Society dances around the issue.

Another mass shooting.

Another crazy act of violence.

“We still do not know the motive,” the media reports.

I always hold my breath, feeling the reason in my bones.

The first 24 hours, government officials will talk about legislation regarding guns.

The next 48 hours, I feel relatively confident it will be reported the shooter had mental health issues.

“The family tried to get him treatment.”

“Why didn’t the family do something?” the crowds shout.

I cringe. I feel their shame, and I can easily imagine their efforts.

I remember after my father’s death, I tried desperately to get my mother treatment.

We moved her from the Austin area to the Dallas area.

I called the local MHMR (Mental Health and Mental Retardation) in Dallas, a government entity founded by President Kennedy in the 1960s. The majority of the funding goes to the mental retardation part of the organization. I am not against funding for those who struggle intellectually.

I simply believe there should be more focus on and more treatment on severe mental illnesses like schizophrenia. I do not understand why MHMR has not been broken into two separate entities.

There should be more focus on treatment for those with a severe mental illnesses like schizophrenia.

Below is a one-sided conversation I had with MHMR in Dallas, Texas years ago.

“She will have to make the appointment herself.”

I hung up in disbelief.

I wondered how in the world I was going to find treatment for my mentally ill mother.

Ten years before that, I was told by her psychiatrist,

“It says in the notes, without treatment, a tent would need to go over her.”

I looked at him. I sat with that truth and did not flinch the first few seconds, and then nodded.

I knew. I saw and heard her anguish, her suicide attempts, her cries in the night, the anger and fear on her face. During those manic episodes, which do not go away without treatment, the mania became worse. You can try to pray for it to go away. You can argue and try to reason with the mentally ill person, but they are insane…..mad….damn mad.

In Pete Early’s book, “Crazy,” he documents his gallant efforts to find his bipolar son help. He had no idea how difficult it would be. https://www.peteearley.com/books/crazy/

Senator Deeds of Virginia had visible scars on his face from his son’s attack. He shared his story with 60 minutes of how tried to get his son help.


Before you quickly blame the family of the mentally ill, read your state’s laws. The Treatment Advocacy Center’s website, listed below, is an excellent place to start.


Did you lose a loved one because of a random act of violence?

Become an advocate for better treatment for the mentally ill. Lobby for change. Lobby for accessible treatment.

Remember their minds cannot reason. They need medication and treatment, THAT is the only weapon we have to fight the mass shootings.


Orchids in a Hot House or Writing Through Trauma

To all those who have tried and failed or perhaps succeeded, I offer words to you about my journey. Remember as you write, some people will like your words, others will not. Write if you must but know, it’s not easy my friend.

About twelve months ago, I joined an online writing group – Off Campus Writers Workshop. They have been an invaluable resource. I decided recently to send a submission, which they accepted.

If you are a weekend writer or someone just thinking about putting pen to ink, please check this group out.



“They just take them to the door and let them out,” Dallas County District Attorney John Creuzot told the Dallas Morning News.

All the Money in the World can’t fix the mental health problem in Texas.

July 10, 2022

Dallas County’s average wait time for a state psychiatric hospital bed is longer than any other urban county in Texas, with some waiting more than 800 days for hospital admittance, according to state data.

Dallas Morning News July 10, 2022

“They may or may not have gotten case management or medication they need.” he continued.

The mentally ill are people. Have we forgotten? Are they forgotten?

THE COUNTY BLAMES THE STATE FOR THE DELAY IN GETTING MENTALLY DISTRESSED DEFENDANTS INTO STATE HOSPITAL BEDS FOR TREATMENT. Such defendants are required to receive treatment, usually in state care, before they can be declared mentally competent by a judge to then stand trial.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

All the Money in the World can’t fix the mental health problem in Texas.



Growing up with a Parent with Schizophrenia

There are several resources for a person who grew up in a household where schizophrenia was present. This website is a good resource, but I will share others.


Uvalde and Me

Most of us are absolutely horrified by the shooting that took place at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. I attended a public elementary school when I was a child and felt very safe, but it was the sixties. Times have changed. Many things have changed in recent decades.

There are two things I have in common with Uvalde. The first is that my parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles all have roots in Uvalde. It is where they grew up. Most of my relatives were teachers. One of them was a principal many years ago in Uvalde. My half-brother was born in Uvalde. My father was a teacher in another city. Most of my relatives were and are involved in the area of education.

The second thing I have in common with the situation in Uvalde is that my mother suffered from mental illness. She was hospitalized numerous times and attempted to take her own life more times than I care to remember. The discussion of changes in Texas in regards to mental health should be a priority.

Recently, I drove to the Texas State Library in Austin. I was in the area and realized I had never been. I looked into the subject of mental health in Texas and found the following speech by Governor Alan Shivers that was created in 1950!!

Texas, the proud Lone Star State – first in oil – 48th in mental hospitals.

Governor of Texas, Alan Shivers. A special session was called and the speech was given on January 31, 1950.

Sadly, not much has changed in 72 years.

Texas, the proud Lone Star State – first in oil – 48th in mental hospitals. [quote from a speech given by the governor of Texas is 1950!]


National Alliance for Mental Illness spent $55,778 for lobbying in the year 2019.


Compare that to $200,000 spent by the American Heart Association in 2022.


We owe it to our children.

