“Hey, Gramma Jo Has a Moustache”

Hey gramma jo moutache

Photo By: Jo-Ann L. Tremblay

Called out by my 4 year old granddaughter as I walked into the living room. Honesty from the mouths of the innocent little ones. With chuckles and laughs, I peeked into the mirror, and she is right! I’m in the 6th decade of my life journey and my body is reflecting the mileage, pain and wonder, of a life that was almost cut short several years ago.

When my stoma Percy was created there was instantly a rupture in the normal course of my life. It was an emergency lifesaving surgery, and I was left stunned into incomprehension. Ostomy had never been discussed, I didn’t really know what an ostomy was, I only knew some folks eliminate in a pouch, whatever that meant. The tragedy of the illness that brought me to that point, and the physical alteration the would be permanent, sent me on a turbulent intellectual, emotional and physical, pilgrimage to discover the meanings in and of my life.

Although my colon was no longer connected, my whole being began to reconnect as I began to recount and then discover what is important to me, what is meaningful, and what is not meaningful anymore. The pain revealed things not otherwise had ever been seen by me. When I arrived at the core of my pain it marked the moment when what was unseen in normal circumstances became more visible.

My pilgrimage continued, I stepped beyond the core as I expanded my insights through the communication and connection with other ostomates. Their experiences and observations became my teacher. Through the teachings I progressively modified my own knowledge base and my attitude.

With each new pain, tragedy, joy, and life triumph experienced during the bonus times of this life journey, I am alive. With each experience I am given the opportunity to expand and enhance the depth of meaning of the beauty of life. The beauty of living life large, living every tiny piece of intimacy, and living life to the fullest, in spite of it all.

With a moustache, wrinkles, bulges, sags and my stoma Percy, I am not an extraordinary person. I am rather, an everyday person, an average Jo with a deep love of life. I never expected this turn in my life journey. But as I have learned, in the heart of any and all human pain, tragedy, joy and triumph, there are things that we never dreamt and imagined.

Jo-Ann L. Tremblay


“Everyone you meet has a story to tell.”

5 comments on ““Hey, Gramma Jo Has a Moustache”

  1. franbarresi says:

    Hey Gramma Jo Having just recently gone through a never know what will hit and when affair myself I am left with an overwhelming feeling of “AWE” about my surroundings and what is suddenly so important and Non-important. Everyday when I open my eyes a new day is dawning and what is important is the now card. You have been through so much and yet the sun always seems to shine in your courtyard. God bless you for all you do and have done in this world of golden years. Happy b-day Percy I wish you long life. Hugs Franny

    Sent from my iPad


  2. C.J. Papoutsis says:

    Loved your books Jo. Made me even more grateful for my stoma, “Lucifer.” Thanks for all the support. Nobody knows what we ostomates deal with every day except other ostomates. Bless you.

    • Thank you for enjoying the books. I love your stoma’s name “Lucifer”! Support and camaraderie is so very important for all of us. Thank you for sharing. Bless you

  3. Theresa Patrick says:

    Your story is so like mine – I wish I had read your books before I became so depressed I wished I had not survived.
    I had my first anniversary of going home after a month in hospital today and I am staring to move forward. My wounds took 11 months to heal (15″ of staples and stitches) and my mind is getting there !

    • Congratulations Theresa, you’re fighting the good fight. Know you are amazing in your wonderful uniqueness. You’ve joined the “fellowship of the bag”, this is your 2nd chance at life, your new normal, you can do it!

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