Mental Health Monday: You Can’t Stop This Dancer

Nicole Marquez

Nicole Marquez

Five weeks ago today I was at Sacred Heart Trauma Center in Pensacola, Florida, having the first two surgeries following my car accident the night before.  I’ve had one more surgery back home in Memphis, and I’m about half way through my journey towards being able to walk again. Well, not quite half, but I’m on the way.

I’ve had my ups and downs. After a wonderful weekend visit from my best friend from Little Rock, Daphne Davenport, my spirits were greatly lifted. She brought fresh summer veggies and cooked for us all weekend. She gave me back and hand and foot massages. She brought great comfort and joy to me and also to my husband.

And then late last night I had another mini meltdown… tears and frustration after an hour of not being able to get comfortable enough to go to sleep. Finally, shored up with several more pillows, hugs and hand-holding by my sweet husband, I fell asleep.

This morning we went for an appointment at the general medicine “Coumadin Clinic” at The Med, because of the anti-coagulation shots I’ve been taking. Sitting in the waiting room with people in various states of physical impairment, I again had the opportunity to be thankful that my situation isn’t worse. And then a well-dressed, clean-shaven African American man walked in and began to “preach.” He wasn’t offensive or loud. He simply quoted Scripture and shared admonishments with everyone in the waiting room. He’s probably schizophrenic, but he was at least enough in his right mind to be at an appointment at The Med. I couldn’t concentrate to read the book I was trying to read on my new Kindle Paperwhite, so I just listened to the preacher and watched the other people in the waiting room until it was my turn to see the doctor. And then I found myself praying for each of them to find healing—for their bodies and souls and minds. Especially for the preacher.

Nicole shortly after her fall.

Nicole shortly after her fall.

Physically I’m having a bit more pain in my neck and shoulders today, so I’m not going to spend much time here at the computer. But I wanted to share something—or rather someone—with my blog readers, if you don’t already know her. Her name is Nicole Marquez. Her mother, Susan, and I became friends a few years ago through the writing world, and I finally met Nicole in person earlier this year on one of my visits to Jackson, Mississippi. If you don’t know Nicole’s story, read about her here, and be sure and click on the video on the home page, and more videos here. Five years ago, Nicole fell six stories from her apartment roof in New York City, and not only lived, but lived to dance again. What she has been through in the way of pain and struggle on the road to recovery makes my own sufferings seem small.

Nicole has become my inspiration, and I wanted to share her story with my readers. She’s in the business of hope. I’m tapping into her limelight today, and I hope you will, too.

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