We owe it to our citizens.



Brave and Kind

Although my stories are sometimes filled with traumatic events, they are also stories of faith, survival, healing, friendship and most importantly, love.

It is my hope that people will have a glimpse behind the curtain of a horrible illness called paranoid schizophrenia. There is no cure. There is little help, so the people who suffer with it and their families cling to any hope they can find.

I could not write any of my stories in any format without the support and kindness of my friends and family.

Brene Brown has been an inspiration in so many ways. “Tell your Story. Be strong and brave.”

I’m trying, Brene. I’m trying.

Many of my stories have never been told, the very definition of secrets.

It pulls from a well that is filled with strength, hope, faith and love for my parents.

I was fortunate to have very stable and determined role models in my extended family. The research I have done on Ancestry has contributed to my well of strength. My ancestors came mostly from northern Europe and Wales. On my mother’s side, they arrived in Jamestown, Virginia in the 1700s. They were honorable, hardworking people. Their stories coincide with the story of our country. They fought for a better life. Sometimes they lost loved ones, cattle and money, but they endured and passed down a hearty, resilient lot. Their descendants became educators, principals, superintendents, parents who loved and raised numerous children.

Given my mother’s history, I wasn’t sure what I would find in the annals of time, but fortunately, it added courage and faith to my well and helped me finally sit down and begin my book, “It Runs Deep”. It is written by a woman who qualifies as a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution.

Evil Walks Among Us

Evil walks among us, Little One.

Those of us who are alive must learn to conquer it.

We are survivors.

What we dream no one may ever know.

What we scream into our pillows at night, no one who walks this earth may hear.

But we are survivors.

Evil walks among us but so does love, goodness, and humility.

There are many people who want to protect you.

Thankfully, they walk among us, too.

-@Nancy Gilbert

May 11, 2023

Written near Allen, Texas


What is life without healing?

It is a burden.

It is a boulder too heavy to push.

It is a tree without roots.

It is despair with no shred of hope.

Healing comes in various forms

-a light breeze felt on the check

-the deep tones of a cello.

It is knowing a friend is lifting you up in prayer

-sharing a story

– sharing words.

It is having a cat sit and purr on your lap until she falls asleep.

It is a slow intimate kiss or just the memory of one.

It is staring at the stars under the Texas sky.

Healing is enjoying a meal made just for you because you’re exhausted.

It is remembering your youth and boyfriends who held your hand for the first time.

It is remembering the words to a song he once sang to you.

“Think of me when you’re lonely.

Think of me when you’re blue.”

Healing is knowing there is light at the end of a tunnel.

It is breathing deeply and forgiving.

It is breathing deeply and accepting forgiveness.

It is reading about secret gardens and the fact that God has your back.

It is listening to reminders of God’s grace.

It is the word grace.

It is in the hands of a friend who has little money

And shares it with you.

It is a wave of laughter with a stranger.

It is remembering.

It is accepting love and laughter

And treasuring it all.

It is all in my memory box where it will come out whenever I choose.

My Guardian

Enter a version of John Wayne, aka, “The Duke” that I never knew existed.

I have always had a love for animals. Through my local humane society, I met a dog breed that I didn’t know existed. Duke, the brazillian mastiff, was my knight in shining armor.

When I was first introduced to him, I thought he was one of the ugliest creatures I’d ever seen. As the months and weeks passed, he became more handsome.

I was newly divorced and lived in the country. My ex wanted to keep our three dogs, and I had no energy to argue. I was lonely and frightened, especially in the evenings. I had never lived in the country before, so while the beauty and solace comforted me during the day, when the dark shadows of evening began to fall, my anxiety and fears rose.

Enter a version of John Wayne, aka, “The Duke” that I never knew existed.

Over time, we both began to heal. I was healing from a disastrous relationship that included a pet hoarder and a sociopath. Duke was healing from parasites. We had more in common than I realized. No one wanted the magnificent animal.

I had checked out and wanted to hide under nearby rocks and trees. Duke just needed a soft place to land, which ended up being my couch.


We went around the table after our tummies were full. It is Thanksgiving, and I’m at my sister’s table with her family. She and her husband, two grown daughters and three teenage grandsons are present. The tradition is to give thanks for something that starts with the first letter of the alphabet

The middle grandboy must start with the letter, “A”.

His brother does a mock cough and says that one is easy. Both of their girlfriends’ names start with the letter “A”. We make it around the table two times when I decide to throw in the word, “failure.” To my surprise, I’m not interrupted.

“I know this is strange, but I’m thankful for failure,” I said, hoping they would understand my explanation. Even the teenagers did not interrupt me.

I’m thankful for failures because they help guide me to what is truly important. Failed marriage, failed job, failed football game, a failed relationship… Our lists can go on and on.

I have been fascinated with paradoxes this year. “It is better to give than to receive.” “If you lose your life, you’ll find it.”

For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it. – Luke 9:24

Luke 9:24

I think I know what it finally means. We have all failed at something this year and all the ones before it. We have lost. We have loved, and we have grieved…..and amid all of it, we find life.

My precious breath is forever changing. I am getting older. I grieve for the lack of certain friend’s presence, but I have found joy in the memories.

I am grateful. I am thankful, and I am blessed.

Photo by Snapwire on Pexels.com
%d bloggers like this: