Friday, January 31, 2014

80 Days to Go...Support Crew

80 days to go until so many of my friends take their place at the starting line of the 118th Boston Marathon. Countless days are behind us since 4/15/2013 when lives were forever changed. I am reading about stories of remarkable strength and recovery.

Celeste Corcoran took her first running steps with two prosthetic legs:

Jeffrey Bauman is getting ready to release his book, "Stronger"

At the top of the book cover it reads, "I saw the bomber. He took my legs. He didn't break me. He only made me."

I know how incredibly fortunate Tom and I were to have escaped to safety after leaving the Mandarin Oriental Hotel where we were preparing to regale the runners on the Spaulding Race for Rehab Team in the suite above Boylston Street across from the Forum where the second bomb went off. Yet like everyone, we were shaken to the core. It's ironic that on the morning of 4/15/13 as we were heading to the Mandarin, Tom and I talked about whether or not he would run in '14 for Spaulding. We had begun to strategize about fund raisers.

We have no choice about what happens in our lives but we always have a choice of how we respond. While a part of me wanted to run Boston again, I knew that was not a path that would make sense for me. Tom decided this was not the year for him to run Boston again. But we knew we had to do something as we moved forward to get ready for this year's Boston Marathon.

I took the first steps on my healing journey at Spaulding Rehab Hospital where I was diagnosed with post polio syndrome in December of 2006 and I know the difference that the new Spaulding has made in the lives of the bombing survivors and their families who were devastated not only emotionally but physically by the bombings. I continue to find my strength in the Aquatics Therapy program. While I may not be running 26.2 miles for Spaulding, I am going the distance with two phenomenal fund raisers that I have put together in support of Karis Antokal and Greg Gordon who are running on the Race for Rehab Team with the theme of Singing Boston Strong:

Karis' Karaoke for a Kause happening on 2/20/14 from 8:00-10:00 pm at the Limelight Stage and Studios at 204 Tremont Street Boston. Suggested minimum donation is $20 and you receive a Take a Chance ticket to be entered to win an autographed Tom Brady Jersey. And don't worry if you're too shy to step up to the mic, we'll have plenty of people singing strong. Cash bar and appetizers. If you are unable to join us, with a minimum donation of $35, we'll enter you in the drawing to be held on 2/20/14. Read Karis' story on her fund raising page and make your donation today. Silent Auction Items include autographed books by Bob and Lee Woodruff, A Cape Getaway Weekend, Celtics and Red Sox Tickets, Gift certificates to Stapleton Floral Design and Marathon Sports.

An Evening of A Cappella to Benefit Spaulding Rehab happening on 4/4/14 at Boston University. Terpsichore, Boston University's premier all female a cappella group will be your host from 7:00-9:00 pm at Sleeper Auditorium located at 871 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA. The evening features performances by Terpsichore, the BU Dear Abbeys, BU's In Achord and Bostonality, a post collegiate a cappella group. Minimum suggested donation is $10. Make your donation to Greg Gordon's fund raising page and in the comments section note that it is for the benefit concert.

This Sunday, and on March 9th, Tom and I will be hosting a water stop for L Street Running Club offering moral support as the runners put in their miles on their road to the Boston Marathon.

With 80 days to go...we are all healing and moving forward and finding ways to be a part of the day. As for me? I am honored and proud to be a part of the support crew.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Singing Boston Strong: Karis' Karaoke for a Kause - Three Weeks From Today

I can feel the butterflies starting and we still have three weeks to go until Singing Boston Strong: Karis' Karaoke for a Kause happening at Limelight Stage and Studios on Tremont Street in Boston. I always experience a sense of exhilaration and angst when it comes to putting together a fund raiser but mostly exhilaration trusting that people always show up!

The Boston Marathon bombings has been in the news today. I still get goosebumps and a feeling of nausea when I write that word. The government is asking for the death penalty of the accused bomber and of course that has generated all sorts of banter on Facebook.

My beloved Marathon Sports posted:

The bombings during last year's Boston Marathon affected so many people in so many ways. Our thoughts and prayers should always be with the victims, their families and the survivors.

