Friday, June 17, 2016

Reclaim Advantage! Reclaim Life! Reflections on Fathers Day



While my biological father did not and could not love and care for me and caused me incredible harm and suffering, I have been incredibly blessed to meet men in my life who nurtured me with a father's love.

The first man who believed in me was my camp counselor, Joe Stetz (pictured at the far left) at Badger Day Camp.


While I experienced abuse every night from my biological father, I'd go to camp every day when I was 10 years old and receive unconditional love and support from Joe. He told me that I should and must compete in the butterfly in the end of the year Camp Olympics. There were only 2 campers who would compete in the butterfly in my age group and he told me he knew I had what it would take to compete and finish the race. He told me my time did not matter. When I was terrified to jump off the starting block, he worked with me one on one until I felt comfortable with it. Bear in mind that I had contracted paralytic polio when I was 5 and had come out of a leg brace when I was 8. He cheered me on in the pool and, stood by so proudly when I took my place on the podium having finished dead last but I finished.


Joe gave up his Olympic dream to become a physician and while he was at Medical School, he corresponded with me. Those letters sustained me through many trials and tribulations.

When I trained for and ran the 2009 Boston Marathon, the strength and courage Joe instilled in me at an early age held me in good stead. I carried him with me on those 26.2 miles from Hopkinton to Boston.

In the 1980's I was blessed to meet Bernie Siegel,MD or Bernie as he prefers to be called. He became my Chosen Dad or C.D. He is a Chosen Dad to many providing unconditional love and carefrontation. His love, his warmth, his wit and his wisdom have been a powerful force of healing in my life through the decades of trials, tribulations and triumphs as I worked to heal from the late effects of paralytic polio and trauma.

And then last year I was blessed to meet Jeffrey Spratt,MT. In social work, there is something we call a corrective emotional experience. Through the power of positive touch and Jeffrey's compassionate presence, I've been able to heal the horror of the wounds of trauma. He talked about what he would have done had he been there during my childhood to bring comfort and support and through touch and words helps me to experience the power of a father's love and care letting me know that I am worthy and deserving of a father's love. It is the power of Divine Love that flows through him and by partnering with him I have been able to reclaim advantage and reclaim life experiencing the beauty and power of the woman I am today.

To your health and wellness!
Mary



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