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The dark hours of intense terror and devastation had descended.........it was in that darkest moment, filled with grief and despair that Chelsea made her move.


As we tend to look back now at the closing of this year, 2004, we are reminded of many warriors and heros that we have met throughout this past year. There are so many. Heros, from our point of view, are those souls amongst us that seemingly claim victory over the most horrendous circumstances and show us, by their example, how to be courageous.

One young woman who touched us deeply with her strength and her "never-say-die" attitude, is from our own home town in which we reside. We had both watched her growth from a young beautiful, dancing child into womanhood. She was beautiful, bright, talented and spiritual. She was a dancer, an actor, a writer, a producer and an artist. Her dream was one day to be on Broadway.

In the midst of preparing for her future, life came up against Chelsea as a full force hurricane would come up against a beautiful sailboat floating peacefully on calm waters. It was completely unexpected. And it literally shook the world of everyone who knew her. This lesson was to be one that many of us, in her situation, would have failed. Just days before her 17th birthday, Chelsea woke up to a drama that would change her for the rest of her life.

As she was preparing for school early one morning this past January, she realized she was having difficulty with her legs. She said they felt very heavy and thinking she was still tired, returned to bed to rest a bit longer. When she awoke, Chelsea was unable to walk. She had become paralyzed from the waist down. There had been no warning and there didn't seem to be a cause. Everyone who knew her was shocked and praying for the best.

In the weeks and months ahead Chelsea became a hero to all of us. She went through every emotion one could only imagine when she was told that it was possible that she may never walk again. The dark hours of intense terror and devastation had descended. While she was relating the agony of those moments to us recently, our minds couldn't help but ask the question, "What would I have done?" right there, in her body with those exact same circumstances? She had reached a crossroads....... a test for the rite of passage to a higher spiritual level. She was at a fork in the road with the most important decision of her life. She could give up, relent her energy and her will to live. She could accept her circumstances and perhaps even become a victim. And who could have ever blamed her had she chosen that road? She could also fight for recovery and learn the lessons that were meant to bring her unequivocal wisdom. It was in that darkest moment filled with grief and despair that Chelsea made her move. It was that precise moment in time that another hero was born. She chose to fight, to endure the most trying times one could imagine and to emerge a winner no matter what her future would bring.

The other night while we enjoyed each other's company, we couldn't help noticing that during the past 11 months, a brand new spirit had risen. It was that voice that said, "I can do anything. I can be anyone and no matter what comes before me, I will rise and I will 'choose' to live my life with passion." And everyone who knew her, heard her voice and witnessed her amazing determination.

We wanted to share a very small part of Chelsea's story with you to give you hope and encouragement that no matter where you find yourself at this very moment in time, you are still in control. You are still the "only" one who makes the decision how the remainder of your journey will be played out.


In this last month of 2004, let each of us take some time to reflect on our own experiences and our own decisions of the past year. Let us bury that which does not serve to lift us up and choose to walk in the light. Very shortly we will be entering a new year. A time of new beginnings, of new experiences and of new glories!

We wish you and those you love a beautiful holiday season and as always...

...know that you are never alone and that the Great Mystery walks beside you and is with you on your journey.




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