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Speak Softly, Carry a Big Stick

August 29, 2009

If I ever write my autobiography I will call it “Speaking Softly While Carrying a Big Stick.”  It suits me.  I’ve been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis for over 16 years and have walked with a cane for the past 4.  Not just any cane, mind you.  Nothing industrial.  If a cane is going to be my most prominent fashion accessory, then it better be fashionable. I have a beautiful collection.  My two favorites are a black one with a silver horse head that my father gave me and one that hides a small flask of scotch.  I don’t drink scotch, but it makes me smile to know I have a little along for the ride.  It’s a secret I keep to remind myself that when people see the cane they don’t know the whole story.  They don’t know that I was diagnosed when I was just 26 and newly married.  They don’t know that I used to climb mountains and spent a summer carrying a 50lb pack 150 miles over Wyoming’s Wind River Range.  They don’t know I have a beautiful 12-year old son who thinks I can do (almost) anything.  They don’t know that I am the founder and CEO of a very successful marketing and communications firm.  There is so much they don’t know, but I see them stop and wonder as I pass by.  Occasionally a young child will come right out and ask me, “Why do you have that?” And I want to lean in and whisper, “Because things don’t always work out the way you plan them.”

Posted in: - Tagged (4): canes, sticks, walking, multiple sclerosis