On Ski Boots, Robin Williams and Griefy Smurf

The only formal writing class (if one could even call it that) that I have ever taken was by listening to a book on tape in my car, sometime in the early nineties. I don’t even remember the author of the tape series, but I’ve always remembered one statement, “If you want to write, and write well, you need to do only one thing, even with fiction, even with a horror novel. ‘Tell the truth.’” She went on to give an example: “Was it a ‘blood-curdling’ scream your character heard? Do you think your readers would even know what that means? Do you? Probably not. So close your eyes and think about it, ‘How do YOU feel when you are that scared?’”

I’m closing my eyes now to ask, “How do I feel when I AM IN that much GRIEF?”

Where is my... ?

Where is my… ?


Where is my . . . ? If I hear my own voice speak the words, “Where is my ‘fill-in-the-blank’” one more time, I’m gonna lose it. Seriously. Lose. IT. Even that which is attached to my own shoulders.


I could have sworn I just saw it on top of my shoulders. . . .

I could have sworn I just saw it on top of my shoulders. . .


It forces the “HOW-TOs” and “WHERE AREs” of easier tasks from my mind.

“Why haven’t you written that story, or made your travel arrangements for, or washed your clothes, or washed your hair for that matter. Why haven’t you ‘fill-in-the-blank’ yet?”


It makes me procrastinate. It consumes the breath for my words.

Some days I manage to actually avoid the act of grieving. Lately, I’ve been mostly able to avoid it all together because I’ve been working on so much to get the Foundation going – so much paperwork and forming a diverse board of directors, etc. It takes a lot of work. I haven’t been immersed in that act of grieving, consciously or unconsciously, but I am so deeply familiar with it. Although not physically and mortally wounded by mesh, I have wondered often why the body has no mechanism for death by grief, death by emotions that incapacitate a once-vibrant spirit, a once-sharp mind, now dulled so much with an interior, invisible pain. Dull tools aren’t useful. They eventually rust and turn to dust. Anyone who’s ever lived in a coastal environment knows what I mean. EVERYTHING, even stainless steel, plastic, titanium – it all rusts and disappears in a year or two if some human force isn’t there to dwell among the inanimate.

People tell me, “Aaron, slow down; you can’t keep up this pace.” My own body reminds me of it daily, but I JUST. CAN’T. STOP. I push through, and I don’t know why, except that I can’t stop. The gravity of the grief for those whom I love and the weight of the loss around me is some kind of fuel pushing me beyond what I thought possible – pushing me somewhere better than HERE, but where? Closer to the truth? Closer to God? Closer to the reality of this life? Over the edge, perhaps?

One Flew Over the Cukoo's Nest. It won the Academy Award for best picture the year I was born. Coincidence? Maybe.

One Flew Over the Cukoo’s Nest. It won the Academy Award for best picture the year I was born. Coincidence? Maybe.


It makes me ponder and “think too hard” about things. I’ve been accused of thinking too hard about things more times than I can count.


The literal definition is:

grief [greef]


1.keen mental suffering or distress over affliction or loss; sharp sorrow, painful regret. 2.a cause or occasion of keen distress or sorrow.

That definition seems a bit inadequate now. Maybe it’s time for a new definition. New words are added to the English dictionary yearly. The English language dictionary has about twice the number of words as the Spanish dictionary, even though Spanish is a language of antiquity compared to the nouveau riche status of American-English. Mainly the additions are due to American invention – words that never existed until the “Internet” came alive, or because Hollywood manufactured 1,000s of “moviestars.”

Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, the American psychiatrist, first introduced the concept of the Five Stages of Grief in her 1969 book titled, On Death and Dying. The now-famous sequence of feelings, while grieving, are widely accepted as truth: DENIAL, ANGER, BARGAINING, DEPRESSION, ACCEPTANCE. I think maybe it’s time for an update on the model. Kübler-Ross did not assert that every person goes through every one of the above feelings or that any one person would experience them in the same order, commonly referred to as the acronym (DABDA) but that, in whatever order, we all experience GRIEF in response to one or more of the following profound losses:


Kübler-Ross originally developed this model based on her observations of people suffering from terminal illness. She later expanded her theory to apply to any form of catastrophic personal loss, such as the death of a loved one, the loss of a job or income, major rejection, the end of a relationship or divorcedrug addictionincarceration, the onset of a disease or chronic illness, an infertility diagnosis, as well as many tragedies and disasters (and even minor losses).

But what about experiencing all of the above and all of the above? AT. THE. SAME. TIME. Is there a word for THAT?

I think it’s time for some new research. People did not live so long in 1969. Loss of job, divorce, drug addiction, incarceration, onset of chronic illness, infertility diagnoses were not so common, and our knowledge of (thanks to worldwide news) tragedies and disasters, wasn’t so intense.

What’s my point?


It’s difficult for me to bring to mind someone, anyone who isn’t experiencing all these emotions AND all these situations AT THE SAME TIME. So most of us are in denial, yet angry over the acceptance that our bargaining with God did not work, and we are now all just perpetually depressed.

Someone should really get on inventing a new word for GRIEF in the 21st century – and stat!

