The dawn of being understood

Tales from the Motherland  and The Huntingtons Chronicles  are two blogs written by the same woman, Dawn Quyle Landau, who hails from the northern-most region of Washington state. Her posts are frequently featured on the Huffington Post.

My friendship with Dawn was sparked when I read one of those posts, in which she mentioned the lack of viral success of any Huntington’s disease awareness campaign.

I wasn’t on the right meds at the time, and (instead of angry verbal outbursts) I was as likely as not to send a long rambling letter expressing my dissatisfaction about one thing or another. It is not a period in my life that I treasure, but I am glad that I wrote one of those letters to Dawn.

Being a pie thrower, I was quick to fill her in on the HD Pie in the Face Challenge and to ask how she could deny that something was being done.

After I pressed the submit button, I reread her blog, realized that she was merely stating the fact that more can be done. I looked for the undo button. There was none, so I wrote another long, rambling comment apologizing for the first comment and explaining my propensity for writing reactionary letters.

I was surprised to find that she completely understood why I did what I did. She was able to separate me from my disease. We have been reading each other’s blogs ever since.

One of the best gifts of my life I received last week when Dawn, who was in my neck of the woods, traveled to New Bern to meet me.

She spoke of HD in her family with the same conflicted emotion with which I spoke of my own. We laid ourselves bare over shrimp and grits and unsweetened tea.

Dawn is barely older than me, and I, having no sisters, imprinted on her like a baby bird and even suggested she move to New Bern.

But Dawn has a wonderful home-base in Washington, and leads a life filled with travel and adventure. The kind of life I’d wish for any friend.

Having someone in my hometown to talk to with firsthand experience with HD who was so open and frank was a first for me. Sitting in a coffee shop, talking about our mothers’ HD seemed like a new normal for me and even though it can’t be with Dawn, I want more of it.

There is a woman that I have met in New Bern who has firsthand experience with HD. Dawn’s visit left me wanting to reach out to this woman and, if and when she is ready, to share the new normal with her:

Feeling understood in our hometown.


14 thoughts on “The dawn of being understood

  1. Sweet Sarah
    I looooved this blog …… And all the feelings you felt and shared while sitting with Dawn. Such a profound connection you both have ……. and now you are joined together in a way that is undeniable! Personally knowing how beautifully vulnerable you are I also know this is only the beginning of your sisterhood with her.
    You have been the very best sister to me ( from another mother)…..
    I’m always standing next to you in spirit and soul and celebrate your growth and your outlook !
    Love always
    sister sister

    Liked by 1 person

      1. We should meet definitely Sarah. I intend to come back in July before I run into issues with my permanent resident status issues. Now I am so active in looking for jobs in MA. Maybe I should look for a jobi in AZ too. The public transportation is awesome! I cannot live in my current MA home as he is living in Virginia. I cannot depend on him. I will have to plan a visit to your home too!🐶🐱💖🐶:-)


  2. I’m so sorry it’s taken me so long to read and respond to this wonderful post! I’m so touched, and had such an incredible time with you, Sarah! It has been in my thoughts throughout my travels to Israel and all of the very busy days I’ve had here. Thank you so much for making the time for me, and making yourself vulnerable with me. It meant so much! I also loved New Bern, though I don’t see any moves in my future! 😉

    Watch for a post about this meeting, as it’s been spinning in my head since I left… busy with my grand baby, daughter’s wedding, and juggling all kinds of stuff, but what a very special day that was! Hugs, and my best to your two wonderful guys. xoxo


    1. Glad you had a wonderful time in Israel and have some great photos to show for it. I have been wondering if your daughter enjoyed her shoes on that day?
      Love and hugs, S

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Reblogged this on The Huntington's Chronicles and commented:
    You can read my comment on this post, at the bottom, but suffice it to say: that spending a day with Sarah, on my recent trip to NC, was incredibly special and meaningful. We had so much to share, and I am so grateful that Sarah made the time for me. I hope you’ll check out more of Sarah’s posts, on her blog Huntington’s Disease and Me. She writes with candor and beauty, about such a difficult topic.


    1. Reblogged it on TFTM too, and stats are climbing… hope they’re hitting the link to you! I’m not great at this tech stuff, so hopefully I did it right. Sent it out on Twitter too. Have a good day, as I turn out the lights and head home tomorrow! xo

      Liked by 1 person

  4. So glad you connected with Dawn and that she connected us back to you. She’s a woodland fairy full of light, that one. Wishing you all good things wherever and however they can sprout in your life, Sarah.

    Liked by 1 person

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