Monday, August 29, 2016

Michigander Monday: Tim and Regina Gort

 I'm very pleased to welcome Tim and Regina Gort to Michigander Monday!

Debbie:  Please tell us a little about yourselves.

Tim and Regina:  We were married in 2002 and are parents to three girls.

Our first daughter, an identical twin, was born prematurely and suffered a white-matter-brain injury called periventricular leukomalacia due to the passing of her twin in-utero. A few months later she was diagnosed with cerebral palsy (CP). Her first years of life required constant care and medical intervention. Our second daughter, born five years later didn’t have any medical or developmental challenges. Our third daughter was born in 2010: the Year of the White Tiger, which according to the Chinese zodiac is very bad luck. A human error shortly after she arrived resulted in a traumatic-brain injury, and a CP diagnosis similar to her eldest sister. At that time, we became full-time caregivers, in addition to parents and advocates. We left behind our professional careers.

But through a practice of daily meditation, reading and writing poetry, and enlisting the help of a professional poetry therapist, we discovered a path that changed the fate of our family. In turn, we learned how to walk with our grief, first privately, then openly and finally together.

Debbie:  Please tell us about your poetry book.

Tim and Regina:  Our first collection of poetry, The Year of the White Tiger, is a result of our hard work to sustain and overcome, and is a true reflection of our love for living poetry, our children and one another.

Today, as husband and wife, we are poets who write collaboratively and individually. We also operate a full-time caregiving business to support the needs of our children and to help support our needs as parents, caregivers and artists.

Debbie:  Other books or projects on the horizon?

Tim and Regina:  We've thought about a non-fiction book based on our lives caring for our kids.

Debbie:  Upcoming appearances?

Tim and Regina:  None scheduled at this time but you can check our website for future events

Debbie:  Do you have a favorite Michigan bookstore?

Tim and Regina:  Snowbound Books in Marquette.

Debbie:  And a favorite Michigan library?

Tim and Regina:  Forsyth Township in Gwinn.

Debbie:  How about a favorite place in Michigan?

Tim and Regina:  The Copper Country

Debbie:  Do you have a Michigan event or happening that you love to attend?

Tim and Regina:  All Things Dusk.

Debbie:  A few fun Michigan people we should all know about?

Tim and Regina:  Z.G. Tomaszweski, poet,

Debbie:  Something you'd like a non-Michigander to know about Michigan?

Tim and Regina:  The Seney Stretch is the longest curveless section of highway in Michigan, and one of the longest straight stretches of curveless highway east of the Mississippi River

Debbie:  Last question.  Some folks in Michigan refer to themselves as Michiganders, others as Michiganians. For our ongoing vote tally: are you a Michigander or a Michiganian?

Tim and Regina:  Michiganders!

Debbie:  I'll add two to the tally marks!  Gina and Tim, thank you so much for being here for Michigander Monday today!

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