I found this on Twitter -- the BAA has given 15 numbers to the family of Lu Lingzi, the Boston University grad student who was killed in the bombings. Five of those numbers will be going to BU students, staff, faculty or alumni. You can read the full story at Run The Boston Marathon in Honor of Lu Lingzi

And I expect that between now and April 21st, we will all be experiencing news stories, and emotional after shocks of the events of last April 15, but I also believe we will be experiencing a sense of healing - of hope - and of possibility.

Many of the survivors were treated at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital a new state of the art facility in Charlestown. I took the first steps on my healing journey 7 years ago at the old Spaulding Rehab Hospital on Nashua Street. I continue to find my strength in the Aquatics Therapy Program at the new Spaulding. The bombing survivors have found and continue to find their strength after a life altering event that defies description.

I didn't know Karis Antokal yet we were both in the Mandarin Oriental Hotel with Spaulding Rehab last April. She happened to look out the window at the time the 2nd bomb went off. Karis is a massage therapist at Spaulding. She had never run in her life and never imagined that she would ever take her place at the starting line of the Boston Marathon.

Yet lives were forever changed that day and while we have no choice about the events - we do have a choice about how we respond to them.

As Leonard Bernstein said:

So please join us on 2/20/14 from 8:00-10:00pm for Singing Boston Strong: Karis' Karaoke for a Kause. Don't worry if you don't want to karaoke - by the way I have made that a verb- just come and have a great time as we gather together for a great cause and to support Karis on her 26.2 mile journey from Hopkinton to Boston.

For a minimum $20 donation you will be entered to win an autographed Tom Brady Jersey. You can make your donation to Karis fund raising page

There will be a cash bar and appetizers and a Silent Auction:
2 Celtics tickets to the 3/9 Celtics vs. Pistons Game - Face value $350
3 autographed books by Bob and Lee Woodruff
A Cape Getaway Weekend
Gift certificates to Stapleton Floral Design and Marathon Sports

We are going to raise our voices and a whole lot of money as we sing strong because we ARE Boston strong.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Recipe for Recovery After a Rough Run

My track run on Sunday was really rough for me. Now when I trained for the Boston Marathon in 2009, we did 117 times around the track to get miles into our legs but here's the thing. I was so adept at what Tom Myers calls Kinesthetic Dystonia, that I could easily ignore what was going on in my body. The 3 mile run around the track went well. I did one five miler and noticed that I was having a few missteps along the way but was so happy to be running again and not be out in sub zero temperatures that I didn't pay much attention. This past Sunday, with temperatures in the single digits with a wind chill, we returned to the track.

Even though my time was a 15 minute/mile pace, it was not a pretty run by any means. I had a lot of missteps due in part to there being something sticky on the track but also because going around in one direction (and you have to go in the direction that everyone is going in on the particular day) was not serving me. I was aware of what was happening in my body where my gait was not smooth and steady and I had a couple of near falls but because my balance is improved, did not go down. Still my system was jolted by the missteps and even though I got in an intense cardio workout and put miles in my legs, overall, the run took a toll on me.

Yesterday morning it was off to Spaulding for Aquatics Therapy. What a blessing the warm waters were on my still recovering body. Karis led us through our paces. Because there was a patient having an individual therapy session, we had to move into the shallow end of the pool. It was amazing to discover the difference in what muscles were worked and what was challenged in the more shallow end of the pool. Karis suggested that I be very mindful of how the exercises felt with the 3 pound ankle weights I was using. When I emerged from the warm water, I felt refreshed and renewed realizing that I need to be ever so mindful with what activities I decide to engage in.

This evening it's Finding My Aquatic Strength and tomorrow I will get back out on the roads. And now I know that even if I have a rough run, I have a great recipe for recovery.

What's your recipe for recovery from a rough run?

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Sing Strong: Karis' Karaoke for a Kause


On April 21, 2014, I will be participating in an event that I never thought I could: The Boston Marathon. The tragic events of last year’s race combined with witnessing first-hand the determination that the survivors displayed, has lead me to sign on as a member of Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital’s Race for Rehab Boston Marathon Team.

Many of you know that I was volunteering at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel last year for Spaulding’s Marathon viewing reception, when the bombs went off. Words cannot describe the scene nor the emotions I felt when I saw the second bomb explode. I wanted to run to the streets and help those who had been injured, but I was quickly evacuated and began the unknown journey through the streets of Boston. I was scared, but blessed to be in the company of wonderful friends. The streets were chaotic, no one knew where to go or what to do. As I ran down Huntington Avenue, it began to sink in: Lives have been changed forever.

