Bags of Bones

woman_victorian_webHmmmm…this broken body…that has battled fibromyalgia and PTSD since the early 1990’s, multiple sclerosis and a whole lot more since 2006….actually made it to 48 years old today.

God is full of surprises!

And I am grateful to God for the gift of still being here, and even still able to walk, talk, and write. I am grateful for the close to 2,000 members of my Facebook & Google + circle/ group, Not All Catholics Are Roman…But All Catholics Are One for being brave enough to stand up for the belief that there is much more that unites our different Catholic Churches than the things that have too often divided us. I am grateful to the friends and family that have stood by my ex Brian and I, as well as our son Jamie, as we each recover from the wreckage of the storms these past months. I am grateful for the love that Brian and I shared, and the love and respect that I hold for him still. I am profoundly grateful to my church family at Rumney Marsh Fellowship, to Bishop David Dismas, and Deacon Robert Lefebre. I am grateful beyond words for my brothers and sisters in my Franciscan religious order, The Mercy of God Community, without whom I would not be here “doing ministry” today.

I am grateful that God has set me, since last fall, on a new path, and I am traveling right now with a group of pilgrims as diverse and welcome as any Chaucer could have chosen. I can’t wait to write all the stories down as we move along.

God is good. While I am most certainly still often on the walk to Calvary, I have more days to live, more ways to serve Him, and more help along The Way than I could have ever imagined having.

Happy Birthday to me….

Thank You to everyone who has sent me messages, posted, called, and written. Truly, you have made this birthday special.

Oh yeah…the birthday surprise….well, of course:

biflag_withwordsThere.  This time I am not ever going back in the closet again.  Time to be real and honest of who I am in everything.  Enjoy the cake folks, and don’t get ice cream on the carpet!

Take care,

Brenda  Ann Eckels, aMGC

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“bringing love, where love is absent”


A wonderful set of poems and commentary on Mary, the Christ-Bearer, as priest.

Originally posted on afeatheronthebreathofgod:

Mary, the mother of Jesus, is a person who fascinates me. She scares some, and attracts others, but she rarely fails to have an impact. I have learnt so much by spending time with her, imaginatively. There are so many hidden depths to her character.  As probably a very young teenager, she faced a near impossible ask, and had to face the potential of losing her life, never mind her reputation, by her obedience.

She said Yes-

but suppose the answer had been NO?

and Heaven held it’s breath

as in that startled moment

a teenage lass

looked an angel in the face.

Cascades of questions

in tug of terror and of trust

as wide eyed in wonder

it dawned on her

the choice was hers

and hers alone.

Yet the choice was not to choose

to surrender choice itself

taking the gift

God gives with life and breath,

to lay it…

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This is a fictional story, but based on some real events, that I wrote a while ago before I got the ability to “Press This” and post to my Facebook, Google+, and so forth.

It imagines a future world where someone suffering from mental illness gets as much support – and availability – to pastoral counseling as a diabetic in an emrgency room.

I am interested in comments from mental health consumers, family members, and mental health professionals…could this fictional story actually become a reality, and if so, what would be the first toddling steps forward?

Please, forward to anyone you know who is interested in mental health care!



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Brain Dead


This is one of the best poems I have ever read about how crippling ADHD is. I wasn’t born with ADHD, I developed it at 42 from damage caused by MS lesions. You nailed it, sister…

Originally posted on Walk with me on my journey of illness to the road of happiness and a life of fulfillment:

A brain, not properly wired
an underdeveloped pre-frontal cortex
racing thoughts, impulsive, unorganized as hell
a sense of entrapment, as if caught up in the middle of a powerful vortex

I didn’t choose this
I was born this way
I did nothing to cause this whirlwind that rages through my head
day and night, it never stops
the life I live, far from bliss

Hyperactive, unable to sit still
as I squirm and I fidget
bouncing around from one activity to another
no matter how hard I try, I’ll never reach the top of the hill

The top of the hill is where all my dreams reside
always appearing as if I’m not interested or listening
to follow instructions, not as easy as it sounds
seriously feeling as if my brain is fried

At times appearing rude, as I interrupt
I don’t mean to do this, but as the thoughts…

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The Sweater, A Steampunk Story

sepia image of a man's sweater, an old Lake Winnipesaukee postcard, and a wooden jewlry box

The Sweater, A Steampunk Story 

©Brenda Eckels, 2014

She had this grace about her, Sophie did, that made you think; “This woman should be heading the church ladies society, not here.” Even though arthritis had slowed her down, she walked with a smooth glide that one could almost imagine the book, motionless on top of her head at Mrs. Farthingdale’s Charm School. Her hands were always so neatly placed in her lap, and her legs were always bent at the knee, slightly to one side, never, ever crossed. Her dark ebony skin looked like the softest suede and her hair, although long since turned gray, was always brushed back, pinned down, and gathered into a small bun.

“Sophie, can you tell me how many of the size large band aids we have left?” I called to her from my desk. As the Medication Officer it was part of my job to maintain the assorted first aid kits scattered like little tiny MASH units around the ancient building. The Commonwealth, in their infinite inability to correlate exactly how much manpower it would take to run the Medication Room and all it’s assorted sub functions, had not only decreed that my position would also double as a shift supervisor, but have no actual staff. Well, when the commonwealth hands you lemons, you can either sit there and complain or make lemonade. Early on, I had noticed Sophie watched me like a hawk when it was her turn to come down for her medications, and I didn’t believe for one minute the entry in her annual assessment that said “client can mimic medication planner fills, but cannot perform task on her own.”

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Richest Americans

Wealthiest 400 Americans Now Worth Record $2.3 Trillion

How much did they collectively pay in taxes last year?
To those who are given much, much is required…

$1 Trillion in taxes sounds reasonable to me, and would help balance the budget a lot better.

And don’t tell me how hard it it would be for them to survive  on $1.3 Trillion in net worth.

If I can be ordered by the government to be limited to $2,000 in net worth, the rich can be ordered to be limited to half of what they have. Skip some caviar already.

Obscene. $2.3 trillion in the hands of 400 people while billions lay dying in abject poverty.
A list of shame. No one human needs even the millions of the 400th person.
Every penny they have over what they need…you can secure your future with under $1 million. Anything over that is greed, pure and simple, and those addicted to greed should be taxed into a more moral state of being.

Sad, sad, sad….

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Protected: Lesbian Teacher’s Firing Yields More Questions than Answers

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