Hello and welcome back to SK.
It feels great to be posting again, but we have to admit that my publicist and I are not always happy with every post. We spend time researching the facts then try to shape them into an enjoyable and poignant read short enough for you to absorb and move on with your lives. But we have this problem: time.
Often, we have so much information and so little time, that we finally give in and give a post a once over before slapping it up there. Like yesterday, for instance, there was so much more we wanted to say about the absurdity of child beauty pageants, but it got to the point that if we didn’t just get over ourselves and post, it would never have run.
How can we possibly save the world from itself if we keep getting interrupted with the minutia of daily life?
To quote William Faulkner: “In writing, you must kill all your darlings.”
So, there you are. We’ve got dead darlings on scraps of paper all over the place. So is the life of the writer.
Today, Sept. 26, 2013, we wanted to make sure our post was perfect, (which will never happen) because we have a lot to cover. We’re going to tie in Michael J. Fox, Linda Ronstadt and a Lady Who Had a Baby in a Tree. Stay with us. We’ll make it happen.
Fellow blogger Bruce K. Thiesen inspired today’s post. A few weeks ago, Bruce’s blog “Ram On,” (excellent read, btw) featured a piece on singer Linda Ronstadt’s news that she had Parkinson’s disease.
Parkinson’s disease is a horrible and sadly chronic condition caused by the death of brain cells that control the central nervous system. More than 1 million Americans suffer from it, and upwards of 60,000 are diagnosed every year.
Parkinson’s came into the limelight in the late 1990s when actor/comedian Michael J. Fox announced that he was diagnosed several years earlier. My publicist and I are fans of both Linda and Michael. (Ask her brothers about her incessant playing of “Blue Bayou.”) She has almost all of Linda’s albums and has even seen her in concert a few times. Sadly, there will be no more touring as Parkinson’s has robbed Linda of the ability to sing.
This spring my publicist’s friend AG suggested she read Michael J. Fox’s book “Lucky Man.” She kept it on the shelf for awhile then eventually picked it up. She was hooked right away. The book, written by the Reagan-loving Alex Keaton, was an autobiography that delved into Michael’s childhood to super-stardom, to his work to help fund and find a cure for Parkinson’s.
Michael did not come from privileged stock, but a humble working-class Canadian family. He could not even afford a telephone while a struggling actor, and had to negotiate some of his biggest contracts via a payphone in an LA parking lot.
But, you know what? He did it and that much more. When doctors told him that Parkinson’s would limit his acting career, he was depressed at first, but lifted himself up and decided to see how much he could still accomplish. He produced and starred in a celebrated sitcom “Spin City,” and has been guest on various programs, such as “The Good Wife.” The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research is making excellent strides. Parkinson’s has not kept him from his passion.
Tonight, his new program, “The Michael J. Fox Show” premieres on NBC. The premise for the show, he said in an interview, was to let the world know that our abilities are limitless. Michael, who apparently has always been a positive person, said the point was really driven home when he heard the story of a woman who gave birth in a tree.
This is a true story. In March 2000, a fatal 3-day flood washed out a series of villages in Mozambique, killing up to 800 people and destroying the homes and livelihoods of millions. As the flood waters were coming in, Sofia Chubango (other sources give her an entirely different name) was ready to give birth. She pulled herself into a tree, climbed above the flood waters and remained there for three days. The hitch is, this 24-year-old not only clung 24/7 to the Tree of Life, she also gave birth in it.
Imagine giving life while clinging to life.
Sofia gave birth to a healthy baby girl. The family has since grown – in more conventional methods, and all are well.
Sofia continues to view her unique delivery as a gift.
Michael J. Fox has made it a parenting theme.
“A lady had a baby in a tree. What do you got?,” he said he tells his children whenever they wail about some injustice or obstacle. That usually shuts down their complaining, he said, and they eventually figure out how to solve their problem.
It’s an excellent concept and one he is incorporating into his new series. It’s one we all should ponder whenever we are up against something that seems impossible to survive.
Many thanks to Bruce, Linda, Michael and of course Sofia for reiterating that every hurdle can be cleared.