This is an annual event for us and a six hour drive. I go for our friendship. I go to create memories of my own.

    So thank you for the reminder, my sister, of why I do this. It means so very much. <3

  5. Sherrie

    I used to shy away from pictures and videos and such. Then I got sick. I realised my husband had the right to have memories. I made some great ones with my nephew this weekend. We need to make memories. Not only for ourselves, but for those who love us too. Thanks for this.

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