My Facebook Intro that Facebook Would Not Let Me Post 9/23/2016 

By Brenda Ann Eckels, aMGC

My Facebook, for rather complex reasons, is under Brenda Eckels Burrows, aMGC. This is the Intro, which Facebook deemed to be too long, and I decided was just fine:

My profile pic needs updating, but the plastic surgeon won’t take medicaid.

Some of my common sayings

  • “I have no idea why I am here right now, but God’s been running things since 2006, so He will make the reason apparent at some point.”
  • *wheeling away*
  • “God saved me, and I am alive, so I try to listen to where God tells me to go and what to do.” (Even if it meant I ended up sitting outside a closed bar at 1 am praying with someone, or the quick trip to the grocery store ended up taking an hour and I ran out of St. Julian of Norwich Prayer Cards.)
  • “Life is better with an umbrella in your drink.”
  • *Scruffy Lay Franciscan in dirty robe over in pew number 20 of 42 waving her hand*
  • “You know what? I know about a 1st Century Jewish Rabbi who said…”
  • “The New Normal is truly in our hands. It is not just a hashtag for Greenies who support Dr. Jill Stein.
  • “Life is better with a chihuahua.  Much Better!”
  • and… “Take Care.”

Vocation, Work, & Life

I have a LinkedIn Account with the professional “Stuff I Have Done and Am Doing” and endorsements. I am still a part time freelance writer, small business owner, blogger, poet, and have been published from time to time since the early 1990’s.

spooniesremainstrongI’m disabled due to MS, fibromyalgia, gastroperesis, PTSD from domestic violence, and more. I am out of the closet about it, even though that has annoyed some people, so I have been and still am very involved in disability rights, mental health issues like peer support, and social issues. I blog, give speeches, and write poetry a lot about all of it, like here. Most days, I am in a wheelchair, but some great folks at New England Rehabilitation Hospital remade me so I sometimes can  use a walker again.  I am HOH & often speech impaired so somedays my voice is rather robotic. Thanks to Medicaid cuts to dual hearing aids, I often look like I am wearing 1980’s era Walkman headphones.  Yes, speack into the mic onthe white box clipped to my clothing, please.  The preceeding paragraph is best summed up by the word “spoonie”.

I was retired due to disability in 2006, but by 2015 the check would not cover the month, so I am one of millions of SS Ticket To Work Holders who try to juggle staying alive with working. In my case, sometimes from the hospital bed in my room.

adad6a4563ed77a5425d3e3411432ad7.jpgI am a proud member of The Green Party of the United States and The NH Green Party, which is planning to run a Candidate for Governor in 2018 so we can have our own official primary ballots in a lovely shade of mint.

I have my own Greenie site, a hashtag #AGreenieInNH, and Facebook Page, and am on a “Listening Tour” in Strafford County, NH to decide if I will run for office in 2018.

domesticviolence2I am a past and also a recent domestic violence survivor, and used to actively advocate for stronger laws to catch and prosecute abusers at the earliest stages with strong sentencing to comprehensive mental health evaluation and treatment. I also strongly supported protections for victims and survivors for life. 

I have three ex-boyfriends that are Black, and three of “my kids” are biracial so yeah…#BlackLivesMatter is a lot more important to me than my skin color might lead you to imagine.  While I am only about 1-2%, I also have “my kids” who are as much as 30% Abenaki Native American, so those issues have been important to me for years. Ditto for LGBTQ issues, but you have to read to the end about why.

I am very religious, but believe strongly the words attributed to St. Francis:

“Preach The Gospel Always, And If Necessary, Use Words”.

Even if he did not say it exactly, it fits with everything he did say.

An Independent Old Catholic from a very tiny church, I am a Lay Franciscan Religious in the Ecumenical Mercy Of God Community.

I run a small online community, for Catholics of all types.  This is the actual Vocational Rehabilitation hobby turned “day job”.


I am a psychiatric widow, close to ending the first year without my best friend & fiance, Brian Marquis. Having found that great love of my life, I seek no others.  My grief walk will last a while longer.  


Some kinds of love never die,

Some friendships change your soul,

and some vows,

like those of 12/2011, 2/14/2013,

&  8/16/2014 at 9:30am,

are forever in one’s heart.

It is hard thing to experience such a great soul, heart, and mind connected love, and have it torn apart by the effects on our physical health and our relationship because of the mental and emotional issues, domestic violence, and female relational abuse of others.

However life does go on, even for those who lose a partner and soulmate.  I have forgiven many who were involved, and leaving God and Courts in charge of the rest.

I am uncovering mirrors, putting away the blacks, and turning to deep mauve and grey of Second Mourning, and starting to go out “publicly” again.

I have three wonderful, blended, complex, divinely funny families that I love and fiercely protect who are in my daily life.

The Eckels Family, My brother Michael & sister Nicole “O’Rourke’s Army”, and The Ralph & Mary Johnson Clan are – all of them – important to why I am writing this in 2016 and not long since dead and buried.

I have my “almost official” in-laws The Roland & Sue Marquis Family, and ex in-laws The Dick and Anna Johnson Clan, who I also love, although most of them are no longer in my life on a day to day basis. 

I have 2 babies in heaven, gone before they were born, two biological children, one adopted child. One is, like me, a semi-public person because he is a Slam Poet.

I have fostered children who’s primary parent most often was guilty of nothing more than poverty or homelessness. Almost all “my kids” went back home, or at least had contact with the primary parent. A number of them remain in contact with me, and I love them all.

I have been married or partnered 5 times, resulting in a slew of ex-stepchildren, many of whom I still have relationships with.  I still love them also.

Chief among them is Nicole, who made me a Babka to the most amazing two granddaughters in the universe. While I do not see him anymore, I also have fond memories of my grandson, Mikey Jr. and his father Mike Sr.

Of all of them, I miss Tanta Sophie, kid Briana Rose, cousin Debbie a lot. I miss my stepson Jamison more than words can say, and I imagine I always will.  Like all of the other 14 kids, he knows that the door to my life is always going to be open to him.

I am a Godmother to an amazing “lil’ man”.  Love you kiddo.

I am an Auntie and Great Auntie several times over, which certainly does make me feel old some days!

Other Things About Me

I’m a dairy free vegetarian who despite Trina and Auntie Jami’s warnings is still addicted to soy products. And Caramel. Despite being unable to tolerate much more than trace amounts of dairy, I can eat Velveeta – so now you know. Great Mystery of the Orange Stuff solved.

I was a non-alcohol person for years due to health reasons, but am now at the point abstinence will no longer extend my life. It won’t shorten it either, as long as it is in moderation.

So, usually I drink non-alcoholic wine and beer, make a mean virgin pina colada, and continue my search to find the places where I can burn off the alcohol from gin so I can make a non-alcoholic apple martini in peace.

However, I have a nicely equipped bar, china for 12, love various kinds of non-dairy cheese or chocolate fondue, and entertaining at home with great food.  So, I enjoy the occasional dark rum with coconut water, or other such concoctions, mostly by raiding my unofficial but very real brother, Mike’s, liquor cabinet.

I love to garden, play various match 3 games and Sudoku on the advice of my brilliant neuropsychologist, devour books, debate theology, sew and craft, and have never gotten into any semblance of recovery from all things Steampunk, Star Wars, or Labryinth The Movie.

Oh…almost forgot…

Even though I am now celibate…my DNA did not change.