I received an email this morning that said I would be receiving royalty payments for the sale of my books on Amazon.
I smiled and said a prayer of gratitude for this wonderful news. It's not about the money per se although it's wonderful to be paid for my craft. It's about being able to share my journey and touch the lives and hearts of others. It's about knowing that all of my pain was not in vain and I can share a message of healing, hope and possibility from the time of the diagnosis of post polio syndrome in December of 2006 to the finish line of the Boston Marathon and beyond in my memoir, "Coming Home: A Message of Healing, Hope and Possibility"and share how my gift of poetry turbocharged my journey to health and wellness as I could "Feel the Heal" by partnering with Jeffrey Spratt,MT, pioneer of the life saving Spratt Method of Muscular Therapy
So how did I go from working at the Department of Veterans Affairs as an award winning social worker to becoming a poet, an author, a 2009 Boston Marathon finisher and, said with humility and grace, an inspiration to so many.
It all began with my poem, "Running the Race." From my memoir:
And then I felt a stirring in my second chakra (only then I didn’t know it was my second chakra – I thought it might have been something I ate). I went over to my laptop in the corner of the living room and I wrote this poem foreshadowing my 2009 Boston Marathon run:
Running the Race
Early summer 1959 my kindergarten year
everyone around me filled with nervous fear
despite the Salk vaccine hope polio would disappear
the polio virus crept right up and knocked me in the rear.
Dancing all around the gym feeling free just like a bird
I dropped to the ground just like a stone and no one said a word.
The pain it was so searing-the diagnosis even worse
"It's polio" the doctor said...he was abrupt and terse.
Called one of the 'lucky ones' I had a 'mild case'
but with the other athletes I could never keep their pace.
Miss Holly physical therapist, curly hair and a warm, broad smile
it tempered the pain of being apart - to walk I'd take awhile.
I always wore those 'special' shoes the kids they poked and teased
With no support and much abuse with childhood I wasn't pleased.
But put nose to the grindstone and learned all that I could
I couldn't kick a ball but my grades were always good.
Years went by and no more thought to polio did I give
I accepted the limp and everything else and decided my life I would live.
But symptoms of weakness and muscle pain did grow
I kept a stoic face hoping no one else would know.
Life no longer was my own I struggled through each day
Suffered in silence, isolated from friends- trying to keep depression at bay.
And with the grace of glorious God my world it opened wide
I discovered there was a Post Polio team and they were on my side.
Using wheelchair to travel, set limits on what I could do,
resulted in joy to realize I could live life anew.
Celebrated my body- creaks, groans and need for a brace
While in my mind I focused on winning a 10K race.
Sought out paths for healing and my spirit flew free
for the first time in life, I could truly be me.
The chains are gone and possibilities abound
I'm a tree with my roots planted firmly in ground.
I'm now off the sidelines, no need to sit and whine
So much gratitude fills my heart and love and beauty shine.
After all these years I can join the loving human race
I exceed all expectations and now I set the pace.
It's been an incredible almost 10 year journey now. I'm so excited to be working on my next book, "Going the Distance: Healing Trauma Through the Power of Positive Touch" which begins with me asking the question, "How will I ever reclaim my life?" and ends with "From the War Zone to the Comfort Zone."
Here is the working Table of Contents:
How Will I Ever Reclaim My Life?
You Have To Start Somewhere
“I want you to run unencumbered.”
Going the Distance – “Run with all your heart.”
From the War Zone to the Comfort Zone
It's Thankful Thursday and I am so deeply thankful to Jeffrey for all that we have accomplished during this past year of working together and am so excited to go the distance with him on the roads and in my life.
It's Transformation Thursday and a good time to take a look at where I was in December of 2007 one year after the diagnosis of post polio syndrome, a "progressive neuromuscular disease":
to receiving my Boston Marathon medal:
to running the Bermuda Half Marathon this year after being told I would not and should not run again after a knee injury in December 2014:
to the finish line of the Hyannis 10K in February:
My heart overflows with gratitude for the miracle of my healing; for the transformation I have been blessed to experience from a woman ravaged by paralytic polio and childhood violence to a woman who can now reclaim her advantage and reclaim her life!
To your health and wellness,