And while we’re on this topic of updating things . . . .

  • I’d like to bring up that it’s really time for someone to invent better ski boots. Those things are archaic and they hurt like hell. Will someone please bloody do something about this world catastrophe of shin-shredding ski boots! It’s more than I can take!!!!!


Medieval  torture device, or sporting accessory? Hard to tell.

Medieval torture device or sporting accessory? Hard to tell.







Now back to GRIEF.


It makes me think about the things I don’t want to think about and not about the things I do want to think about…


I can’t eat, and when I do, I don’t really like the taste of the food.


It has stolen my family and many of my friends. I guess it is contagious. That needs to be added to its definition.


It’s so messy. It’s not nice and tidy in five easy steps. It’s all over the kitchen and the bedroom and the living room and the extra bedroom and the dogs and the husband – and me.


Why wasn’t there a “Griefy Smurf?” Just giving such obviously brilliant people useful ideas for dealing with their own grief in, perhaps, a more therapeutic way.


It’s not lethal, and yet, I don’t know how or why it’s not.


It’s how I tell my truth to you now – as a writer, as a person. And it misses deadlines, and says the wrong things and does the wrong things and has a blank stare about it, and it has no answers.


I still miss my mother, and I still miss Robin Williams.

Robin Williams - what a beautiful smile, one that knows the difference between happiness and joy perhaps.

Robin Williams – what a beautiful smile, one that knows the difference between happiness and joy perhaps.


Still shakin’ things up in Dallas! A BIG Win!

A Gift for Loved Ones

Bit by bit, our kindness and truth overrides the lies and greed.

Martha Salazar wins her judicial battle against international healthcare giant, Boston Scientific, the largest award yet. Click below to read the latest story in the Dallas Observer.


It’s a NEW DAY!

Read here: http://meshmedicaldevicenewsdesk.com/

Mesh news Desk 185 wide

Boston Scientific did not follow just this one rule. But, they broke many others.

Boston Scientific did not follow just this one rule. But, they broke many others.


Screen Shot 2014-08-15 at 2.32.37 PM





THIS is what justice in a courtroom looks like. Boston Scientific will appeal, but it’s a significant change in the landscape of transvaginal mesh claims. Of the $73 Million awarded to plaintiff Martha Salazar, $65 Million is in punitive damages. Legally speaking, that means the 12 jurors of, half men, the other half women UNANIMOUSLY AGREED that Boston Scientific knew what they were doing when they harmed Martha and that they should be PUNISHED. Suffice it to say, I agree.

Thanks to Joleen Chambers and Jane Akre.

Jane Akre - friend, mentor, board member, Wonder Woman!

Jane Akre – friend, mentor, board member, Wonder Woman!

Joleen Chambers: Advocate for patients, advocate for me, friend, mentor, selfless leader.

Joleen Chambers: Advocate for patients, advocate for me, friend, mentor, selfless leader.



Transvaginal Mesh Litigation – Pharmaceutical Lawyers

Please follow the link to watch my public service announcement (PSA) video. I am so grateful to Baron & Budd for giving me a platform to tell my family’s story so that we can keep others from this preventable harm and find ways to help those already injured. Family members and Caregivers are a welcome part of our community also.

Transvaginal Mesh Litigation – Pharmaceutical Lawyers.



Love, Aaron


10 Things Every Mom Should Be Famous For 

10) Going to a 4th grade Mother’s Day Lunch at school 48 hours after major surgery simply because your daughter can barely contain the excitement of gifting you a hand-made necklace (a.k.a. prize-winning, elementary school art).

9) Never missing a spelling bee, award ceremony, practice, game or try-out, even for what I’m sure were VERY long JV sports seasons. ;)

8) Going with your daughter the first time she has to make a really big apology to someone she’s hurt, and teaching humility, empathy and that admitting wrong isn’t so bad. Maybe it’s even good.

7) Making sure there was breakfast EVERY single morning (even if Dad was the one to cook it!).

6) Hand-making your daughter’s very favorite Halloween costume (an awesome black kitty cat) and a very creative not-so-favorite Halloween costume (a Bunch a Grapes). Family story that will never get out! :)



NOT like this.

NOT like this. No, not at all. 










5) Saying yes to “Mommy can we keep them? Um…. actually can we keep them BOTH?”


4) Teaching young daughters the joy of writing by making up silly rhyming stories about fish. Yes, fish.

we're out of water

3) Making young daughters wait until middle school to wear make-up.

NOPE!. No way. No how.

NOPE!. No way. No how.

2) Cherishing the joy of young daughters singing in the car to “Oreo Speedwagon” on the way to get milkshakes.

"No I can't fight this feelin' anymore. . . I've forgotten what I started fightin' for... Baby, I can't fight this feelin' anymore..." OMNOM!

“No I can’t fight this feelin’ anymore. . . I’ve forgotten what I started fightin’ for… Baby, I can’t fight this feelin’ anymore…” OMNOM!



1) Telling daughters through whispers and kisses, lovie eyes, grand hugs, and big tears:

“I love you. Great job!”

“I love you. Don’t you ever do that again!”

“I love you. But you’re still grounded for 2 weeks.”

