On the fourth of July, 2007 Caleb Potter was involved in a skateboarding accident.
He suffered serious injuries and continues to need all of our positive thoughts and prayers.
This blog is to serve as a space for updates on Caleb's journey of recovery.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Open House/ The Potter's Room

November 3rd we will open the doors to The Potter's Room. The very first Brain Injured Residential Home in Wellfleet, MA. Come between 2 and 5 pm and enjoy some refreshments while strolling around the house. Bid on some fine pieces of donated art and crafts. Years ago I hired a young man( whom it seemed no one else would hire) when I was new to my landscaping business. I urged him to start his own lawn mowing comany- and he is now very successful. When Caleb and I 1st came home from the hospital he ran up to me (very excited) and showed me a sign he had found at the Transfer station. It was a gift to us..and it read "The Potter's Room" I knew at that moment that if I could ever possibly garner the energy to start a Brain Injured home- this would be my sign. So here we are ...going on six years, and it has transpired! Oh to have Hope again! We hope you can join us either in the flesh, or in thought! Mumsie

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Moving upwards and beyond

I have been vacant from this blog for quite some time now- but believe me I have been busy and occupied. If any of you are still checking in, I am here to update, and with some very good news. Tomorrow Caleb and another brain injured young man will be moving into The Potters Room, a residential home for brain injured here in our very own Wellfleet. I am so thrilled! When I reread my last post and realized I was not good company for anyone, I pushed myself out of depression by spearheading this project...something I knew I was destined for. Caleb is a bit reticent, but as always his positive attitude and his fortitude shine through...and he is excited to be moving forward. We will be looking for one other young man..and then the house is complete for now! I have missed all of you who stood by us, and hope that somewhere on your radar we still exist. Blessings to all of you- and I will keep you posted. Love, Sharyn and Caleb

Friday, August 31, 2012

I wonder sometimes how this will all end? Caleb struggles, as well as I. We dance around the fact that our lives have changed, barely talk about it, and yet the undercurrent is pulling us at all times towards depression. It is so difficult to live like this, sad all the time...Caleb and I both. On each others nerves at all times. Life marches on. Cedar never comes by, Shaye is getting married and has a baby, Jenny is getting married too. Kai and I don't find time to speak to one another, and Max is lost in his own painful world, alone. I do not wish this on any of you. If you thought the pain of the hospital and the life threatening life that we once lived through was enough to put most of you over the edge, this has panned out to be worse...the everyday looking at each other and realization that life has changed as we once knew it, will never be the same...and it hurts, it hurts, it hurts. I am trying to stay afloat...Please do not comment that I need help-please do not comment at all..nothing can be added. Tonight I am feeling very alone..and alone I am. Sad, just sad.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

There is not a night that... I sleep through...... without crying.....
There is not a night that .....I lie awake ....without hope!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

"Be like the bird who, pausing in her flight awhile on boughs too slight, feels them give way beneath her, and yet sings, knowing she has wings."
That passage has helped me so very much while I tred on boughs too slight. Thank you.

I ran yet another successful fundraiser, this time for Mass Appeal (a free clothing shop in town, run by extraordinary women) You can read all about it on Sandy Grabbe's chezsven blog. Scroll down to Sat. May 7th.

I think a pattern is emerging...I soak myself with projects just to keep my mind free and occupied from my reality, and then when it is over I am faced with what it is I do not wish to see. I don't know how other care givers do it. It is an exhausting job, full of pitfalls and pain. Yet still in a days time Caleb will drop a quip that stops me in my tracks and causes pause of a good kind. Almost stops my heart to tell it truthfully.
Now I am heading up the Farmer's market to be pulled together by June, but this is something Caleb will be involved in...and the farming thing is deep in my blood..so there is a comfort to it.
I look forward to the day when I can say that I sing knowing I have wings. Not there yet- but looking forward to it.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Art opening was wildly successful- beyond anything I could have made up. Not so much about the money involved, even tho Chris sold many paintings, Dede's art hangs at Sams deli now, and Caleb sold out...but because of the faces; the proud faces of those lovely artists involved.
I feel like I could put on a wedding now, or a banquet for 100 at least. It was so much work, and so much more than rewarding. And my feet were killing me by 9.
And yet like a wedding I would imagine, when all is done..there is a certain amount of let down, a what's next question that hangs in the air. I feel a bit blue nowadays wondering why, after all the glamor and excitement, I still wake with the same dread....and I still remember a life from the past....and Kai? did you see the face of Max on Easter Sunday studying the face of Caleb without his knowing that I was watching? A pensive, searching face...trying, I imaging to recall who his brother was before, and not quite being able to do so...in the same way that I search each and every day for the same thing. It is always this way now- pleasure mixed with absolute pain...and pain with absolute pleasure. It has changed our lives forever and a day, forever and a year, forever and a lifetime.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Art opening

