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           A hot summer day: Fun on the water: Boats and skis and laughter and tragedy. One moment she was laughing the next she was in the water, terribly injured and fighting for her life. Is this how it happened? Frankly I don’t know. I do know it was a boating accident but the rest is not important and I don’t want her to relive that day, those months of healing just so I can get it right. I just know it hurt and it was hard, very hard.

 Joanie inspires me.

 I met Joanie at my hair stylist’s shop. She works as a manicurist. That’s right she works. She doesn’t sit at home wallowing in self pity. She is a productive member of society and she has quite a clientele because she smiles, and laughs and enjoys life. Joanie, my friend, with her one good leg and her two crutches and her lust for life.

 There are a multitude of clichés we could employ concerning Joanie, but all fall short of her reality. Try, just for a few minutes, to do the things she does in the course of your day, with only one leg, with or without crutches, but without complaining.

 I, like you, live a complicated, challenging life with a myriad of difficulties. I complain, work to change things I don’t like - and then I remember Joanie, and I am ashamed.

  I believe God smiles when He thinks of Joanie, in fact I know He does because sometimes when I see the smile on her face and hear her laughter; sometimes I think I see the curtain that separates this world from His, part ever so slightly, and I see God smile through Joanie from the inside.

 Thank you, Joanie, you inspire us all.

 John, 2003




Copyright © 2017 John H Dumke