During our Father's Day conversation with our son, I momentarily forgot about COVID. We were making plans for celebrating the twins 34th birthday together. There were reminders that we still have more miles to go before we can cross the finish line of the pandemic. He hasn't been able to see a dentist and his partner Michelle hasn't seen her physician because of the pandemic. We were also mindful about how things have changed. In pre-COVID times, Autumn would not hesitate getting on a bus and coming into Boston but now he and Michelle need to work out logistics to manage a visit while tending to their farm and animals. None of us is ready to eat indoors at a restaurant yet. It was reassuring to hear Gayle King say that she was anxious about going to the theater when they covered the story of Bruce Springsteen's show reopening Broadway for the first time in 16 months.
My daughter and I have wanted to go for a swim but when we found out being fully vaccinated was not a requirement at our Town pool, we decided to wait. We are so close to the finish line!
I've been reflecting on words and phrases that we didn't know before the pandemic and the emotions that are associated with this new vocabulary:
There were some incredibly rough miles during these past 16 months and there is still some uncertainty on the road ahead, but I fervently believe that we will go the distance in leaving the pandemic in the past.
I've also been reflecting on my own journey of transformation and the analogy of life being a marathon not a sprint; a phrase often used by epidemiologists and leaders as they reference ending the pandemic and one that is apropros to my life in the wake of childhood paralytic polio and trauma. Nobody would have judged me for accepting the diagnosis and prognosis of Post-Polio Syndrome after all the challenges I endured. I could have decided that leaving my award winning career as a VA social worker and accepting the progression of accelerated aging as a result of the initial polio virus would be the finish line of my journey in this lifetime.
Instead, I dared to go the distance and defy the diagnosis and my past to heal my life.
In Massachusetts, we are blessed with a very high vaccination rate. We are still mindful that we have not yet crossed the finish line, arms thrust in the air feeling victorious that the miles of the pandemic are behind us. We are close and my hope and prayer is that every individual chooses to dare to go the distance in caring for ourselves, our communities and our world choosing health and well-being, love, kindness, forgiveness and compassion.
From my heart to yours in health and wellness,
Be sure to listen to my conversation with Greg Chastain and Ed Siegel on their Voices of Hope podcast, The Cardinal Cafe. From Greg Chastain: The latest episode of The Cardinal Cafe is up! On this episode we meet Mary McManus. Mary is a motivational speaker, author, poet, 2009 Boston Marathon Finisher, polio and trauma survivor. She has a remarkable story of resilence, healing, Hope and possibilities. Once you hear her tell her story you will want to rush out to purchase her newest book of poems “Hope is a Garden” which she wrote during the recent pandemic. So please join us for this incredible story.
more information about my journey from childhood polio and trauma to
the finish line of the 2009 Boston Marathon and beyond, visit my website.
Be sure to check out my website's News and Events page for upcoming and past interviews where I share my remarkable and inspirational journey as a survivor of paralytic polio and trauma.
My books to inspire and uplift you are available on Amazon.