A miracle or a message?

If you don’t believe in miracles, this story might convert you. It appeared in the May 10 issue of the New York Times on its obituary page.

The deceased was Marsha Mason, who died at 71 in her sleep. Nothing unusual there.

However, since she was about 11, Mason’s home was an iron cylinder as long as Wilt Chamberlain and similar in weight to a full-grown tiger: an iron lung.

Paralyzed from polio in 1948, doctors gave her no more than a year to live. But not only did she survive the first year, she lived for more than 50 years despite her immobility.

Fifty years despite not being able to move a muscle; however, she never let her disability prevent her from living to the best of her ability. She gave dinner parties and loved to socialize with the people who visited her.

What was the secret to her longevity? The Times article said Mason credited it to the fact that it was “because she was endlessly curious and there was so much to learn.”

In 1960, she graduated from Wake Forest College with a bachelor’s degree in English. She ranked #1 in her graduating class.

She also loved to write. She wrote articles for a local newspaper by  dictating them to her mother. And when a voice-activated computer became available to her, she wrote a memoir, Breath: Life in the Rhythm of an Iron Lung, which is listed on amazon.com.

Her life can teach us all an important lesson: Whatever your circumstances, don’t resist them. Be fully open to them. And find a passion that makes you look forward to every new day.

Next time I feel sorry for myself, I’m going to think of Marsha Mason, a truly amazing woman.

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