ABOUT MARY ~
Mary is a "late-blooming" 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 & most purposeful.
Mary's personal & professional background is filled with an eclectic combination of business & art (e.g., music, performing arts, 15 years sales/marketing & special events 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, life as she knew it would be dramatically & forever altered by the diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) at age 35. Several years passed, searching for answers to unknown questions. This loss of reality, normalcy, & PURPOSE needed to be reinvented - renewed - rewritten. This disease is not a "one size firs all." MS affects everyone differently & can morph unpredictably, silently, relentlessly... day to day. It's not easy to figure out how to deal with disease & this vile invasion of an uninvited, unwanted "internal room-mate." Eventually, Mary also sought the help of a professional therapist which helped her learn important coping skills needed to tame/calm mood disorders & to encourage healthy ways in which to purge the noisy chaos inside the brain. And so the writing began... as did a newfound passion & purpose. This journey of reinvention became plausible via Mary's background & her desire to discover new creative outlets. As a student for life, Mary continues to explore & study the health benefits from turning off our "auto pilot switch" & instead focus on learning - consume new information & participate in new activities (Neuroplasticity). The gift of "resilience" is a glorious, powerful tool which stems from the endurance of life & it's many challenges. Resilience forces us to rise up & learn face issues (new & old) head on. Focus on the important things in life. Laugh & live selflessly with compassion, purose & passion.
Connect with Mary at:
🔸Twitter: @pettigrew66, @MSpals
Acknowledgments and Press ~
* Creator & Co-founder of MSpals: A Global Organization (2014 - present)
* Administrator & contributing author of content, posts, & interviews on the MSpals website:
~ 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:
iConquerMS/The Accelerated Cure Project
Life experiences mold us into
Who we are – who we will become.
Challenges we face test & teach
Skills, tools to navigate through
Life with wisdom, strength, &
Incendiary resilience, however
Today is a different day…
THIS is a different world
As we witness drama & damage
Day after day – time after time.
We seem to have become numb,
Desensitized to senseless acts.
I grieve for today’s youth &
Generations future who’ll not
Be privy to know, feel, or
Understand what once was –
To live in a time of innocence.
It’s been awhile since I’ve written any new blog posts or poetry. I actually have several posts sitting in my draft queue, yet I haven’t been able to focus on the minimal editing needed to make them publishable.
I don’t think I’d label my recent hiatus as “writer’s block” though. I’m somewhat scattered – the stories, words are there, but my mind, body, & soul have been on emotional & sensory overload due to the ongoing drama of current & recent events. I’m exhausted – a feeling which extends far beyond the definition of the word.
As Hurricane Harvey began its angry approach upon Texas, I became fully absorbed, inundated with discomfort, anxiety, & fear for the safety of numerous friends who were forced to evacuate or remain in harms way. It’s an awful feeling to be so invested, yet unable to actively help from afar.
Without reprieve to rest or breathe after Harvey finally disappeared, other events unexpected (for me personally & otherwise) became daily taunts – testing our/my strength & resiliency to withstand yet another “calm before the storm” named Irma. This bitch has trampled everything in her path towards & into the entire state of Florida. However, this storm isn’t near finished… she wants more. Both storms, plus a massive earthquake in Mexico have “succeeded” to make history & to make their catastrophic presence known around the world.
The fact I’m writing this essay with intent to publish it today is cathartic. I’ve needed to purge this toxic anxiety & feel it’s time to reboot, recharge, & embrace the heartache. Slowly, I’ll start to gather together the scattered thoughts & stories in my head & put into words on paper… it’s time to write.