Releasing the Trap: Empowered By Family

Brecker Bunny Learns to be Careful

Brecker Bunny Learns to be Careful

Trapped. Just saying the word makes my skin crawl, my breath quicken and my heart pound a little louder. Inspired By Family began years ago for this very reason. It is why we still plug away at it through moves, jobs, kids and chaos.

The Why of It All

When our son, Breck was severely burned on April 6, 2003, his accident and recovery were out of our hands.  I could not make any of it go away. There was no easy fix. There was no reset button to push as we sat in ICU. (Breck’s Story) I felt trapped by circumstances and I don’t do well without choices…I’m guessing I am not alone in that. Writing and speaking about Breck’s injuries and preventing others from having similar tragic and helpless feelings became my passion.

The Beginning

I’ll never forget the first step in writing Brecker Bunny Learns to Be Careful. Sitting in a Mexican restaurant, surrounded by burn unit nurses and therapists, I tearfully asked, “What are the reasons that you get kids ages 0-5 in the burn unit? How can we stop it? How can we help parents and kids become part of the solution?” They explained in Wisconsin, it was kitchen, bathroom and fireplace/campfire accidents that were among the most common avoidable injuries to kids.  Thus, Brecker Bunny was born, with each one of those being addressed in a non scary, accessible way. We were so proud when the book was published, but it has not been without difficult moments.

Releasing the Trap

Not long after Brecker Bunny Learns to Be Careful was released, I was at an event where I spoke about Breck’s accident and then handed out books to young kids A man approached me and said disdainful, “Your kid got hurt, so you wrote about it?” He shook his head and walked away. I remember feeling so ashamed. So hurt. Trapped, again. Still in this moment, I can feel my cheeks reddening in frustration and embarrassment. I had to remind myself, Inspired By Family has never been about profit (just ask our families), limelight or capitalizing on tragedy. It is a mother’s way of releasing the ugliness and helping others prevent similar tragedies. I haven’t always gotten the journey right. Sometimes I’ve stumbled, said the wrong things, tried some things that didn’t work, but in the end, my greatest hope is that we’ve empowered others to prevent injuries, to overcome tragedy and to find their voice to advocate for their families.

Thanks for coming along on our journey.


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