Wednesday, May 12, 2010
If I Never Had Polio & Post Polio...
The other day when Team McManus was on a run, my daughter turned to me and said, 'See mom, if you never had post polio, we all wouldn't be out here running and having a wonderful day together." So that got me thinking -- what if I never had polio or post polio syndrome -- what would I have missed...Well for one thing, I wouldn't know the freedom of releasing fears and overcoming limitations like one has after releasing the earthly ties of a hot air balloon.
I would not know the amazing runners that I met as a result of training for the Boston Marathon. Runners who were brought to tears and their hearts overflowed with joy to hear of my inspirational journey. I would never have run the Boston Marathon. I would not be the bearer of a message of hope and inspiration. I would not know the touch of grace at age 5. I would not have passion and burning desire to go beyond limitations and accomplish the 'impossible'. I would not know the joy of leading an extraordinary life.
I would not know Frankie Picasso and the wonderful guests she has on the Unstoppable Frankie Show on Blog Talk Radio. I would not have met Trapper Sherwood via Twitter because, if I were not diagnosed with post polio syndrome and still worked at the VA as a social worker, I never would have found out about Twitter. My daughter would not know a remarkable man who has helped to open the path for her to follow her bliss on Music Row in Nashville. I would not know Kate Loving Shenk and Joan Adams and all the phenomenal people I have met through Kate's prayer blog and spiritual teachers on their show Moon, Moo and You. I would not know that I could not only survive a life changing diagnosis but that I would go on to thrive and be an inspiration for other women facing similar challenges. I would not have met Karen Linamen, Bruce C. Brown, Caroline Dowd Higgins or Peggy Pepper Wilkinson who have included my inspirational story in books they have written. I would not know the beautiful people at Marathon Sports. I would not know about Rotary International and the beautiful people I have met through speaking at various Rotary Clubs.
I would not have heard Itzhak Perlman play at Lincoln Center and bring the crowd to tears and cheers. I would not discover my inner beauty and learn the life lesson that what I wear on my feet or how I walk or run or what hair style I wear do not matter -- what is in my Spirit is where true beauty lies. I would not know courage, determination, fear and the entire gamut of the human tapestry of life's emotions. I would not know God's Unconditional Love for me on such a profound level.
To turn this around -- I am so grateful for polio and post polio syndrome -- for the gift of poetry, for the magic and miracles which abound in my life everyday, for the opportunity to help children and adults crippled by polio in remote parts of the world, for the beautiful people I have met on line and in person, and for all that is yet to unfold in my life.
The Gift of Polio (From New World Greetings:Inspirational Poetry & Musings for a New World)
Thank You, God, for the gift of polio
which brought me so close to You
While paralyzed I saw Your face no matter what I'd do.
Many wonderful people, You sent them to me at age 5
Perseverance and triumph life's lessons learned
but my Spirit could not yet thrive.
At age 53 the gift was sent to me a second time,
Having time to sit and feel, to heal I started to rhyme.
The second time more worse than the first
yet Your love and wisdom I found
From pain and weakness and fatigue a remarkable Spirit rebound.
Reliving all the trauma of special shoes and such
I discovered so many incredible healers who brought a loving touch.
I had no clue I had such strength and the ability to grow
No matter what the outcome, deep gratitude I show.
And from that place so dark and deep, my body could not move
I took the reins and gained control, this time with nothing to prove.
This gift so precious, I live a new life, gratitude flows from me
My heart and soul are filled with Grace
and each day's a gift from Thee.
To help me help others crippled by polio, and to support the research at The Salk Institute you can purchase copies of my books of inspirational poetry.
20% of book proceeds are donated to The Salk Institute for Biological Studies and Hope Charitable Trust.
Are you tired of spending endless hours trying to find the perfect greeting card for a special occasion only to come up just short of what you want to say. At New World Greeting Cards we begin with the missing ingredient - we begin with YOU! Remember - it's more than a card it's a gift from the heart.
Thank you all so much for reading.
God bless, be well and live each moment to the full
With my love and gratitude,