Caitlin Bangsund is the author of the Marvellous Macey picture books, based on true life. Caitlin knows the trial and trauma of childhood cancer, childhood disability, and the fear of almost losing her daughter — the star of the series — Macey.
She encourages readers to look for the glitter in the muck. Life is beautiful chaos and her message is to press on and conquer. Read her stories and help create a world that is full of kindness and hope.
More About Cait
I get up in the middle of the night to enjoy a quiet house (okay, not really, but some people would never set their alarm for 4:30 am unless they were catching a flight).
That time of pause and stillness has helped me hear the whispers of my heart.
The pain my fierce glitzy gladiator endured could not be what her life was all about.
My husband once said, “Who would have ever thought having a child with leukemia would be a gift, but it is.” Leukemia was not a gift, but we learned to find the glitter in the muck.
The pain and trauma that makes up our highlight reel has produced life so full of magic that it inspires us to press on.
An unordered list of mildly entertaining facts:
If there were a prize for cleaning up poop, I’d get it. No, seriously, I want my trophy.
I’m a swinger (MISLEADING – quickly read the next line).
Not with people or from tree to tree, but from one extreme to another. Manolo Blahniks and roots joggers are equally fantastic (but not paired together).
The same goes for raw cookie dough and kale.
Different rules apply for fine dining and gas station purse-candy. They always go together. This has never proved more real than the time I smuggled mini eggs into the Indian restaurant and had the kitchen staff making bets about whether the candy or naan would run out first.
Balance is different from moderation. I live in the in-between.
I’m a #queenofcontrast.
I like working hard and sloth-like days, but combining leisure and work is not my jam. Like who invented kayaking, for example?
I stole a lipstick as a teenager (earned the title ‘5-finger-discount’) trying to outrun my PK (preacher’s kid) identity. Turns out I am a serial rule-follower and that was not a phase of life I’m proud of.
I am irrationally afraid of ticks and tar-sand beetles (if you know, you know) and being asked to play team sports. Fortunately, I’m rarely asked. Rarely, as in never.
Real fear is having my daughter fight cancer before her second birthday and almost losing her to a bacterial infection.
I thank God, chemo, the ECMO machine, and the medical professionals every day that she lives to tell her story of hope.
That is why I write.
I have one husband, three kids, and one dog (known affectionately as Maya-Bear-Wiggle-Bum-Bangsund).
We live in blissful harmony.
Just kidding. But I do like them.
I went to Costa Rica once, and there were so many ants. I love travel, but fancy travel. Without ants. Or bats. Or Mice. (or tar-sand beetles).
My joy list — Walking my dog. Rainbows. Music. Laughter. Lakes. Tequila. Shopping. Franks Hot Sauce.
I like to follow the rules BUT when I loosen the reins you wish you had my dance moves (and the audacity to eat lunch meat off the floor … never mind, we’ve all had our ‘shining’ moments).
Having friends without kids rules (or friends that don’t talk non-stop about their kids).
I have one tattoo that says “Be Still” and reminds me to live in the moment and trust God with the rest. Also, it makes me think my kindred spirit is Glennon Doyle, who also has a “Be Still” tattoo. I private-messaged her on IG. But, I think she’s busy.
My doppelganger is Jennifer Garner (the lady at the dry cleaners even calls me Jennifer). She stars in a movie akin to my life, Miracles of Heaven. I once cried enough tears watching that movie that I went through an entire Kleenex box.
I hate talking about the weather. I will find out when I go outside. Thank you. The end.
Maybe this is why my husband’s favourite story to tell about me is that I used to think the windchill factor was the same as the windshield factor. That’s the same thing right?
I love watching The Gilmore Girls mostly because they convince me I can eat as much candy as I want and never gain weight. Also, I told my husband to invite Lauren Graham to my 40th birthday party. He has 1.5 MONTHS to make this happen, so I hope he is reaching out to her ‘people.’
I was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, but after moving to Fort McMurray (a city I had never heard of) I became a Westerner and have never looked back.
I hate yogurt. And ruined surprises.
Be like Macey. She lives on a pedestal of authenticity and delight. Her best day is today. And her message is to press on — to conquer — and she leaves a trail of magic in her wake.
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Tell me about the glitter you have found in the muck.