For Charlie ~ On His 14th Birthday

My wonderful nephew is growing up so fast – makes me sad and happy at the same time.  I wrote this and gave it to him last month on his birthday.  Writing this and watching his face as he read it meant a lot to me…and I think it meant a lot to him too. 


Artist: Peter Max



For Charlie ~ On His 14th Birthday
I see you
And, I’m proud.
Though, not always frequent
Or up close and personal
I see you
And I’m proud.
From early tow-headed toddler days
When all you needed was your ragged
“Peelow”.  Torn up from constant cuddles,
And daily affections –
To Cowboys and Madden obsessions.
Excelling in sports yourself, such strength,
Prowess in athletic and academia talent.
I see you now…
And, I’m proud.
Although, sad to see you grow,
Faster – too fast – year after year
You’re now a young man cub –
A young man with a future so dazzling
I’m thrilled for you, the thought makes me smile…
Because I see you
And, I’m proud.
 
With compassion, you look out for others
Protecting those around you –
With humor, you remain grounded,
Overcome challenges, lightening up drama –
With determined focus, you possess a maturity
Stronger than myself, at age 14.
I know this because
I see you
And, I’m proud.
My wish for you on this day,
This year – your 14th birthday, is this:
Celebrate the YOU yesterday and today –
Celebrate the YOU yet to come.
Be proud of yourself, embrace the gift that isYOU –
So deserved, earned over the years –
See yourself then, now, and tomorrow
And, be proud!


Author: Mary

ABOUT MARY ~ Mary is a patient advocate for MS, chronic illness & disabilities. She is a freelance writer from Texas who enjoys exploring a variety of different styles & genres, however her deep passion for creative writing (poetry, essay, narrative interview & non-fiction) remains unwavering & purposeful. Mary's personal & professional background is an eclectic compilation consisting of the fine arts, civil rights advocacy, fundraising with 15 years in sales/marketing & event planning in the private club industry. Mary is a 1990 graduate from The University of North Texas with a B.S. in Hotel/Restaurant Management. In 2001, Mary was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. Within a few years, health issues forced her to resign from the career she loved. As her marriage began to crumble, Mary was keenly aware of the emotional & mental crisis firmly taking hold. Eventually, she sought the help of a professional therapist which helped her learn the important coping skills needed to tame/calm mood disorders & to encourage healthy ways in which to purge the noisy chaos inside the brain. This loss of reality, normalcy, & PURPOSE needed to be reinvented, renewed & rewritten...NOW! The divorce & all related proceedings lasted an unfathomable six years, yet it was the therapy, communities & her writing which kept her most grounded. Each poem a cathartic purge, each word a therapeutic tool meant for healing & to inspire resilience. Blindsided by this newfound purpose & passion, Mary continues writing & exploring a plethora of multimedia outlets to this day. Her writing, networking & advocacy projects target the MS, chronic illness & disability communities. Her interactive presence can be seen throughout social media. Although MS is the primary community in which she advocates, Mary enjoys playing an active role in other patient communities (bloggers, writers, music, live chats, special events, & many more. One of the key messages Mary continues to emphasize is how chronic illness can affect everyone differently. MS is a prime example in that we are not a "one size fits all." This disease called MS is a conundrum in every which way. To this day, research continues, yet we still don't know the root cause for MS, yet current findings now show "risk factors" for the disease. MS can morph as it sees fit to do so. Unpredictably, silently, sometimes relentlessly this MS becomes an uninvited, unwanted "internal room-mate." Mary's overall background & her desire to discover herself & new creative outlets was a plus. A renewed student for life, Mary continues to explore the unknown - Once you switch off your "auto pilot" it's amazing what you can see & do. Place focus on learning, consume new information & participate in activities uncharted or foreign (The science of Neuroplasticity). All of this is most DEFINITELY a work in progress, but remember to focus most on the important things in life. Laugh out loud & live selflessly with compassion, purpose & unbridled passion. Connect with Mary at: 🔸Twitter: @pettigrew66, @MSpals 🔸Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Mary.patriciapettigrew 🔸LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/maryppettigrew 🔸Instagram: 🔸https://www.mspals.wordpress.com Acknowledgments and Press ~ UPDATES TO COME * Creator & Co-founder of MSpals: A Global Organization (2014 - present) * Administrator & contributing author of content, posts, & interviews: MSpals blog: https:/:www.mspals.wordpress.com ~ The Summer of Sport: Forward Poetry 2012 ~ Poetry Rivals Collection 2013 ~ Something On Our Minds Vol.III ~ Something On Our Minds Vol IV. Interviews: National Multiple Sclerosis Society's "Momentum Magazine" ~ 2013 = Art Therapy & MS ~ 2015 = Connecting Via Social Media Other works also featured on a variety of blogs, websites, videos, as well as other multimedia platforms including: www.pajamadaze.com www.disabled-world.com www.HealthCentral.com www.MyCounterpane.com www.MS&MeRadio/TBI Network iConquerMS/The Accelerated Cure Project WEGO Health - Patient Leader HealtheVoices - Patient Leader MS Focus - Monthly contributor

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