How amazing is it to be seen for who you really are? I had the recent honor of working with MariCris, of MC Photography, LLC and her images seem to capture the essence of who I am. Not only is she a true artist, but she is an inspiration for those of us who want to make the world a better place because she donates part of her earnings to entrepeneurial women in the Phillipines.
Of our photoshoot, she wrote on her blog that I am a “very genuine person with a lot of passion”. And of the images, this is what she saw:http://vimeo.com/97374201
Let’s all make the world a better place by seeing people because they’re beautiful.
So here it is: I’m in a documentary film. A documentary film about my life and my life with limb loss.
Friday’s filming took me back to my accident scene. Back to a memory that stops with me leaving my friend’s house; looking down the driveway slope; looking both ways; and crossing the street. Then nothingness.
I looked at the blacktop and saw my six year old self with my mom at my side, surrounded by our neighbors and friends.
My mom was in Friday’s filming. Her recollection is now my recollection. I never knew that someone put a blue blanket on my legs. I never knew that I was so close to home. And I never knew that the truck driver stood behind the truck – throwing up.
As I stood there, I was overcome with an overwhelming sense of gratitude. Gratitude for my brother who ran home yelling that “some dumb truck hurt Leslie”. Gratitude that my dad followed my ambulance as we went to three different hospitals that was equipped to save my life. And gratitude for my mom’s encouraging persistence that I sing “Jesus Loves Me” to remain conscious, to stay alive.
When asked why I’m doing the film, I said “it’s time”. It’s time to toss aside this mask of stoicism behind which I hide. It’s time to hide no more and to show the world one face that has a story worth sharing.
I’m one in million but how selfish would I be to keep my story inside? It’s about sharing this gift so other similarly situated people can live a better life. Be the good.
I really need to start keeping a journal and writing stuff down. Last week, I was in Boston about to meet people who would change my life (but that’s another posting). This week, I was a guest speaker for a book event. Not just any book event, but a book event for a book in which my story is being written. What?!?!?
As I was telling my story, I looked around the room at women wiping away their tears and realized that I’ve got a good story to share. And I also realized that it’s about time to share my story to more people. Not that it’s better than anyone else’s, it’s just different. But by sharing my story and by encouraging other people to share their own, unique stories, we learn more about each other. We learn that we all have stories to share. And we learn that by sharing these stories, we dispel stereotypes and we dispel misconceptions. We teach others about compassion, tolerance, and acceptance.
So, if my story, by virtue of this book, teaches one person one life lesson, then good has been done. Here’s to being officially dubbed a “Sister with a Purpose”.