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Childhood reflections with a touch of grace: Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee

When I was 10 years old, I was sent to a Shriners Hospital for Children in Greenville, S.C. for a surgery that was supposed to extend my heel cord in my right foot. This would allow me to walk flat-footed like normal folks. Having been born with Cerebral Palsy, I had a few complications to deal with, most notably a shortened heel cord with the flexibility of a steel cable or a politician. The potential success of this surgery would bring me great relief, while failure would provide great grief….

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Childhood reflections with a touch of grace: Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee

In every child’s life, there comes the time for an encounter with bullies. It’s a fact of life and all the ad campaigns and positive messaging in the world will never eliminate it completely. Some kids enjoy a mean-spirited version of fun. It came as no surprise to me that on a bone chilling, brutally cold morning, I received what all children come to expect when exhaling creates frosty imitations of cumulus clouds climbing high into the atmosphere. As I dutifully waited at the bus stop for the familiar ride…

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Childhood reflections with a touch of grace: Taste bud trauma

Early on in life, I discovered that I had a sensitive palette. For instance, in my world, milk was meant only for the cereal bowl and only in a specific quantity, so that the cereal didn’t become soggy. Milk was only fit for drinking if it was extremely cold and surrounded by a dozen Oreos. Not to milk the subject, but there were other potential hazards associated with drinking milk, like expiration dates. These dates were scientifically calculated down to the last potential seconds of freshness for a carton of…

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Childhood reflections with a touch of grace: Colonoscopies and other near death experiences

I’ve had my share of near-death experiences. I was predicted to be still born. Skipped that. I discovered that I couldn’t breathe under water when I was seven, but received a helping hand from a guardian angel and I’ve driven myself in and out of danger more times than I can count. I’ve also had at least one tornado dance right over the top of my home, destroying only trees and leaving me intact. Once, I was awakened by a violent downburst that was raging in the middle of the…

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