New Dawns

There are moments in life we just need to hang on.  Other moments, and we have to rebuild… start over.

Blogging has been an adventure for me.  To go from three followers (Mom, one sister, one friend) in 2010 to 40,000 was nothing short of remarkable.  That was about two decades ago, before ‘social influencer’ was a thing. A large part of my success is due to the director of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader, Kelli Finglass, branding expert, and Judy Trammell, their amazing choreographer, who read one of my articles about their show.  Just how did they find my blog with three followers and hit my name in a google search in a sea of 280,000 other blogs? Another reason for my success was my Mom.  A non-nonsense woman, she gave me a card one day from Cure Today Magazine about writing an essay about Megan’s chemo nurse.  I looked at Mom and said, “But it’s due tomorrow!” Her response was, “So…you should be writing.”

Valerie Bourdain with Ann Jillian – Cure Today 2010

The rest is history.  I had the great honor of standing at the oncology nursing forum in San Diego, in front of 900 of the best cancer health care professionals (including Mayo Clinic, MD Anderson, etc.) to read my ‘written in one day’ essay Beginning to End” (one of three international finalists) and winning a resort vacation for Megan’s wonderful chemo nurse.

But then after that I lost Mom, then Dad, to terminal cancer.  Three in four years.  The emotional toll was enormous.  I lost myself struggling in the process. I lost my voice.

But this quote resonates with me:

“One day you will say your daughter’s name without thinking about it – it will just slip out in remembrance and not in anguish and that will be that.” The Starling

I miss my girl deeply.  But its not the stabbing pain it used to be 19 years ago. Her dying wish was that I would write.  Mom thought the same thing. When Mom died and I cleared out her estate, she had a binder that printed out everything I’d ever written. You know, she had internet access to all those articles, but she printed them out and put in a binder. It made me cry when I found it. The website, originally is now

Web security has also changed.  To be a follower you’ll have to have 2-step verification. Check back December 1 and sign up again.

I’m also working on another site… don’t know the name yet.

Please check back Decenber 1… because sometimes life just needs to start over. And well, to Mom and my girl, “I am writing…Not too late to be me…Not too late for a start over.” And to Judy Trammell, I’ve never forgotten your email where you sent four encouraging words, “You writing is magical.”

Valerie Bourdain


Category: Death of a Child


  1. I love to read your stuff. Many things in this one I needed to read today. You encourage me! ❤️

  2. Val, you definitely have a gift. Unfortunately, all the grief you dealt with has halted and inspired you. It’s amazing how something so tragic can create something so beautiful.

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Article by: Valerie Bourdain

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