I have spent the last two days hanging the art show for Caleb, and hanging my emotions out on the clothesline. I feel dried up! I teeter between cheers and tears at all times. Looking at his pre- injured art and what he can do now is a vivid picture of great accomplishment and at the same time a telling story of what is now. I am so proud to be doing this and so sad to be doing this! Will this be my life from now on?

Tracy is the owner of the gallery..a young woman who I met when I was young with children the age of hers now. We spoke slightly and delicately of the bond of women and fathers and their children...and she voiced the fears that all humans have- how to keep them safe! I don't want to tell her that there are forces beyond us that we cannot understand that collide and take us to places we do not want to visit. I wish for her that she will not ever visit the places I have been.
But here we are now...sad, lonely, happy, elated...so many mixed emotions which cannot be swallowed at once. Perhaps the last lines of the bio that I wrote for Caleb sums it up- His family wants you to go home and hug those who you love best as they now know so well how quickly life can shift.
And Caleb wants you to know that he is the "coolest Man on Earth" and that he needs a girlfriend.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Mark on calendar

Just want to remind all of you who said they would participate in the Potter's plunge to attend the plunge for Kevin Fitzgerald along with the Chatham firefighters (hope they are hot) on April 1st ..3:30 at Oyster Pond (Chatham). Kevin is a local kid who has a (treatable, they say) type of cancer and we wish him and his family the very best, and support them wholeheartedly. Caleb and I will be jumping! Hope to see you there.

Also...mark down April 16th as a reminder to attend the biggest event of all times. The celebration of the Brain injured and their art show/reception at Harmon Gallery here in Fleet... 5-7pm. I am wearing a gown just to give you an idea of the dress code. I am soooo excited about this. Caleb and Chris have been painting up a storm...and although Caleb is discouraged at times about his sudden lack of talent when before he could paint so easily, I still detect a grin when the paint brush is tucked back in the pot, and he pauses to observe his creation. The act alone is healing. Stay tuned to these pages because I have many surprises coming up... thanks for the loyalty to us. Sharyn and Caleb

Friday, March 18, 2011

I have not visited these pages for some time now. I slipped for awhile into a sad and lonely place only to re-emerge again stronger than before. I am setting my sights on either starting up a residential brain center here (somewhere on the Cape) or at least re-locating so that Caleb's life can be richer and more fulfilled. Memory is no stranger to him and he misses all the activities of his prior "life" and is basically just bored most of the time. Jenny came by and we cried through a good part of her visit..tho it was by all means a lovely connection, and to see her again was rich. I wish her peace.

The art show for brain injured will take place on April 16th if any of you can make it. Caleb has been painting flowers all week, and it is a gentle reminder that my gardens will be in full bloom very soon,looking like his paintings, and reminding me that just when life looks and feels like the dark of winter, a pinch of green strikes through to make me smile again.

Monday, February 7, 2011

One of the perks of not having lived through a tragedy must be sleep- a full night's uninterrupted. I get that phone call in my dream each night once, if not a hundred times, and suddenly I am racing down Long Pond Rd to get to Caleb. I race over and over again as if by trying it many times,I might possibly change the outcome on one of those trips.
Jan, I dream about, we walk, we talk, we ride the range of emotions ...I ask him why?
But most every night I hear Kai's voice loud and clear..Mom ( with the last M drawn out into a humming question...and now I wake fully, expecting to see him at the door, or holding on to the brass rail of the bed searching my eyes and waiting to tell me his sorrowful news. Who is it this time? Lizzie, Max, Lara, or himself?
This is the dredges of an accident happened. I think it the fear that resides in me. Once a tragedy happens, those who experience it know fully that it could strike again.

