Tuesday, November 9, 2010 arrived with a clear early morning that promised to become a chilly, sunny, and typically autumn day. I zipped my coat, buckled my helmet strap, unlocked my bike, and headed off to work. A few minutes later, a garbage truck crossed a bike lane to make a right turn. I was in that bike lane. The tires of the truck crushed my left leg and caused other internal injuries. An amazing team of trauma surgeons saved my life, but they had to amputate my leg to do so.

The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. Confucius.

In July 2011, I set off to walk a thousand miles as an above-knee amputee in my new prosthesis. The journey has held more twists, turns, and detours than I ever imagined.

I reached Mile 1000 on March 30, 2013.

But of course, that wasn't the end.

I'll keep walking!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Perfect Gift

A gift from Marla :)
Mile Marker 85:

Mile 85 unfolded
Like a true birthday fest,
Wrapped up with the people
And things I loved best.

Cousin Tray and I spent
A nice, calm Friday night,
With sushi delivery
To our restful delight.

Then Saturday added
More cousins and fun.
With Betsy and Zak,
Who’s a little past one.

And later that evening
I gathered my team,             And we toasted the future   Over Thai and ice cream.

When out on the sidewalk,
South Street came alive.
And a passerby asked,
“Are you old enough to drive?!”

A walk Sunday morning
With Mark, Tray, and Jack,
Tested out my new leg and
Tucked a mile in my sack.

And when our jaunt finished,
We hit “Pete’s” to rest
*Click to see the answer!
With the whole skater crowd
Plus an unexpected guest!*

(*Hint: Someone who's been here these 42 years.
Meeting each challenge with me, through love and through tears.)

Then my cake was alight 
With those bright dancing flames, 
So I drew in my breath --

And I wished for…

‘Cause just in that moment
My wishes came true
And all I could think
Was a simple THANK YOU!

Some gifts come in paper
And others in ribbon,
But mine was a weekend
To enjoy all I’m given.

Thank you, everybody, for helping me celebrate my special day this year!  

I'll always remember
Mile Marker 85 and Birthday #42.


  1. A perfect poem and a perfect weekend of celebration! Did you notice the picture of all of us eating ice cream actually caught the "guy from South Philly" who said he could parallel park - but couldn't in the end!!! A fun night and I'm glad we were there to help you celebrate!

  2. Actually, I DID notice him back there! I like how you put "guy from South Philly" in quotes...because we all know if he was really from South Philly, his parallel parking skills would have been a lot better!!

    Fun times!! Loved having you there for my celebration!

  3. Loved your poem, loved your birthday celebration, love you 42 years ago, and love you now. Your blog is a treasure... so authentic, so elequent, so genuine in expressing the intelligent, courageous, fragile, sensitive, complex thoughts and feelings that are so much a part of you. Keep writing... for yourself and for others. You never know whose hearts may be touched and inspired by your words. Through smiles and tears, they always give me strength. THANK YOU for all you are:)

  4. Great weekend!! And thanks to Mark, the scheming car valet that allowed your Mom (and the cake)to sneak into the birthday brunch. Jack seemed to like the party too. Let's not forget our favorite server Mary Lou who was in on the surprise.

  5. Forgot to add this. When South Philly dude wanted to park the car, he started to hand his milk shake to the slightly odd, good samaritan woman standing there. He started to give it to her, then looked at her and said, "No, you'll drink it." He then put it somewhere else. I thought it was the funniest moment of the night.

  6. I read back through the Candles chapter and I looked again at the photo of your birthday cake at Little Pete's. And then...I searched for your prophetic words. "I’ll need a very big cake this year. So get your sunglasses ready. The light will be visible for miles and miles. You’ll see it wherever you are." That was the biggest flame on any birthday cake that I've ever seen. I can't wait until next year's celebration.