I think it's a special kind of talent you have in making people feel what you write. That's a powerful gift and I hope you continue using your writing skills to paint the picture of what life is like for many people with SMI and their loved ones. Thanks for what you do!  Channin Henry Williams

I so love you, and I have grown to love your son Pat as well. It is a part of why I cherished the Diary. The other reason is, because you speak so well from your heart, the grief, the anguish, and the love that I feel for my son too, Masai. Crying with you. Tama Bell

Dede, you have put words to heart breaking loss and frustration with our system failure like no one else. Thank you for sharing. Joyce Herrerias

Keep up the good work on sooner than tomorrow and keep up your brilliant diary. When is it coming out in book please? I would love a copy. Den Proudly, UK

I can so much relate to what you and the rest of us mothers are dealing with every day. 22 years for me and it just gets worse year by year. Dale Pupkin Milfay

If only this was all contrived drama. It's so visceral. Your writing is crisp and fresh. I love how you have your day mapped out on the page that makes it easy to read. Having it in sections. You are an artist. "I didn't know, as I was writing, that I was capturing the last year of my son's life." This breaks my heart. Heidi Franke


To read "My Diary" from the beginning, go to "Scenes from the Trenches" June 14, 2017, in the Archives on the right hand side of the blog page. To continue reading, scroll up in the archives from June 14, 2017, and click on each individual diary post. If you have difficulty, message or email me and I'll walk you through it.

I didn't know, as I was writing, that I was capturing the last year of my son's life. His voice comes through loud and clear. For me, in these pages, he'll always be alive.

If you're reading and liking "A Mother's Diary," please let me know. I'm building a case for getting it published — one way or the other. Thanks. 

Please share my blog/book with "other wayfarers who might catch a resonating echo while wandering in my woods." Thanks.



After you had taken your leave,
I found God's footprints on my floor.
Rabindranath Tagore

Patrick Ranahan


I had no idea, of course, when I began writing in June 2013, that not only was I recording my 70th year, I was also recording the last year of Pat's life. I had no intention of including a "Before" or "After" section of my book. And then events necessitated a change of plan...


"So," my five-year-old granddaughter, Ayla, asks her mom,
"we can still talk to Uncle Pat, right?"
"Right," Kerry answers.
Ayla's quiet and then says, as if pointing out the obvious,
"All we have to do is look up."

(Wit, Wisdom, and a Big Hug from the Universe)
I love you forever.

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Pat and me in 1969

Pat and me in 1969