We are moving forward. I have been working with Caleb's new brain injured group, and it has become the sole purpose of my life. I was able to secure an art opening through the very lovely and generous Tracy Harmon of Harmon Gallery. The boys and De will produce art for their opening in April. We will be doing the Potter's plunge as our annual fundraiser. Since most of these accident victim's do not or cannot work, I feel obliged to find funds for them to enjoy their lives with. And our goal and intention has been set to move Caleb into an independent living situation before the year's end. This last sentence produces a lump in my throat so big that I cannot form words...but I know it is time for Caleb, and in truth, time for me to get on with my own life that has been put on hold for the past 3 years.
So most days are filled with smiles and hope, most days are lined up with goals for the future, most days are heavy on the positive;
but I am certain I will wake to the call of Kai again tonight around one.

Sunday, January 9, 2011


Just wanted to follow up on all of you who donated to my young friend, either with kind words and thought ( which is more powerful than we can know) or those of you who were able to send checks. Through a mutual friend I was able to sneak a wrapped package into her Christmas tree with $800.00 cash in it...and then collected $1000.00 more which arrived after Christmas and was sent off to her by bank check. Thank you all so very much. You should now realize what I have learned...sending a card of admiration, sending a meaningful gift, sending anything off with anonymity and with no thought of a thank you in return is the best gift you will ever give! It is giving in it's purest form. Thank you helping me with this!

I have been inspired to concentrate my efforts and energy and will host an annual fundraiser to help my new group of brain injured. My desire is to help provide them with richer lives. The first annual Potter plunge will take place on April Fools day (in honor of Jan) at Long Pond. Hot chocolate and a warm stove to thaw out is to follow at my place. Anyone who wants to donate to the cause and to be honored for their efforts by jumping in with a Potter can join in. ( Max is wearing a wet suit he says).
Funds will go directly to my little team of 4 brain injured friends from Truro to Orleans. Caleb - injured in a skateboarding accident, Chris..an art student who fell down a flight of stairs, David; oxygen deprived from birth, Todd a famous bike racer who crashed. We will include my young lady friend when she is ready.
So dig out those musty old bathing suits...or not! We look forward to seeing you! Perhaps literally! Mark it on your calendars! I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Spudly was dignified till the end.... shook his head and insisted on standing even after the vet administered the shot which should have taken him down.
I was impressed.

My friend Anne passed this to me to read to the boys while we buried him.
Old dogs have stood the test of time and event and circumstance. They come now slowly, and lay at the foot or close to side, jowls flat, eyes faded with fog of cataract, their muzzles and paws white or speckled salt and pepper. But they come. They want to be close. They are great treasures, these old dogs. For they are more than themselves lying there. They are us.

Christmas was wonderful in spite of our loss...we decided it that way..we chose it...to laugh, to smile at each other,to hold dearly and tightly that which has come to mean the most...just us being together.
Caleb continues to impress; just like his old dog. He fights each day to re-gain some sort of understanding. He remembers more. He laughs louder and more often.
He too is a fighter.
I will remember how he beat the odds when I am low, how he smiled when he was tethered to his bed, and I will shake my head and insist on standing when I feel I can't do this anymore. These are the lessons I walk away with,.................... and I walk, and I walk, and I walk.

Blessings to all of you in the year to come.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Max and I were sitting outside on the back stoop looking out over the property...he was seven. A friend of mine drove up, parked in the side yard and walked toward us with 7 puppies gathered at his ankles, running around his legs yapping away. I remember leering at him..knowing that he knew... and I knew that we would end up with a puppy that day.
Max was thrilled when I told him he could choose one. We carefully studied each of them. I had my hopes set on a blonde.. but one dark little guy had the smarts enough to crawl up behind Max and take a bite. Max decided that the puppy chose him...and there was Spud...named by a friend who thought he looked like a fat little potato.

Tomorrow we put him down. The decision had to be made.
Like an old friend..Spud and I have traveled far and wide together. We have walked most of Wellfleet; crazy long walks especially after my separation, Jan's death, Caleb's accident. He helps me to think clearly; to calm myself by just following his footsteps as he bravely trudges forward with no judgments or opinion. He has been my friend.
My sons love him dearly and rub his head while silently whispering their individual love song to him, all the while knowing that tomorrow they will dig the hole he will be placed in.

And like an old friend..I have been annoyed at him at times, have scolded him, have been bothered by him and have ignored him too....but when the time comes when you know you will never be in the presence of that being again...your heart breaks with the thoughts of all that you should have said, could have said, or could have done.

Now the interesting part to me is that I am a trained farm girl..we don't get attached to animals..they only serve a purpose on the farm...but I can't seem to stop crying. Perhaps it is finally the flood that had to be held back with Caleb, the tangled deluge that was not allowed with Jan.

