The Soldier and the Squirrel introduces children to the Purple Heart

through a loving story of a friendship between a newly wounded soldier

and Rocky the squirrel with his backyard friends. This story began as a

blog during my first year in bed after my incident. With much

encouragement, it is now a book and has been placed in the

Ronald Reagan Presidential Library & Museum. Please watch the video

on the About page to learn for the Soldier & Rocky are changing children's






Glorious Rejoice Dots Glitter





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The Rose

I have been a little cocky lately. It happens I guess when you don't walk for a year and your legs are returned. I prefer to think of this phase as a reminder, not a set-back. A reminder that life is not about how quickly you reach the rose, but that you bother to smell it at all.

I make my way through the house like a little old lady with hope. Shuffling my left foot to keep up with the adolescence of my right. They bicker, my feet. One goes too fast, the other has a hangover from an eleven month bender. So why should I be frustrated at all? I should be proud at my legs' ability to fall of a wagon that moved so quickly my life was a blur. As soon as it came to a screeching halt, the landscape became excruciatingly clear. What good are legs if they never stop, so you can take in the why of it all. What good is speed if it blurs the lines that guide the road on a journey you had hoped to see. And who cares how toned their muscles are if they strip your strength to say no to the madness they carry within.

So, now that I can walk at home - in whatever fashion this walking may take - I am now becoming aware of limitations that still tie me to my chair. When I am out, my legs will seize, my back will scream, and I am reminded of what is not yet to be. But I take this with acceptance that this is not a sprint, but a marathon I have to pace. And if everything worked like I hoped right away, there would be worse things that I'd have to face. Like forgetting how powerful it is to be stripped of speed; How much a slower race can mean. I might forget to breathe in the white rose by my front door that aches each day to be seen. What good is its beauty, its pedals arched in pregnant pause as though it too had lost its legs.
There is a beauty in all that surrounds us, I don't want to miss a thing. So if this recovery takes longer than I thought it might, I'm grateful for all this journey will continue to bring. Like the rose that can only be smelled when its pedals are truly seen.

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