As a massage therapist at Spaulding, I have had the great privilege of working with individuals who despite their life altering illness and/or injury, are determined to get back to their everyday lives. Those who know me personally know I am not a runner! I have never enjoyed running, but it is the strength and determination of my patients that has inspired me to run the Boston Marathon. The mental, physical, and emotional training that it will take to run this race is only a fraction of what those who I treat experience during rehab and for the rest of their lives. Each and every day I am strengthened by their strength.

Please consider making a donation to support my fundraising efforts as I work to raise $5,000 to benefit Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital. Every dollar counts and will directly benefit the facility that gave 33 bombing survivors, and many others, their lives back. I am running the Boston Marathon to honor those survivors and memorialize those who lost their lives last April.

Here is a photo of Karis at work at Spaulding:

I am honored and delighted to be the organizer of Sing Strong: Karis' Karaoke for a Kause

When: Thursday evening
February 20, 2014

Where: The Limelight Stage and Studio Boston

Why: Because we ARE Boston Strong - We run long and we sing strong

Who: YOU!

What? What you ask?

We have an exciting line up of Silent Auction items including Celtics Tickets, a Cape Getaway Package, autographed books by Lee & Bob Woodruff


Included in your donation to attend this phenomenal event, you will be entered to win an autographed Tom Brady Jersey - woo hoo!

So make your donation today by visiting Karis' Fund raising Page and reserve your spot for Sing Strong: Karis' Karaoke for a Kause...Minimum suggested donation is $20 ... put in the comments it's for Karaoke for a Kause and we'll have your name on the guest list!

Warm up those vocal chords ... here is one of my all time favorite karaoke songs:

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Nine Months Have Passed ....

Nine months have passed since mine and so many lives changed forever.

When I woke up this morning, my stomach was in knots and I felt this overwhelming sense of sadness. I thought to myself - what is up with this?

I looked at the calendar --- my body was having its very own anniversary reaction.

Nine months ago time stood still at 2:50pm when the second bomb shook the Mandarin Oriental Hotel.

Today I allowed myself time to feel anxious and nervous. I allowed tears to flow. I allowed my heart to open to overwhelming gratitude that I was able to escape safely.

I allowed myself to remember the sounds and the smells of that afternoon and to feel all the horror in my heart and I allowed myself time to relish this gift of a warm day in the midst of winter.

As I walked into Spaulding Rehab Hospital for my afternoon Aquatics Therapy class with Karis, I allowed myself the space to grieve and remember, allowing the healing waters to bathe me mind, body and Spirit. I worked it all out in the pool with an intense cardio workout which incorporated strengthening upper and lower body. I gave thanks for this amazing place of healing where the bombing survivors came to find their strength.

Nine months have passed since Celeste Corcoran lost both her legs and just this week, she ran for the first time on her prosthetic legs:

Talk about BostonStrong!

Nine months have passed and 95 days to go until Boston and the world reunite for the running of the 118th Boston Marathon. I'll be back at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel bidding on Silent Auction items, eating wonderful food and cheering on the Race for Rehab team along with tracking so many of my friends who are running this year. Only unlike 9 months ago, we'll be welcoming the runners into the suite at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel with open arms celebrating and knowing that while horrific events happen, nothing is more powerful than love and the fiber and strength of the human Spirit and the Spirit of Boston!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Do You Remember Your First Time.....

doing hill training? This morning as warmer air replaced the polar vortex that had descended upon New England, the sun was shining and the sky was blue. There were few remnants of our recent winter storms. Tom and I headed out to do a 5 mile run from our house to twice around the Chestnut Hill reservoir and back home. As we ran down Eliot Street toward Cleveland Road I remembered the first time our personal trainer, Janine Hightower told me I was going to do hill training. I had barely begun to run outdoors. She said you may as well start now because you have Heartbreak Hill to contend with on Marathon Monday.

Oh how I struggled up that hill the first time. I thought my heart was going to come out of my chest. She told me that we were going to incorporate hill training into our training schedule. I thought she was crazy and I was thinking about firing her.

