The Broken Brain, the Healing Heart

Do you also sometimes wonder why some bloggers have thousands and thousands of followers while others don’t?

I know I do and it makes me particularly sad when I just know that the person in question would really deserve a much bigger audience, because her words are ones that need to be heard.

One of those bloggers, who I’m very happy to call my friend, is Sharon Lynne Bonin-Pratt, and I truly hope that this post will inspire you all to go visit her wonderful blog and start following her.

Sharon began her writing career the way so many others have done: by first doing everything else. Winning entries in grade school art, story, and essay contests convinced her to become a writer, but the real world intruded in adulthood and demanded she pay bills, raise kids, be a contributing member of the community. Along that rutted path she worked in the commercial art field designing patterns for surfer shorts, bikinis, and Hawaiian style shirts, taught after-school art through a city recreation program, and structured an art curriculum for three private schools.

Now she has written her third novel, Where Did Mama Go? about the devastation Alzheimer’s disease inflicts on families. It’s in the process of being edited, and then she’ll start querying for an agent to represent her work. Her credentials for writing this story are eighteen years of assisting her mom through the labyrinth of this illness.

Sharon Bonin-Pratt's Ink Flare

My mother suffered with Alzheimer’s for the last years of her life. She lived in a residence with hundreds of other folks who had memory loss. One was a wonderful man I’ll call Ben. Ben had been an artist before he became ill with Alzheimer’s. An intelligent, talented man who worked in various media, he pursued art as a passionate avocation all his life. He continued to create beautiful watercolor paintings all the years he lived at the residence.

As an art teacher for many decades, I explained to my students that creating art was an experience of Head, Hand, Heart – our class motto.  The Head is what we know or see of our world, the Hand is the education about color, composition, and holding a paintbrush.

The Heart is the most important element. This is where a master artist transports the viewer beyond the canvas or marble into…

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55 thoughts on “The Broken Brain, the Healing Heart

  1. Honestly, I think that some bloggers have so many followers because they put most of their effort into getting followers rather than just in writing. But some of the best-written blogs are also ones that don’t have huge audiences. Thanks for sharing this blog with us, and I will certainly check it out!

    Liked by 4 people

  2. A hearfelt piece from Sharon. Ben seemed to have a lot of passion for painting, and that must have left its mark. Thanks for sharing, Sarah. On the subject of bloggers and followers: yeah, some blogs have more followers than others. But it’s the time we give others that matter ❤

    Liked by 4 people

    • You’re very welcome, Mabel! Shari has many such heartbreaking stories to share on this subject and I hope many people will take courage from them.
      And I completely agree – it’s the interaction and friendships that we build here that are what matters most. 😊❤

      Liked by 2 people

    • Ben had been a professional artist and he continued his passion even after he developed Alzheimer’s. That isn’t always true for artists as they’re often frustrated by the decline in their skill, and they can tell.

      Blogging is still a bit of a mystery to me but I’m grateful for the friends I’ve made.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Sarah, when I come across a new blog, the first thing I notice is the interaction between the writer and their followers. As well as the content. Sharon, I am positively impressed with your ability to write a book!! My husband’s parents both have Alzheimer’s, a soul-destroying disease!!

    Liked by 3 people

    • It’s the same for me, Suzanne – content and interactions are the things I notice first. But in terms of finding an editor who might be interested in your book it can be quite important to impress them with a big followship – it’s kind of stupid but what can you do? Nowadays writing a book is the easy part, getting an agent or editor is the tricky one. 😉

      Liked by 2 people

    • Suzanne, I am so very sorry that both your husband’s parents have Alzheimer’s. There is no respite from the overwhelming responsibilities. I’m sure you give him lots of love and support. Thank you for the kind comment about my blog. I’ve actually written 4 books but none are yet published.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Thanksso much Sarah for introducing me to Sharon’s blog. I watched dementia take my m-i-l, and is now my f-i-l too. Neither had a creative activity to sustain them, and I wish they had after reading about Ben.

    Liked by 4 people

    • You’re very welcome, Su! And I’m so sorry to hear that about your in-laws. I’m sure Shari would like to ‘talk’ with you about it and also provide advice and support. She’s that wonderful kind of person. 😊
      It’s so depressing to see that scientists still struggle to comprehend what’s really happening in the brain and thus fail to come up with a remedy. I’ve often heard that creative activities can slow down the process somewhat but it just isn’t enough. 😯

      Liked by 4 people

      • What scientists are finding is that the brain is hugely complex. They have been falling down rabbit holes, unfortunately. Research is paramount to future success and I’m confident that one day there will be a cure or a more effective treatment than currently available. Some things work a little for some people, not at all for others. That’s what has baffled them. And the side effects can be awful.

        Liked by 2 people

    • Alzheimer’s is a truly bizarre disease and there’ nothing that’s absolutely predictable about it. Though I was an artist all my life, my mom had never indicated any interest. When she became ill, she found painting took away her confusion and pain. I could see her relax.

      I’m not quite sure from your comment if your in-laws are still alive. One thing that’s been documented as nearly universal is that all of them love music. They listen, they sometimes sing, many can still play instruments. You might try to engage them with music. Ask your husband what kinds of music they enjoyed when healthy.

      Liked by 3 people

      • My mother in law died a couple of years ago, my father in law is in a care home. We have very little influence on his care (incredibly long, complicated story that I can’t begin to recount). I appreciate your suggestion and will see if there is any way we can provide him with musical stimulus. Thanks Sharon.

        Liked by 3 people

  5. A heartbreaking story of determination to the end. Thanks for introducing me to Sharon’s work.
    By the way, Sarah, I don’t think that we should be concerned about the number of followers we have, but rather the real connections that we make through our work. Such connections can make a difference in our lives.

    Liked by 5 people

    • You’re very welcome, Rosaliene! And it is a heartbreaking story indeed, it left me with tears in my eyes when I read it.
      I agree, we should not be concerned about the amount of followers one has, and I’m happy to say that I don’t. The friendships I have found here are beyond wonderful and that’s what I’m most grateful for.
      But in terms of looking for an editor who might be interested in your book it can be quite important to impress them in terms of self-marketing. Sadly they prefer quantity over quality.

      Liked by 3 people

  6. Sarah, you’ve left me breathless with surprise. Thank you so much for this connection to your wonderful followers. I really hope that one day we’ll get to meet in person, but for now, we’ll see each other on our blogs. May you have a wonderful, creative day.

    Liked by 2 people

    • You’re very welcome, Shari! And I also hope that we’ll meet one day in person!! We’ll have so much fun talking, painting and eating cookies and cakes! 😀 😉
      Have a fabulous day, dear friend! ❤

      Liked by 2 people

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