“I’m not a robot”

Vicki and I appreciate people taking time to share a comment with Vicki about her ongoing story told through posts here on Vicki’s Voice. One of the good things about the Internet is the ability to connect with friends, real and virtual.

I’ve been working “behind the screens” on websites today and have added the “ReCAPTCHA” box to the Comment form. Most of you have probably seen it on other websites already. It’s a way to help deal with spam comments, and we’ve had over 90,000 of them caught since Vicki’s Voice was started. Before you submit your comment you just have to check a box next to “I’m not a robot”.

Don’t get me wrong – I like robots. And I’m glad there are places where broken robots can be fixed, such as the Robot Repair Shop at the Pittsburgh Airport.
Robot Repair Shop PittsburghIn fact, remembering about the Robot Repair Shop is what led to this post. It brings a smile to my face – and I hope to yours.

Jim Coyle


Permanent link to this article: https://soncountry.net/voice/2017/05/im-not-robot/

Another Spring!

We made it through another Michigan winter! Trees are going from bare to budding to new leaves. Snowblowers are hibernating while lawnmowers come back to life.

You can hear the sound of someone mowing their lawn:

Another Spring – and we’re still here. Thank you, Papa.



Permanent link to this article: https://soncountry.net/voice/2017/04/another-spring/

Spoken from the Heart

It’s been almost 8 years since Vicki was diagnosed with FTD, although she experienced many of the symptoms for several years before her diagnosis. Late diagnosis, tragically, is common for persons who have this disease. Although I’ve seen FTD take an ever-greater toll in her life these past several years, she still has a strong concern for others. I’d like to share a post she wrote a few months ago on Facebook about her friend and neighbor Rick Ferguson:

My dear neighbor, Rick, has been through heart surgeries, then recently diagnosed with cancers. His suffering has been extreme. And for his family as well.

Tonight, as I turned on my porch light, which I do every night for him as a prayer, and a beacon for his wife as she comes home during the night from her vigil, I saw his 86 year old father supporting him into the house as he was sent home to prepare for his next phase… But I saw a virile father, carrying his son, strong unbroken.

Would you please turn on a light for him as he prepares for his journey? And say a prayer for God’s mercy for all of them?

I will let you know when the Angels have come… And the lights can be rested.

With love, gratitude and blessings, Vicki

Please share for all who are fighting a good fight.

Rick died a few weeks after Vicki posted this. It’s been a huge loss not only for Rick’s family, but for Vicki too. She’s often referred to Rick and his wife as Angels who watched over and protected her. Rick’s death – literally close to Vicki’s home – is one of many relatives and friends who have passed since Vicki has been down with FTD. And her first thoughts are with the families of those who have passed. 

Vicki’s heart and concern for others are as strong as ever. Thank you , Papa, for this gift.


Permanent link to this article: https://soncountry.net/voice/2017/04/spoken-from-the-heart/

Days Like This

This early October day was blooming more beautifully than the weather people said it would. From my bedroom window at 8 o’clock this morning, there were some clouds but a blue sky and the sun fell across my bed, waking Beanni and me at the same time.  It’s so good to see the world from our perch every day.

Beanni uses it to oversee the safety in our tiny neighborhood. I use it to launch my morning prayer as I stretch and thank God for saving me from the life I once lived. Today, my front yard maple bashfully showed us a few of her beautiful colours. We are privileged to have first look of autumn from our magic window that no one else can see.

Early Autumn Leaves

And then…

My neighbors have been kind, generous guardians taking care of me for the last six years. My lawn gets mowed, my driveway gets plowed, my trash mysteriously gets moved to the curb, weeds disappear into bags, mulch appears miraculously around the few hardy plants that still persist despite my best efforts. On Sundays a wonderful meal appears, often off the grill with fresh vegetables. When I bump my medical alert they’re called. It might be 1 AM or 2:30 PM, but they find time to come over and check on me. They find my dog, Beanni, when he’s wandered away and I’m barefooted, crying and calling his name when he sneaks out.

And then…

You find out today the husband has been diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer that is spreading everywhere. And even though he knows it, he goes outside to bag weeds. He sees me trying to figure out how to install a Progressive insurance Tool in my car. Comes over to help, and tells me his news. And he pulls out his wallet, right after he tells me he is most likely dying, and shuffles through everything until he finds a Business card of someone he respects, who can mow our lawns and plow our driveways this winter. “I don’t think I can do this anymore” he says. “I have to go comfort my dad right now” he says. “But I’ll be here if you need me.”

If I need him.

I need him! We need him! We need all the warriors who are making our lives better while fighting a huge war inside their bodies. Like my cousin, Jay Mathews. Or my mom, Bev Wells. Or Janet Pahssen who has been fighting, and winning, the ugliness of cancer, never giving up.

Our mommas told us there would be days, no, lives like this. And as the sun sets, I see the stars of warriors of my past and the new warriors, who gather up their armor each day, and say “There will be days like this.” And just keep going on.

With love & blessings, V


Permanent link to this article: https://soncountry.net/voice/2016/10/days-like-this/


This is Jim writing (I don’t want you to blame Vicki). I love to drive! Growing up in metro Detroit I was immersed in the auto industry – Detroit was the Motor City. I’m not a “car guy” who can fix things under the hood, but I am a “driving guy” who has changed my oil and tires from time to time.

The car

It’s been an unusual summer for me because of two emergency eye operations I’ve needed in June and August. Since I’m still in recovery, I haven’t been able to drive – and it’s driving me crazy! My biggest disappointment is not being able to drive the few hours to Vicki’s for a visit. We stay in “touch” via text and occasional phone calls, but it’s not the same.

I lightheartedly titled this post Parallels because Vicki and I are having similar experiences, one of them being eye surgeries. The timing’s a bit off – I’ve (hopefully) finished mine and Vicki’s should be happening any time now.

A second similarity is that my car battery has died a couple of times since I haven’t been driving. It’s a minor inconvenience except when someone needs to borrow the car. Vicki’s car battery troubles must have found me.

Please keep Vicki, her family & friends, and her health care providers in your prayers. Join me praying that her medical procedures and recovery go well.


Permanent link to this article: https://soncountry.net/voice/2016/09/parallels/