But she was right. Hill training prepared me for Heartbreak Hill. I remember the first time Domenick D'Amico, our coach from Spaulding Rehab sent us on a training run that incorporated Heartbreak Hill.

January 24, 2009

When we arrived, Domenick was there along with some other runners. Team McManus was a wee bit nervous not knowing what to expect or what was going to happen today. Ruth Anne had forgotten her hat in our haste to leave the house, but fortunately there was no shortage of hats at Marathon Sports. Domenick said we could pay when we got back to the store. He was deep in thought about what route we should run today, "Have you run outdoors? Have you done hills" and with a yes answer to both those questions he sent us down Beacon Street to Newton Wellesley Hospital, over to Wellesly, up Concord Rd, over to Route 30 via the Marriott, down Route 30 through Heartbreak Hill, through BC to go around the Reservoir and then back to Marathon Sports for a total of 17.5 miles.

I won't lie here - it was not easy! We did not know where we were going at times; we had to watch out for black ice and negotiate our way through snow and slush at times along the route; there was a stiff headwind and temperatures were dropping throughout the afternoon; Ruth Anne is recovering from a head cold; at times Tom would set a pace that I couldn't keep up with and I vacillated between sheer exhilaration and dealing with demons from polio days. BUT we did it!!!! 4 hours and 45 minutes after we left Marathon Sports, we returned to a jubilant staff. Alison, the store manager, just back from her own vacation, hugged me so tightly and wanted to make sure we were all okay. I remember her on the Marathon Sports 5 Miler, giving me a high five and also checking in to make sure that I was doing okay. Her love, faith and beautiful Spirit is such a blessing to Team McManus....So this polio and post polio survivor ran Heartbreak Hill - all of it and I felt God's Presence so palpable with each step I took - and no matter whether we were running or walking, we did a 17.5 mile run today including Heartbreak Hill. I also felt Johnny Kelley's spirit blessing us and felt angels were just moving us along the route. We never got lost and whenever we needed a landmark - there it was. God bless Domenick for planning out this route which included a pit stop at the Marriott and we refilled our water bottles.

In 3 weeks, we will be doing a 16 mile long run and to be honest, I was terrified - until today. When I felt that little knot of fear, I would pray about it and the answer to my prayer came today when God told me to go to Marathon Sports and just do it!

God smiled with sunshine and the wind at our backs when we got to Heartbreak Hill and She told me you are going to run the Marathon and finish the course - you deserve all the joy and triumph and courage and celebration that saying Yes to me is bringing you. And you are going to touch so many people's hearts and lives with this journey - you are blessed and you are going to bless the lives of others.

And on April 20, 2009, 7 hours and 45 minutes after taking our start in Hopkinton with the mobility impaired runners, I crossed the finish line of the 113th Boston Marathon. No matter how many times I run on Heartbreak Hill, no matter how many times I do hill training, I always remember the first time.

Ode to Marathon Training - March 22, 2009 from A Celebration of Life available on Amazon
Blisters, black toes, aches and pains, a change in my routine
Long training runs, the hills, the sprints running clothes fresh and clean.
Carbo load and plan each meal power gels and gatorade
no matter what the weather no time to be afraid.
Humid - hot or freezing cold snow against the face
wind or sun or raining those running shoes I must lace.
What mile is this how long we been out check heart rate drink H20
meltdowns joys and triumphs only a few more weeks to go.
Heartbreak Hill won't break my heart this year has been the best
found myself and made new friends I feel incredibly blessed.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Sing Strong, Run Long - Countdown to Boston

100 days until April 21, 2014 - a sure sign of healing that instead of marking the days since 4/15/2013, we are counting down the days to the 2014 Boston Marathon. We were hit hard by a Polar Vortex during the long, dark days of winter. How fitting that we experience warmer temperatures and more daylight as we prepare for Marathon Monday 2014.

Today I saw this post on Facebook:

Marathon Victim Runs On Her Own For The First Time Since April

The fire of Spirit can never be dampened by violence!

And as Leonard Bernstein said:

I am putting together two wonderful fun(d) raisers for my friends who are running for Spaulding.

On 4/4/14 - join us for Sing Strong: An Evening of A Cappella to Benefit Spaulding Rehab

I cannot take credit for the Sing Strong idea. Fermata Town, one of the a cappella groups that is hoping to perform at our concert, (pending confirmation that members are available on 4/4) had as their previous employment status, SingStrong. Seemed like a most fitting title for our concert.

