What training do you have?
The training of real life mostly. And great professors, community teachers, birth professionals and parents. I am a trainer myself and have been doing that for too many years to count. God has given me the passion to be a teacher with the gift of persuasion and common sense. And I read a lot to expand my knowledge.
What brought you to teaching?
Ever since being a child, I have played the teacher roll. I loved school (mostly, even homework! I know…crazy, right?) and wanted to teach. Got my degree in sociology/psychology and education.. I taught for a few years, became a trainer in business, co-founded and helped run a school (K-8) for 12 years and taught craft and handiwork for fun. Then, when we had a miscarriage, and the next year the death of our son Brennan, everything changed. I wrote books, taught clinic and hospital staff as well as other birth workers and parents on how to be their own advocate, how to deal with loss (all types of losses in childbirth) and even started traveling to do international teaching. I love to support families and care givers. Teaching is my passion and my calling. I had no idea it would turn out that I would do ‘this’ type of teaching for over 30 years. Once in awhile, I still find ways to also teach children which is exciting.
What do you want to say to EYB attendees?
I can’t wait to meet you all. As the mother of two living sons, a new grandson and of three babies who died too soon, I want to share my positive spirit and enthusiasm to support each of you in your parenting journeys. I invite you to be open to what there is to learn in areas you may not have even defined as important to you yet. Don’t just stay in your comfortable zone. Be positive and believe that all will work out. And know that no matter what, you are not alone. You have a caring community to support you here in Nashville. There are many who would envy you if they knew what they were missing.
What books have you read or written lately?
Besides my books to prepare for upcoming speaking engagements (The Prenatal Bombshell:Help and hope when continuing or ending a precious pregnancy after an abnormal diagnosis (2015) and Empty Arms: Coping with Miscarriage, Stillbirth, and Neonatal Death (1982/2016)…I love reading books by Dr. Kevin Leman. The one I read last week was great. Have a New Kid by Friday: How to change your child’s attitude, behavior & character in 5 days. I highly encourage it – good to read before you need it when the children are young. Practical advice about how to raise children who behave mostly and have good character.
Do you have any children?
Living children Kellan (wife Candra) newlyweds and Trevor (wife Marie) and 14 month son Mark. Miscarried babies Marama and Byrna and stillborn son Brennan William.
What is one of the most daring things you have done?
I was invited to be on a national television show in the early days of my work with infant loss. Going to Hollywood and speaking to people I could not see (just the camera) was a challenge. So little time to get across so much was tough. After that I was also invited to be on Oprah when she first got started with her show.
If you could pig out on a dish, what would it be and why?
I am a smoothie queen and into health.
International Bereavement Educator/Speaker
Author, Empty Arms