IMG_1600-2That moment when a complete stranger, with tear-filled eyes, embraces you and thanks you for “sharing your journey”, is the moment when you realize that life’s events happen for a reason.

There is no greater gift.
With heartfelt gratitude for this life I’ve been given and for every new lesson I learn.
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On the eve of the day on which we are reminded to give thanks, I am ever more grateful for this life I’ve been given.

Like all of you, my life continues to shower me with gifts; with lessons; and with people who compel me to shine, to thrive, and to soar.

And so, on the eve of day on which we give thanks; I thank all of those who have held my hand, who have supported me, and who continue to push me to follow my dreams in making the world a better place.

Forever grateful for this life I’ve been given. And giving thanks to those make my life complete.


Christmas is about giving.  And it’s also about recognizing that life’s greatest gifts are not store-bought, nor come wrapped in packages.   For me, this year filled my life with people who changed my life and experiences that filled my soul with meaning.  
As my gift to you, I share with you part of a speech I gave last summer.  I hope it’s message brings a smile to your heart…Merry Christmas.
Be the good. Believe there is good in the world. Good will prevail. Three powerfully simple phrases I saw written on a poster at a make-shift memorial in Boston seven months ago. Three powerfully impactful philosophies by which I want to live my life and through which I want to see the world, especially in tumultous times. This is what they mean to me. Be the Good. Do good. See the world with open eyes, every day. Constantly seek opportunites to help yourself and to help others. Do it for the sake of beneficiance and never for the purpose of self-promotion. Trust your instincts. Go to sleep each night knowing that you have not walked away from someone, or something, that made you uncomfortable because chances are, your discomfort pales in comparison to theirs. Believe there is good in the world. Know that the goodness of humanity always outweighs its atrocities. Know that logic and reasoning can never explain why bad things happen to good people. And if there was ever some sort of “justification” for it, consider that people, both individually and collectively, become stronger, become unified, become one humanity. Good will prevail. People act. People unite. People emphasize. Goodness will multiple a thousand-fold wherein one good deed, or thought, will inspire a myriad of other good deeds and thoughts. And if I could add one more, it is to be grateful. Accept life’s events as gifts, both good and bad, but especially those events that cause us harm. Use that which could limit your life to make your life limitless and to eventually accept it as a gift that you’ve been given to help others. While my life was forever changed when I was six years old after being hit by a gravel truck and losing my leg, that’s all I lost.  My life with limb loss has been the greatest gift I could have ever received in life.  For that, I am grateful.    Because of it, I’ve been given immeasurable opportunities to return the gift by helping others.  I’ve been given an amazing family and support network.  I’ve been given a tenacious and steadfastly determined spirit.  And I’ve been given the opportunity to tell another little girl that she would dance again only to have her return the “gift” by reaching out and touching my leg. 
For all of this, I am grateful. Be the good. 


20130916-220210.jpg After a busy day of running errands last week, I was greeted by a thick, beige envelope when I came home. In it, were postcards from people thanking me for my involvement with Wiggle Your Toes, a Minnesota non-profit on whose Board I serve. Though each handwritten card was signed with a first name only, each card bore a rubber stamp impression of the “Postcard Underground”.
My Google research revealed that the Postcard Underground is a highly secretive group of people who send gratitude postcards to people who have done something good. How they selected me is likely from a recent newspaper article in the Minneapolis Star Tribune but I’ll never know.
That they selected me is one of the kindest gestures I’ve experienced. And being the lucky recipient compels me to do even more good deeds. Not for notoriety but rather, for beneficence.

Be the good.

patsy karen nina mary