Check them out on Youtube:

We are waiting confirmation from the BU Dear Abbeys:

and BU Terpsichore said they are on board-- Here they are rockin' out Sara Bareilles' Love on the Rocks

I've reached out to the MIT Logs and Tufts Jackson Jills who performed at our Music for Miracles concert back in 2011.

The 4/4/14 concert will support Greg Gordon's run for Spaulding.

And sometime in March watch out for Sing Strong: An Evening of Karaoke to benefit Karis Antokal's run for Spaulding Rehab.

Start warming up your pipes -- Here is one of my favorite Karaoke numbers to sing:

It's been almost 9 months since the day lives changed forever in the city of Boston. It is 100 days until the world gathers in Boston to reclaim our beloved Marathon Monday! Between now and then we've got to sing strong, run long and countdown to Boston 2014!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

A Calf Stretch, 3 Pound Ankle Weights & the Miracle of Healing

At our Christmas Eve morning Aquatics Therapy class, Karis, our intrepid instructor (intrepid since she is running Boston 2014 for Spaulding's Race for Rehab Team) suggested that perhaps in the New Year, I consider increasing my ankle weights from two to three pounds.

In yesterday's class, I took the plunge so to speak. I was ready. It was challenging and I felt the muscle burn. Karis worked with me to monitor muscle fatigue and watched to make sure that I was able to safely increase the weight while doing the workout.

I felt this sense of absolute exhilaration that I can feel so full and whole in my body and that I have this opportunity to build strength.

As a result of paralytic polio and the posture I grew as a result of 9 years of unrelenting trauma, I was unable to do a proper calf stretch on my left leg. I found a wonderful modification in the pool to experience the stretch in my calf.

But yesterday, a profound alignment shift happened. With ease, I was able to move into a calf stretch on my left leg. What a sense of freedom and joy! I celebrated with Karis. She asked me when my last bodywork session was. I told her it was on Monday. She smiled. I smiled.

The Artist from A Celebration of Life now available on Amazon

With eyes closed
inner sight ignited
his hands find their way
my body the clay
the uncarved block
we create
with breath and movement
new life for a life once shattered
returning to innocence

a new way of Being in this body of mine
sacred spaces reclaimed
kneading what is no longer needed
the artist molds the flesh flushing out all that is not love
out of the formless a beautiful form
magnificent masterpiece I always was
unveiled .

Awakening to my magnificence
what beauty
oh no not the beauty you’ll find on a magazine cover
naked beauty
tender hearted

I tremble
in awe
stunned by clarity
of the violence
yet love
the power of love
I tremble with joy
humbled by grace
I am here
as are you
forever changed.

Monday, January 6, 2014

105 Days To Go...

until 4/21/2014 when many of my dear friends are going to be taking their places at the starting line of what is sure to be a very emotional Boston Marathon.

As I write in my memoir, "Coming Home: A Memoir of Healing, Hope and Possibility,"

Off to have lunch with Ernst van Dyk at an event organized by Spaulding Rehab, and refresh my Boston Marathon run memories that I had once denied. After I read Matthew Sanford’s book, “Waking”, I somehow got the idea in my head that I needed to deny ever having run the Boston Marathon. I felt embarrassed and uncomfortable after reading Matthew’s book which of course was not his intention but my interpretation of how he talked about not having to do something spectacular like running a marathon when you live with a spinal cord injury. "

Four years after crossing the finish line of the Boston Marathon, I knew it was time to celebrate with the Race for Rehab team at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel. As I have repeatedly said, we were so fortunate to not have witnessed the carnage first hand and to have gotten out safely and yet our lives were forever changed on that day.

I feel a strong bond with my friends old and new who are running this year. Tom and I are donating to charities that our friends are running for and I am helping Karis and Greg with their fund raising efforts by helping them to organize fund raisers which will not only raise money but bring the community together. They are running as part of Spaulding's Race for Rehab team this year. We were in the Mandarin together and together we are going to raise some serious money for Spaulding where many of the survivors found their strength and a way to put their lives back together after Marathon Monday.

Tom and I have renewed our membership with L Street Running Club and signed up to volunteer at water stops during long runs. We have signed up with the BAA to volunteer for packet stuffing.

