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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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Saturday
May042013

Reggie Knows

I don't like to look at tissue boxes because they make me sad. I keep them hidden- inside my nightstand cabinet, under my bathroom sink. A friend of mine who had been through a million surgeries once told me, "Never let them see you sweat." So I let them hear me swear. But sweating is something I try to keep private. I hide the tissue boxes. The tissue box I actually like with cupcakes on it, however, leaves  flakes of anorexic paper embedded in my eyelashes. I wipe my eyes with my final heave, blow my nose and fold it into my hand to toss in the trash. Only I can't see the trash can. Because I suddenly see my room in a haze of white light, through the tissue flakes in my eyelashes. I then need to get up from my bed and make my way to the bathroom, for the other , better, box of tissues. The brand named one that doesn't flake, with the elegant lily on the box, but no cupcakes. So then I think about it and get tweaked that only the cheap tissues have cupcakes on the box. The cupcakes that are supposed to make me happy, but end up making my world hazy. The better tissues are now out on the counter for all to see. But I hate that box. It's boring. Boring makes me sad. But hey, I've got tissues!

But I also have my dog, Reggie. He never fails. He lays down next to my pillow, searching my whetted cheeks and swollen eyes, and knows, the tissues didn't work. He inches closer, his nose weaves to sense where to begin. I close my eyes and let him remove the salted stains and the haze of a life that is changed. I smell his breath but don't care that it smells. Because the lily on the box was boring and made me sad. I close my mouth and dare not to breathe in, but let him take care of the one thing he can fix. My heart.

I thank him, for making things better no matter how many tissue boxes are visible at the end of the day, cupcakes and all. Now if I could only find a box of tissues covered with Reggies, I just might leave them out on purpose, for all to see.

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