Last week my dad and I had the opportunity to meet Maria Shriver at a book signing for her new book, I’ve Been Thinking…Reflections, Prayers, and Meditations for a Meaningful Life. Ever since I wrote for her last year I had hoped I would get the chance to thank her in person for giving me the opportunity to share my story with her readers and when I found out should would be in Phoenix I jumped at the chance to meet her. My dad, also a fan, was excited too! So as we waited I began to wonder if she would remember me and my story. I know she has many people writing for her and I also knew she wouldn’t have much time to speak with us so my thoughts started to churn about what I would say. I had told my dad that I had worked closely with her communications director and he overheard her name somehow in the crowd and called her over to us. She remembered me and greeted me so warmly. As we approached Maria and I introduced myself, Elena - the Boston Marathon survivor who had written for her, I was completely touched and surprised that she too remembered me! I told her about Jeff’s goal to finally finish the marathon this year and that the kids and I were going to be there to cheer him on and she insisted I write for her again! We hugged, she took a photo with us, she personalized my book, and took the time to make me feel special. Maria is a true genuine treasure and her newest book is filled with insight and life lessons that have filled my soul. I hope to be contributing to her website soon after the marathon...I'll keep you all posted on that project!
Two nights ago I had the chance to meet up with one of my survivor sisters who was in town visiting friends. We had met last November at the Strength to Strength retreat in NYC but didn’t get to have much one-on-one time because there were so many people there. I had been looking forward to spending time with her because we share something unique in our stories – we both were hospitalized for our PTSD symptoms.
We had so much to talk about and though I must admit I was exhausted from being out way past my bedtime – my heart and soul are so happy from the few hours we spent together. She is about five years ahead of me in her healing journey and the experiences, therapy ideas, and support she offered me gave me a renewed sense of hope that only she could give. She would start sharing a detail of her growth or a painful part of her journey and I felt as if I was speaking to myself in the mirror. I had many tears of course – the healing kind that feel good to release.
As I work hard these last few weeks leading up to the marathon, I am so grateful that I’ve had these two experiences to fill my soul and inspire me to keep moving, fighting, and blooming. Sometimes we all need a push and these two ladies, unknowingly, have propelled me forward.