Spud..Thank you for allowing me to let go of all the things I have held so tightly in... as always, you are my ally. Sleep in Heavenly Peace.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


I love Christmas. I love the smell, the feel, the doing,the action verb of Christmas. I like the decorating; to please the eye, the wrapping; to please the mind, the music; to soothe the soul. Perhaps if we were all this busy being kind and thinking about ways we could make a difference to someone else all year round, the world would change.
On that note, I have collected 600.00 for my young friend and have been able to send a thank you to all but two- Lou Roy who is a stellar woman...and a truly anonymous donor who tucked money into my mailbox without a note. Thank you. all you lovely ones who sent your hearts desires. I know for fact that money is not the end all when you are under intense duration...but sometimes it really just does help...if for no other reason than to allow yourself to know that someone out there is aware of you, and cares!
I spend my days listening to the coming and goings of major trucks now on my silent little road. The new owners?... People with big money who research properties to find loopholes in titles and then win big in court. They rape the land that was so tender and dear...so fragile and clear in it's intention to be simple and country. This has brought me around to contemplating the spirit of life and it's meaning to me. Now, if I could take back time I would only ask for the simple things in life..not the fancy cars, not the properties in tandem...but for the God intentioned things which we expect to be the norm. Life...and a smile, and simplicity. Sons and daughters who like to be together because their parents have nurtured this in them...family, family this is it!
If I sat in Santas' lap today I would beg, with teary, big blue eyes ...for a brain that returns, for an ex- husband to be here on Christmas day, no matter what our differences....I would ask for a smile that is genuine because I now know how life can turn on a dime and be different and trying each and every day...Know what you have, count on your fingers the moments in a day that you have joy, and if you don't have it; find pieces of it in your discontent..it is always there behind a shadow of doubt.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Never to be underestimated....the power of words. Never to be belittled..the kind gesture, or pat on the back; never to be taken for granted...the smile of someone who cares. Always a lovely surprise to have a former policeman stop traffic to let me know he read my post.. stopping traffic as he encourages me to stay strong. Thank you for helping to pull me through..all you gentle, heroic giants out there. You along with that the powerfully resonating words of my mother. " When you are down..just find someone to help who is worse off than you are." ( OH, wise woman that you were! ) And they can always be found; those whose lives are falling behind and unnoticed.
So I placed my attentions and intentions on a young girl who is going through the same Brain Injury process as Caleb here on the Cape. She was a passenger in a car accident...She is petite and smart and was active and lively...she now is confined to a wheel chair, keeps her head and eyes bent toward the ground. Barely speaks. Her mother is a single mom who works at least 10 hours a day...so her daughter sits alone most days at home trying I imagine, to remember what went wrong..and why her. She is 17 after all.
She reminds me of the Sexton girl; fair haired, soft and beautiful, so much promise..it could have just as easily been her.
I remember speaking to you about random acts of kindness...those things we do without any thanks, or even acknowledgment...and so this holiday season I am trying on a new hat. I am now a philanthropist..and guess what..you are too. I wish to help this young lady in the worst way...so I will be taking from Caleb's generous amount of fundraising dollars and paying it forward.
I realized something very valuable in this process...I have it all! I am healthy, Caleb still smiles, Kai and Max are glued to my side when needed...I have my strong women friends, I have my silent, sturdy male friends. I have Aunt Carol, Uncle Ray and the rest of my blood in Ohio. I have you! I have love...and I have learned to love me. I am indeed in the lifeboat...but I am still singing!
So I am not accustomed to asking for help- but I am doing it now. I would ask that any of you who still want to help us, and I know there are many..to pay it forward to my young, dear friend who needs it more...much more! If you send checks to a favorite charity for the holidays; please consider this one.
Spend some of what my mother always referred to as your "moldy money"..and pass it along.
I know I am begging...but those of you who have not lived through this, who still have your healthy children heading off to college, expecting a baby, saying their first words, having their first heartbreak...you ..you who have that ....still have it all!
I am taking liberties here..but help if you can. I don't want to breach confidentiality...so you're going to have to trust me on this one.... please make a check out to me..Sharyn Lindsay...I will put it into an account and collect it to be sent anonymously for Christmas...believe me..if you can spare only one dollar -- it will count!

Now in parting ..another word from another wise mother" I know God will not give me anything I can't handle. I just wish that He didn't trust me so much."
Mother Teresa. Humanitarian.

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