Writing With My Eyes, Staying Alive While Dying by Angela Parker-Brown


Today is a difficult day. Why? I have no single reason to be blue today, just little bits of everything I’ve collected in my mind. Those little bits of everything created a dark cloud today.
Yesterday was flawless. Yesterday I laughed, watched my girls laugh and act silly, like they’re supposed to act. Yesterday we watched a favourite movie, which makes us giggle every single time. Yesterday we had a special visitor, who always leaves me in stitches. Need I say more?
When I picture myself (and everyone), I picture a person with a million little pinholes. Those pinholes are our happiness, our hope, our spirituality, every good thing about us, our love. Those pinholes radiate light. Those lights make us sparkle. Can you picture this? Aren’t we beautiful?
I woke up this morning feeling sad and blue. Little bits of everything trying to cover my sparkles. Little bits of everything trying to plug my pinholes. They are trying their best to dim me today. They can consume us.
Little bits of everything may have dimmed my sparkles today. But I’ve slowly been dusting myself off, little by little. One pinhole at a time. It can be tedious. It can take all day to uncover those pinholes from little bits of everything.
But the results are so worth the work. I’m a bit more sparkly this evening than I was this morning. By tomorrow, those little bits of everything will be nothing but dust. Tomorrow, I’ll be back to Full Capacity Sparkle.

In her memoir, Writing With My Eyes, Staying Alive While Dying, Angela Parker-Brown takes us deep into her world of growing up with family that surrounded her with love and friends; into a dark secret she carried with her most of her life; into her life as a single parent of two beautiful twin girls; into what happened when she was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) disease at the age of 46, when her girls were just 8 years old, and into her life as she is living it now.

Hers is a life that has been filled with sparkle, and dust. But the telling of it isn’t fairy-like. It isn’t fantasy. It doesn’t contain miracles or humans with super powers. It’s a straightforward account of a life that has been, and is being, lived with the grace and flaws most humans exhibit in their lifetimes when we live straightforward lives. However, it’s not a straightforward life. It has been hugely complicated by the twists, turns, stalls and re-starts that come with one having been diagnosed with a devastating terminal illness.

In the telling, Parker-Brown is revealed as a child who loved books, nature and people. As a young adult who worked and played hard. As a wife with an unusual marriage and a parent whose love for her daughters reflects the strength of the love she grew up with. As a woman with an inquisitive mind and the intelligence to use it. And when she is faced with an insurmountable problem, as someone with a will that makes her determined to overcome the limits it puts on her and live every moment she has. Is that a super-power? Maybe.

What is certain is that this book will be a legacy her family can hold onto and readers will find holds much more than the story of one woman’s life and what effects a terminal illness has on her. It’s a story with many layers. How many of those layers each reader finds and connects with will depend, in part, on their own experiences. But no matter how many of the layers it contains penetrate your being, you won’t be able to put it down.

Angela Parker-Brown is a 50-year-old mother of twelve-year-old twin daughters, Paris and Parker. Along with her daughters, she is navigating the everyday realities of living with ALS. She lives in Truro, Nova Scotia, and this is her first book, written with the aid of eye gaze technology.

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Pottersfield Press (Aug. 29 2022)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 180 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1990770045
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1990770043

 -- Website

Since graduating from the Banff Centre Book Editing Program in 1996, Jocelyn has explored all facets of book-making. She is a published author of fiction and non-fiction, an editor, and the founder of two presses established to produce three anthologies that together contain the work of 66 British Columbia writers and artists. Since 2012, she has also written book reviews of children’s books for Canadian Materials Magazine. You  can see more about her on her website: