Interview – Marcella Burgess: Grabbing onto life with both hands!

You will remember Marcella from my shameless teaser from last week, linked HERE.

You know how you meet people along your life’s path and sometimes, they end up walking with you? Marcella is that woman for me.

Through the ten or so years we’ve known each other, we’ve always gravitated back towards each other, even when distance, time, and circumstances pulled us apart.

When she needed a recommendation letter, I was only too happy to sing her praises. When we needed someone to work at our small newspaper office, she was who I thought of! When I remember a small-knit group that reminded me that life was worth living through 2014: The Year of Pain, Marcella is there.

So, I’d like to introduce you to Marci. She will inspire you with her courage and grace.

I’ve known you for years and in that time, you have always been unfailingly kind, joyful and enthusiastic.  I’ve never seen you in a bad mood.  Were you born this way? Where does the joy come from?

My outlook on life and where/how/why it started; this is such a loaded question…let’s rip it off like a band-aid!

I grew up in an extremely volatile and abusive house (I say house NOT home for a reason), one that I learned (at far too young of an age) how to become the “perfect people pleaser”!

To avoid upsetting my parent, I did everything that a young girl knew how to in order to shine happiness and light into the moment as much as possible.  I escaped on the weekends to my grandparents’ home, this was a safe place! It was there that I learned about unconditional love; of family, of God, peace and not harm and generally overall how to be a good person!
Having said all of that though, I have spent many years working through some personal baggage to rewrite my internal dialogue and also to really understand why I do what I do!

Today, I still carry a positive outlook on life only because of the hell I’ve gone through. Today and every day, I make a conscious decision to be grateful and that naturally leads to happiness.

You recently went full-goddess and let your hair go naturally grey, which I love. What made you do it? Do you love it?

My hair: to dye OR not to dye, THAT was never a question for me!

I have been box and salon dying since I was 22, I’m not even counting the years!

Why did I make the change? Simple, I was right in the middle of my whole self-exploration journey when it hit me like a ton of bricks. Here I am peeling back layer after layer of painful scars to work through each one to heal and find out who I am and I was hiding behind a facade of hair and makeup! This no longer felt authentic to me… my transparency and my self-worth no longer valued those things anymore!

So I trotted off to my hairstylist and said to her ‘ let’s do it,…let’s take out the box dye color and see what’s hidden underneath’. To be honest, the first person that saw me immediately after (done purposefully mind you) was my dear friend Nancy. God love her, looking back at that moment in time, oh my goodness she was trying so hard to be kind and gentle. I mean seriously I had orange hair!!! This was the second time in my life when I have worn orange hair purposefully (first time was when I met Gord). Thankfully the orange settled down to reveal the shiny white hair that had been suffocating for so long.

I do! I do! I absolutely do love my white hair AND messy curls! This is me! I FEEL this woman every single time I look in the mirror. It is not a self-adulation moment, rather much more self-acceptance…FINALLY & THANKFULLY!

You and your husband, Gord, have been together since you were young. Tell us what you do to maintain and grow a strong, solid, compassionate marriage after a lifetime together.

Looking back now, we had met and literally segregated ourselves away from everyone to dive completely into each other right from the start.

We’ve had our share of ups and downs not to mention more serious trials and scares, but I think that after we have each had an experience so close to death event it puts your life into perspective.

There was a point in our life that was rougher than others; we were going in very different directions. I had just graduated from a college of culinary arts with honors and Gord was working in a steel mill and hanging with the guys. I was tired of the drinking and all that came with it. I was lining everything up so that the girls and I were going to be on our own…but God had other plans. Our lives took a turn abruptly when I was run over by a minivan in the middle of the road,… that sort of put a damper onto my plans!

From that moment, I was completely reliant upon my husband and my brother to help me accomplish every single little thing. For quite some time, I was so incredibly angry with God! I had plans, they were now all gone! Now I’m here with this man, who only 24 hours before the accident I was planning on divorcing and now I had no choice but to rely on this man…

After the accident, I had SOOOO many people from the neighborhood and friends come up to me to share with me how incredibly touching the moment with Gord and I was, at the scene of the accident. He, bent over top of me with tears rolling down his face in terror as I was lying there bleeding and unconscious just praying…simply praying.

Fast forward a few years later and I am still healing from the accident, we decided to move up north. Gord was out of work and I was closing up my business in order to care for my Grandmother (dementia/Alzheimer’s). So on a wing and a prayer, we packed up our family; 2 young girls, 2 elderly Rottweilers, 2 cats, 1 Great Grandmother, and the two of us!  We loaded up truck and trailer, rented the biggest truck we could find (over 60 years of life with my grandparents’ things too), and started our adventure!

With Gord and Savanah (and Willy – cat #1) in the big truck, I had Kasandra, Grandma, 2 rottweilers, and cat #2 towing a trailer behind (first time for that) all the way north on the 400!!! What happened next was yet again another teachable moment from God.  I was driving up in front and keeping an eye in the rearview mirror for Gord in the big truck every so often. The next time I turn my head I find a massive box that is blocking all four lanes across the highway!!!

I immediately thought of Gord not being able to stop in time and running into the underbelly of this massive truck! My brain stopped…just for a moment….I then realized that this massive truck was not just some truck…IT WAS OUR TRUCK!!! That was my husband and daughter that were upside down and had rolled multiple times in that truck! Again my memory of that day is not the clearest but what I can tell you is that God protected them perfectly!!! Savanah was sleeping (as our girls did) during the whole thing and even though she was out of her seat belt (still plugged into the seat) she had zero injuries and only came too when the ‘ride’ stopped! Gord ended up with bruising from the seat belt and scratches from the cat hanging onto his legs for dear life!

Our belongings…gone…our family…in one piece!

Jump ahead in life about 6 years. I have put myself through school again to become a Certified Canine Behaviouralist and Gord was working in construction. Life in Muskoka was better AND worse; better for environmental and the girl’s upbringing. Worse because well, there’s not much to do up there besides … drinking… so well ya. Enough said there.

I once again started making my plans trying to figure out a plan of how to survive with just the girls and I. Here I was making plans for the girls and me when once again the rug gets pulled out from underneath me. I was attacked by a mastiff while I was performing a simple initial routine home visit for a new client. The right-hand side of my face and neck had multiple tears, rips, and punctures from this dog not to mention the back of my head and back. At the hospital, my dad and Gord showed up, I still remember my father’s face (as Gord pulled away the towel) going completely white and he turned away quickly so not to show his reaction. Gord however gave me the most sincere and gentle look letting me know that it was going to be okay.

There have been so many times that I have made the decision to leave and every time God has put a stop to my plans throwing them into the garbage and bringing Gord and me closer together, each and every time.

After 27 years of marriage, I can honestly say that what or who has kept us together is God.  We have learned to show one another unconditional love, patience, and true understanding for each other.  I appreciate Gord for all that he is, all that he has become, and who he wants to be and I have learned that I DO NOT have to be in control. WE can trust and rely on one another.

This has taken so many BIG lessons for me personally, I tended to be a little bit stubborn at times lol.

Here and now, today…I am with Gord because I love him more today than when we got married. If our love is this good now….I can’t wait to see/feel how strong we are in another 20 years!

For months, you were quietly making plans and taking care of your health and well-being behind the scenes. Now you’re back out among us and running your own business! Tell us about it!

I began to reach out to other practitioners, thinking outside of the box for some hope and stumbled into cannabis! After the initial dosage, we saw an improvement!!! I made the decision right then and there to help others find the correct help they were needing, I mean if It took me about 2 years of struggling without help there must be other people going through the same thing!

I found the educational components that I was seeking and dove in!!!

Today I am able to help people with health issues and living a healthy cannabis lifestyle by incorporating this amazing plant into so many areas of their lives while working alongside some amazing physicians and companies!

What are your favourite self-care rituals?

As you can imagine, self-care is very high on my list of importance, it’s so very way to fall off the wagon and have a bad day that lends itself to negative self-talk creeping back in (in my case I’ve given her a name (Vicky) so that I can tell her to shut up when I need too!

I digress, my days ALWAYS starts with CBD whether that’s in my tea, under my tongue, or in my breakfast smoothie.

I have also found that mediation while listening to specific rife frequency music is another must for me.

I find satisfaction and calmness for me comes from gardening, painting, and refinishing furniture.  I will say though, that my most heavenly moments are spent with family and friends surrounding a great bonfire any time of the year.


  1. “I have learned that I DO NOT have to be in control.” (Excerpted from your writing) One of life’s toughest lessons. Control is what you have when you admit that you can’t control everything. This was a beautiful post.

    Liked by 1 person

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