Grazie Bellisima

I want to thank all of you who donated. I would list off your names but I have a strict code here of not dropping anyone’s information unless a person has no issue with it and uses their real names across social media. It’s just safer this way, as I’m sure you’ll all agree.

This month was particularly hard on me and as I said, I haven’t been doing regular donation drives. I think there’s a gender issue there that makes me feel unworthy to ask. Femininity is a curse on one’s own mind. You just feel like you’ll be putting others out. This is how females are trained from birth.

When I was 28 I was an athlete. I rode mountain bikes out here in the great Western Rockies and Coastal mountains. I could ride 30km a day and my legs were like iron. I was the epitome of excellent health. And it all ended one afternoon while riding on the street. No, I wasn’t in the mountains, on the trails. I was riding behind someone who didn’t know how to signal a sudden stop, and who didn’t know the path we were on had a 30 foot drop down to the railroad tracks. Needless to say. I braked hard in order not to ram into the person in front, tried putting my left leg down to steady myself, and found myself flying through the air, landing on boulders as big as a VW bug. I hit the train tracks. My body was so full of adrenaline that I felt nothing. I had no idea of the damage.

I picked up my bike in one hand, climbed back up and rode home with gravel and dirt embedded in my bloody skin. It took an hour of soaking in the bath to get most of the dirt out. I took advil and went to bed. Next morning I couldn’t walk, and found the black bruising all over my body. I had crushed my lower spine like an accordion and done damage to my internal organs.

That was the beginning of a huge change in my life, probably the biggest change ever. I had to come to grips with the surgeries, the endless trips to hospitals and doctors who just couldn’t fix me. I can’t tell you how many times I was told ‘sometimes, there’s nothing we can do.’ I had to live with it and it’s only been very recently that I’ve accepted much of it.

I applied for disability and got it within 3 months. I do know of people who wait over a year for approval. There was no denying my condition. I had a medical file the size of a small library. The disability board probably took one look at it and just said ‘yes’ without reading a single chart.

I tell you this because I want you to know. Your donations make a big deal in my life, a very big deal. I want you to know why I ask for them and why, when I receive them, it makes me feel very supported. I do feel my work is worth something too. You have to get creative when you’re disabled, to find your own job that you can do for the community. This is mine.


Thank you.


Here’s some watercolours just for you:



5 thoughts on “Grazie Bellisima

  1. I have a messed up spine too, but it’s not from an accident or anything like that. It’s scoliosis. I had major surgery on it when I was a teenager, but it did more harm than good and I almost died afterward (developed an ileus, from being pumped full of too much post-surgery morphine). The hardware causes me more pain than the actual spine itself. It was a total bang-up job by one of the so-called “best orthopedic surgeons in the country”. I’m fairly active though, in spite of it. Being a nutty-nut-nut, however, is not as easy to overcome. 😛


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