Living with an incurable, extremely rare and progressively debilitating muscle disease is not something that anyone should ever experience in their life. It is definitely not a character builder. I've found it to be highly imposing, quietly relentless, considerably disruptive and very emotionally challenging. Yet, I feel I'm being incredibly blessed, by the grace of God, to fully experience and actively pursue what I clearly recognize as a divinely-inspired journey. This began with the divine inspiration I received that early morning in late July of 2013. I've slept (nightly) in a hydraulic lift-chair since March of 2012. My memory of this message remains so vivid. It's like I just received it. It was communicated in such a way that there was no indecision. I needed (and definitely became spiritually-driven) to pursue the writing of what became my first book. After literally only a couple of seconds..the book's title 'definitively came to me'. It had to be You Must Answer This. It has been very clear for quite some time that this is all much bigger than me. I honestly feel as driven today as I did when I first started writing the outline for You Must Answer This on August 11th of 2013.
December 17th of 2014 represented my 50th presentation since March 6th of 2014. As of November 16th of 2016, I'd thankfully given 146 presentations within a 100-mile radius of our home. This year's current schedule will bring this total to over 185. Who would have ever thought this would be the case? I certainly didn't. I have been blessed to speak at numerous libraries, care facilities and nursing homes, at various seniors' centers, to church associated seniors, bereavement and spirituality groups, to varied support groups (including Parkinson's, cancer survivors, MDA, ALS and caregivers), to numerous community-based organizations, at a church and chapel and also as part of a local college's speaker series during the week of Thanksgiving. My wife and caregiver, Julie, retired from teaching at the end of the 2013-2014 school year. Thankfully, presentations now incorporate Julie's wonderful input as well. People typically both underestimate and overlook the dramatic impact which living with and caring for a loved one with a formidable disability also has on the life of the devoted caregiver.
My second book, I Promise I'll Pay Attention, also began with divine inspiration in March of 2015. This is an issues-based book in contrast to my first book which is stories-based. Like the first, it also needed to be told and shared with others. I asked my awesome wife Julie to write two and a half chapters and her inspiring cousin (who's had cerebral palsy since birth) to write another. I'm very confident readers will find this book will provide some invaluable insight they'll be able to incorporate into the living of their own lives.
My third book, When the Time Is Right, is a message-based book that is both thought-provoking and enlightening. It examines my evolved perspectives on a number of different topics.
Each of the books are inspirational, positively-focused and hope-filled. I consistently find myself feeling highly energized and emotionally-engaged in these efforts. God willing, I will be able to continue to bring some positive insight and encouragement to those I am able to touch. I sincerely believe that my purpose, the rest of my life, is to help other people maintain (or acquire) a sense of hope and be genuinely encouraged.