As I had done whenever faced with seemingly insurmountable challenges, I got still and asked for Divine Guidance. Spirit spoke to me through what I now call my divining rod for healing, my pen in the form of poetry.
After writing "Running the Race" , a poem which foreshadowed my 2009 Boston Marathon run, I wrote the poem:
The Gift of Polio - from "Feel the Heal: An Anthology of Poems to Heal Your Life":The Gift of Polio
Thank you God for the gift of polio that brought me so close to you
while paralyzed I saw your face no matter what I’d do
Many wonderful healers 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 felt worse than the first
yet your love and wisdom I found
out of pain and weakness and fatigue a remarkable spirit rebound.
Reliving all the trauma of special shoes and such
I discovered remarkable 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.
This gift so precious I live a new life gratitude flows from me
my heart and soul are filled with grace each day’s a gift from thee.
I went on to write "The Dancer" imagining in my mind's eye a resurrection from the 5 year old ballet dancer who was stricken with paralytic polio:
Crumpled cringing alone in darkness portrait of paralyzed child
heap of limbs loss of control panic fear run rampant and wild.
Enter stage right he gathers her gentle tears honor old embrace new
beautiful ballerina transformed music swells the pas de deux.
Dancing with Spirit she celebrates lost in moment of time and space
winged feet now poetry in motion joyful light ease and grace.
Daring she enters spotlight center stage a vision to behold
vulnerable yet confident - courageous strikingly bold.
On point to an audience she no longer plays,
soul’s rhythm tempo she keeps
magic memories made in each moment
delighting grateful heart leaps.
Her life she now knows has no bounds
choreography her dancing decree
revelations unveiled with each movement
unencumbered expansive now free.
Gratitude became a vital lynch pin in my healing journey. I gave thanks for all of the challenges I endured for they taught me so many soul lessons and helped to mold me into the beautiful woman I am today. I gave thanks in advance for my life being healed.
I started the practice of a gratitude journal that ignited my heart and soul with joy and shifted me out of a victim role into the role of victor and thriver.
I went on to write an entire poem about gratitude:
Heart opens in quiet eyes are closed gratitudes trickle then flow
the basics a home, good food and love awareness begins to grow.
Each beat of my heart reminds me I’m a miracle of life
grace showers constantly upon me relieving alleviating strife.
Goosebumps with each reflection every breath a moment to pause
gratitude tingles feel the warmth relaxing unclenching jaws.
Grateful to now be fully alive so blessed to be kissed awake
appreciation flows in every vein for granted nothing I take.
What joy there is in this journey let Spirit within ever reign
trusting in goodness and kindness erases all fear and pain.
Memory traces from the past pale and fade when facing Source
gratitude overpowers correcting direction on my life’s course.
In moments of meditation happiness joy and peace
from the depths of my soul a fountain grateful blessings increase.
Lips upturn into beautiful smile from head’s crown to tip of toes
gratitude tingles tickling trail of delight everywhere gratitude goes.
During the pandemic, we intensified our gratitude practice writing what we were grateful for on post-its during the month of November and placed them in a gratitude jar. We read them on Thanksgiving.
Gratitude continued to be a theme in my poetry in "Hope is a Garden:Poems and Essays From the 2020 Pandemic".
As dawn breaks my heart opens in gratitude
an inventory of the blessings in my life
strife only created from memories
gratitude the bridge over troubled waters
path to peace and joy.
Rubbing eyes awake from a starry night
pixie dust sprinkled while sleeping
cells sparkling with possibilities
twinkling eyes view the world.
It dawns on me
I am beloved
Love heals and bathes
uplifted to greet the dawn of a new day
sunbeams meet heart beams.
a virus vanished
soul lessons learned
heaven on earth is here.
Flip the switch from darkness
from unwell to well-being
dwell with Source.
Generate positive thoughts
current of gratitude
dispels doom and gloom.
in mind’s eye
Shock waves from past
back to the future!
glitter and sparkle
light up hope!
turn on tune in
Flip the switch
let the magic begin!
I am grateful for all the challenges I have endured and overcome. I am grateful for this amazing journey of transformation that began 14 years ago on May 25, 2007 when I took a leap of faith leaving behind my award winning career as a VA social worker to heal my life from the effects of childhood paralytic polio and trauma. I am grateful for the gift of poetry that enabled me to heal my past and create a future very different than the one the doctors predicted for me and to navigate this past year staying focused on healing, hope, possibilities, light, love and of course, gratitude.
From my heart to yours
In health and wellness
For more information about my journey from childhood polio and trauma to the finish line of the 2009 Boston Marathon and beyond, visit my website.
"Hope is a Garden:Poems and Essays From the 2020 Pandemic" along with all of my books to inspire and uplift you is available on Amazon.