105 days until the Boston Marathon...there's a lot of work to do for runners who will be running long and are Boston Strong. There's a lot of work for fund raising, community building and being a part of support crews as we continue to move forward and heal.

Here's to getting to the starting line healthy....

Ode to Marathon Training - March 22, 2009 from A Celebration of Life available on Amazon
Blisters, black toes, aches and pains, a change in my routine
Long training runs, the hills, the sprints,
running clothes fresh and clean.
Carbo load and plan each meal power gels and gatorade
no matter what the weather no time to be afraid.
Humid - hot or freezing cold snow against the face
wind or sun or raining those running shoes I must lace.
What mile is this how long we been out
check heart rate drink H20
meltdowns joys and triumphs only a few more weeks to go.
Heartbreak Hill won't break my heart this year has been the best
found myself and made new friends I feel incredibly blessed.

Friday, January 3, 2014

The Making of a Memoir

I knew I was going to write my memoir. And then I didn't -- and then I did again. In October of 2009, Team McManus was a guest on the Jordan Rich Show after running the 2009 Boston Marathon. Appearing with us on the radio was Tori McClure author of A Pearl in the Storm: How I Found My Heart in the Middle of the Ocean. Jordan asked her why she waited so long to write her memoir after she had accomplished the feat of being the first woman to make a solo crossing of the Atlantic Ocean in a rowboat. She said that she needed time to gain perspective and insight into her journey.

It's been over four years since I crossed the finish line of the Boston Marathon. I have traveled many miles since April 20, 2009. As I say in my memoir, every finish line is a starting line.

I had one memoir written with the title, "Why Do Squats Make Me Cry?" It was cathartic for me to write the memoir but it was not the memoir that was meant to be published. For one thing, our hard drive was wiped out and along with it - my memoir.

It's been a labor of love for the past year as I began to piece together the fragments of journals, memories and blogs and the tapestry of my life as I picked up the pieces from my life shattered by paralytic polio and trauma.

Almost a year and 260 pages later, my memoir is in the final edit phase. I have three readers who will offer me feedback but I feel a sense of completion and wholeness with my memoir, "Coming Home: A Memoir of Healing, Hope and Possibility."

As I took out my red pen and went through the process of making edits, I put myself in my reader's shoes. Is this too graphic? Is this necessary to drive the story? Is this repetitive? Am I getting boring? I read through the eyes of the different people who I hope will read my memoir and made sure that it would have a wide appeal.

I once asked my dad, what is the purpose of life? Why are we here? He said he certainly didn't have the answer but he believed that if we touched the life of at least one person while we are here, then we have not lived in vain. It is my hope that many hearts and lives will be blessed with my message of healing, hope and possibility as expressed in my memoir due out this Spring.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

The Wind at our Back, The Sun on Our Face - A Great Start to 2014

“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.”
― Eleanor Roosevelt

I saw on Facebook that there has been a 10 year tradition of people running the Boston Marathon course from Hopkinton to Boston on New Year's Day beginning at 6 am. People can run the entire course or a portion of the course. Tom and I opted to run 3.2 miles from Marathon Sports in Washington Square to the finish line. We thought it was going to be in the teens and were prepared to embrace the cold but it was a surprising 27 degrees. We were fortunate to have the wind at our back and the sun on our face.

What joy to have runners pass us who had started in Hopkinton. It seems that whenever I am around runners, the energy is infectious and I can really move out there. According to NikePlus, I did a 14 minute/mile pace. It was perfect running conditions for me. We had a good breakfast and then got out on the course. I felt a sense of unbridled joy and deep gratitude that this was my start to the New Year.

Tom wanted to take a photo of me before our run:

And then we took photos after we crossed the finish line in Copley Square with the Boston Marathon ice sculpture:

Here is a beautiful ice sculpture with the lion and the lamb -- Blessed are the peacemakers:

We warmed up at Finagle a Bagel celebrating the start of a healthy New Year filled with hope, healing and possibility for all:

A Wide Berth from A Celebration of Life available on Amazon

A wide berth for healing
new life
new day
every sunrise a new opportunity
to paint life’s canvass.

Take it one breath at a time
let that be enough
sacred breath

heart beats
lasers of love

light the way home.