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 Wish

Yesterday, I made a wish, because I felt quite bold. It was my first day out that did not involve a doctor, or sedation. I did not sign my name in robotic form or disrobe with an awkward finesse reserved for sloth couture. I did not ask for a receipt to submit to insurance, or directions to a bathroom down a hall. There was no handicapped entrance or a secretary who liked my chair.

It was Fourth of July. My spirit was uncaged in our friends' backyard, the breeze alive against my skin. We reveled in the innocence of our youngest chasing butterflies with a decapitated pool net. Reclining by the pool, I looked up into the towering tree overhead that was pregnant with grapefruit. Wondering. How God would make them fall. And where.

The BBQ lit a smoke that crawled above the grass. Sunflowers prayed in a vase over ketchup, mustard and salt. Life was bursting with stillness. Water sprung from kicking feet, rainbow droplets landing on my legs.

The sun shifted behind an infant hawk. Its clawed wings taunting it not to set.

I felt the urge to test my left leg in the water's hold. The one I cannot lift in open air.

My husband helped me sit on the edge. My legs submerged within the summer's watered cave. Bracing myself with hands flat to the rounded edge, I raised my right foot to the top with ease. My skirt tasting the chlorine-I closed my eyes. The water infused within my skin, memories of a different time. When my legs could kick beneath a glistened sun.

I looked at my foot. And how much I wanted her to rise. So she could feel the warmth above the glass. I wished for her to sense the smoke that danced above the grass. I pressed my thigh into the ground. I held my breath into the wish and pushed it thru my toes. Answered by stillness.

My shoulders sunk and eyes welled. My husband's arm around me. Our friend stood in the water and held my feet in his hands. A peace connected somewhere in the middle of me. It's okay, they said. And I knew they were right. Because what mattered was not if my wish came true, but that I wished at all.

As the day came to an end. The hawk gave in. But not me. Because I know that tomorrow, I can wish again. And someday this wish might come true.

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