Tuesday, June 1, 2021

"No Masks!"


On Saturday's run, we heard a passing runner yell out, "No masks!" I had to ask Tom and Ruth Anne, 'What did he say?' because, for the past 15 months, there have been on occasion, grumblings and snarky comments whether we wore a mask or had momentarily taken off our masks on a run. 

They confirmed he said "no masks" and all three of us smiled. We realized for the first time in 15 months that we did not need to wear a mask or have one handy while out on a run and how glorious to be able to smile at one another.

One of the most challenging parts of the pandemic for me was needing to wear a mask. 

On what would have been Marathon Monday in April 2020, we didn't have masks yet and used scarves over our mouths during a 2.62 mile run. One of my friends saw our Facebook post and said, "Do you need masks?" I told her that the public health commissioner of Brookline sent out a mandate that all residents of Brookline have to wear a mask in public. "No do you need masks. I am making them." In exchange for her sending us masks, we made a donation to her favorite charity.

It was an intense struggle for me to have to wear a mask. As a trauma survivor, it was intensely uncomfortable to have my mouth and nose covered, yet I knew it had to be done for the highest good. I struggled with whether or not to get vaccinated. What a surprise to have the mask mandate lifted for those of us who are fully vaccinated.

People always tell my daughter and me that we have beautiful smiles that light up a room. It was challenging to not allow these past 15 months to change that smile.

On May 13th, President Biden said,:
"If you’re fully vaccinated and can take your mask off, you have earned the right to do something that Americans are known for all around the world: greeting others with a smile. With a smile. So, it is a good day for the country."

It feels miraculous to be able to see people smile again. Smiles seem to be more radiant filled with joy and relief than before March 13, 2020. 

We still have masks with us and are aware of certain situations where we still need to mask up but what an incredible feeling to be maskless once more.


Take off the mask
shedding fears
allow tears to flow
we made it through.

Fourteen months of angst
now ending
grateful to be alive
eager to hug
joy and laughter
Spirits shining through.

Resilience reflected
sparkling eyes
lives transformed
lines of age and wisdom revealed.

Bask in the light
warmth beaming from radiant smiles
happy to be
at last


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. 

From my heart to yours
In health and wellness

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.

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. 

My books to inspire and uplift you are available on Amazon.



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