“I love you. Don’t listen to them.”

“I love you. You did your best.”

“I love you. We did it!”

“I love you. When you get older, this will all make sense.”

“I love you. I promise this hurts me more than it does you.”

“I love you. But he’s not good enough for you!”

“I love you. And I love him. He’s perfect for you.”

“I love you. You and your sister are the best gifts any mother could have asked for.”

“I just love you because I’m your mother and I can. I don’t need a reason.”

– I love you, Mom. –

Maybe next time I’ll start the countdown from 100, ’cause there’s plenty more where that came from!


How I Became ‘The Mesh Warrior’ and How You Can Too

How I Became ‘The Mesh Warrior’ and How You Can Too.

PSA-from The Mesh Warrior- August 14, 2014


This PSA is sponsored by The Mesh Warrior Foundation for the injured and Baron & Budd, P.C. My hope is that it helps the mesh-injured community to find, support and to add to the number of the injured we are reaching by providing a genuine voice alongside the TV commercials that sometimes seem more like used car sales commercials more than those befitting the severe injury of so many, precious men and women. WE ARE MAKING GENUINE PROGRESS! Thank you all for your support. Thank you Baron & Budd for underwriting this message and giving of your time to give our community a platform to reach out to still more of the isolated and lonely injured. Love, Aaron


The NIMH commentary on Robin Williams’ death . . .

I’m a bit “posty-bloggy” tonight, but I just keep thinking about our dear American icon, Robin Williams.

Robin Williams - what a beautiful smile, one that knows the difference between happiness and joy perhaps.

Robin Williams – what a beautiful smile, one that knows the difference between happiness and joy perhaps.

The NIMH’s director even wrote a blog. I don’t think we realize how much his death by suicide has affected us yet, in small and large ways, in small and large communities; it continues to remind us daily, unlike the deaths of other celebrities, that life is a precious and precarious thing. In fact, it’s one of the only events in recent history, that I can remember, which has united us again as a community of Americans. We are “doing it wrong” somehow. People don’t just commit suicide in the numbers we’re seeing without a very generalized cause. What do you think it could be? Is it a combination of the rat race, road rage, and the ever-tightening vice on the freedom of individuals to live in the peace of their own finding and choosing in this world?

Dr. Tim Insel of the NIMH says, “. . . our discussions of mental illness rarely focus on this inconvenient truth: these illnesses are currently just as fatal as the “big killers.”’

What do you think?  Why is suicide a better option for so many than living even a single day longer?

The Mesh Warrior Joins Consumer Union’s Safe Patient Project

Hello Angels & Warriors;

safepatientproject.org-sharing-widget175x175 There is more good news to share today! I am so thrilled to now be a formal member of Consumer Union’s Safe Patient Project Network. I will be working closely with CU and other patient advocates on patient-centered healthcare initiatives and patient-centered legislative and policy change. It is an honor for the Foundation, and an honor for me personally, to be invited to participate as I intend to represent you all in thought, word and deed as a part of this very influential group of folks who have already done so much to help patients and their families!

I love you all dearly. You drive me daily to be the best person I can be, and for that I thank you. This achievement is ours to share!

Thank you CU Safe Patient Project. You’ve got a legion of warriors now joining you in the fight to establish a patient-centered healthcare system!


The Mesh Warrior:

A great woman; a great purpose.

Originally posted on Mary Teresa:


Artist / Author - Teresa R. Jones, Consultant, 1982 to Present

Select Clients - Times Printing, University of Montevallo, Brierfield Ironworks, Brookwood Medical Center, Martin Advertising, UAB, Eye Foundation Hospital, Alabama’s Children’s Hospital, U of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, American Medical International, Birmingham Southern, Golden Flake, Red Diamond, City Federal, WZZK, Bellsouth,  Oxmoor Books, Southern Living.

Current Work: The Portrait of a Courtroom Artist, H. L. Chappelear which includes decades of criminal trial coverage including the The trials and the verdicts:
» Cherry convicted
» Blanton guilty

Implant Failure: The biographical portraits of Americans implanted with failed medical implants and the trial coverage including the verdicts.

Carline Devotional: Daily devotionals for families drawn from daily carline conversations; dedicated to my grandsons.


Jefferson State Jr. College – Associates Degree, transferred to University of Montevallo – 1978 – 1980, Tennis Scholarship

University of Montevallo, Montevallo, Alabama, B.F.A. Graphic Design – Printing / Publishing…

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Thank you Consumers’ Union & The Safe Patient Project!

Hi Angels & Warriors!

There are so many wonderful Warriors among us, as evidenced by the below:  A wonderfully written letter, signed by many leaders and patient advocates urging (strongly urging) that the FDA RECLASSIFY POP and SUI MESH to a HIGH RISK DEVICE/CLASS III DEVICE, which it certainly is!

Thank you Consumers’ Union!  A very thorough and well written letter.  Thank you for helping our voices to be much louder!  And if you, dearest reader, have not submitted your request to the FDA, you can do so here before Midnight TONIGHT, July 30, 2014!

http://meshsurvivors.org/tell-fda-reclassify-meshScreen Shot 2014-07-28 at 1.39.41 PM