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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

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Monday
Dec092013

The Christmas Storm

The fireplace illuminated the stockings with a flickered haze like an old-time movie. Christmas music trickled through the television speakers. Crumpled balls of newspaper scattered like tumble weeds as the children unearthed each ornament for the tree. White globs of flocking clung to their sweaters, swiped off by tiny hands only to fall into the fur of our passing pups.

There is a clarity that comes with simplicity. My life used to consist of traveling the world for work and chasing a dream I already had. The world was my oyster, with a pearl that was thousands of miles away - at home.

There are many reasons why we join the race. But whether it's for money or notoriety, experience or insecurity, it is inevitable we lose perspective of the real why. Why do we run ourselves into a storm that blurs the world as it should really be, leaving us blind to the reality that all we are doing is running from simplicity.

But how do we get to simple, when used to a momentum instilled by an insatiable yearning for purpose and meaning? By understanding that purpose and meaning are not found by racing the storm. It is found by defying the urge to run from life in a simpler form.

There is a beauty in this.

Our family was used to living off of two incomes. But after two years of surgeries, procedures and medical bills as well as all of the expenses that come with running a household of six from my bed, we have learned to live without the things we once ran so hard to achieve.

I accomplished much in my career. But what did it all really mean, if it took away from the very essence of what life was supposed to be?

Life is now about living for moments that breathe. When my child weaves her fingers into my own without a word. When my husband holds me into his chest and his chin rests on my head. It is for saying no to things that keep us apart and yes to folding within. It is about doing without all the things that used to be the reason why we lived. We eat in more often and share stories we hear. The kids understand this is a different year. But nothing about what has changed makes them sad. Because having less than we did means we have more that will last.

The tree is done. I rise to place a red bow on the top. We retreat to our room after tucking the littlest one snugly in her bed.

The fan spins the air above our heads. His lips place a peace above my eyes. The world slips into a void beneath the bed where things are lost with time.
I roll over into a darkness so sweet, I wonder how I could have ever enjoyed a different taste. The lights on the tree are wrapped this year, with winds of a storm that have changed.


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