Category Archives: My Memoirs

Ahead of my 38th Birthday: My Gift to You with gratitude


contemplative-me-all-the-way
I got the best photgrapher for this one

 

Hello World,

The above pictures show a now, and all the years back … I love them both. In the meantime, what has that lady done with her life so much that she can offer you a gift of it? She has made several interesting twists and turns leading to discoveries which made her loathe herself more before finally loving herself whole. It is one of the memoirs in which I record some of my greatest fears in life and how I have learnt to face them throughout the years thanks in large part to life’s lessons and my shaggy self, which I am offering to you.

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What’s the Worst Case Scenario…

From the 18th of January – my birthday, to the 22nd of January, my fourth and toughest memoir to write, will be free on amazon kindle. I bet you it’ll make a good read. I also hope it’ll convey my gratitude to you all who have in one way or the other impacted me on my earthly journey. It also in total gratitude to my Almighty Father and Mother Nature, that I keep writing and sharing and appreciating and reading and loving and living. I once asked how many times one outght to say thank you, glad I got no answers for I know I’ll always do love saying thank you over and again.

So, without much ado, get your free kindle apps and get set to download this modest gift of mine to you. Tell your friends and family who may be interested in reading such a memoir, it’s also my modest contribution to mental health advocacy – shaming the stigma to be candid.

I know many people wish me well, I wish someone who reads this will go out of their way to honestly tell me what they think about it… it could generously be via a review on the amazon (such a big gift for me), or even here on my blog; whichever suits you. All I really want to say by this post and gesture is THANK YOU – because saying that has never gotten any ackward for me 🙂

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All four are free for four days…


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What’s the Worst Case Scenario…

Dear World, starting from my most recent publication above, to my Mea Culpa below:

My Unconventional Loves...
My Mea Culpa

Or wadding through my literary garden reading my brother’s journey :

or my resilience journey: all will be free for four days on kindle amazon.

Get your free kinlde appps; for those who don’t even know how to go about it, you need to download those apps before you can read any e-book On.

I leave us all with this excerpt from the afterword of my fourth memoir:

In my writings, I have come to transcend boundaries to the me I thought was long ‘dead’. That little troubled but hyper kid nicknamed ayo, that turbulent teenager fondly called by some ‘ayobebe’, ‘radicaux’, ‘zam zam’, that battered, tattered but not shattered woman and wife, that ‘guilt stricken‘ mother, that transformed young, dynamic, disciplined and dedicated lady with a new ‘soif’ for life. If I didn’t start writing my journeys down, starting with that first and most unconventional work in which I never spared my reputation even for a second, I wouldn’t be at the stage I am today. I mean seriously, I feel good. At my age, it’s one of those marvels and several people tell me I am very lucky.

From the 18th to the 21st of January 2016, get them four for free 🙂 Share this with all your networks, reading is so therapeutic too and it has taken me roaming and roving over and again 🙂

Thank you very much
Thank you very much

I now head off to the magical city of Kribi, had to be for a colleague’s wedding but am deviating to a me-treat ahead of my b-day. Kribi here I come, people see you on Monday 🙂

Warming up for Hawaii and the carribeans for my big 4 - if I get there :)
Warming up for Hawaii and the carribeans for my big 4 – if I get there 🙂

 

 

 

The Fear of Being Loved… WCS… Chapter 5


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What’s the Worst Case Scenario…
Who in their ‘right’ senses and emotions fears being loved? What is wrong with me that I would so long to be loved and yet end up often running away from this ‘love’? Could it be it was real? Why am I not so entertaining when some gentleman comes along and probably with a deep inhale starts to talk to me about ‘love’. Oh now I remember! I have several times thought it’s probably a spam, scam or mere spark. And yes, as much as a child seeks for attention and love, so too do they fear rejection and reproach. Maybe, it all started in my own childhood too, you know. Let me give it a glance.
In my previous memoirs, I have described the childhood and relationship I had with my parents. Each of them in their own respect. I know I was equally a difficult child, or so it is said. But what I know for sure, is that what I most longed for, I never got. I longed to be loved and not just looked at. I longed to be nurtured and not just noticed. I longed to be led and not just laughed at. I longed for a real relationship with either of them and not just be the receiver of so much unsolicited pampering or reproaches. I truly longed to be supported in my ‘difficult’ development and not just spanked to get it straight.
What I honestly think I got, was what probably the parent in question, given their own circumstances and probably childhood, did give. I reproach none of them any longer, no I have since moved on. Being a mother now, I try so hard to give all of what I missed to my boys, or to dialogue with them and get them trust me enough to open up to me. Yet, I have to explore this area of my life because I still feel the fear of being loved, because the ‘love’ I had before was so painful, has had such repercussions in my life and is still threatening to.
I grew up in a context and society where the norm was that ‘children were to be seen and not heard’. What do you have to say anyway, especially when adults who know it all are talking and making decisions probably even concerning you? What were your needs as a child? Simple there according to that context! You needed to be fed, to sleep, to dress up, to go to school and yes to church or wherever you were told to go, or taken along. Imagine what a difficult thing that was for ‘extroverts’ like me who could talk and ask all sorts of questions enough to become annoying and outright unruly. I am sure mum was overwhelmed, while dad thought trying his best to buy all those stuffs was good enough. And the gist is, some parents today still see it was best that way. For me, that context was devoid of ‘realness’ in that the parent-child relationship as such could be more out of moral, cultural, religious and otherwise obligation and fear, than love.
The irony about this chapter is that I am starting it just as someone is trying to ‘come into my life’ again. I don’t even know what to say or do. I just hope by the end of this chapter, I would have faced some of those stuffs deep within me which have pushed me to Fold Everything And Run one too many times. I want to be able to Face Everything And Rise when any love like gentleman comes along. I have to trust my instincts and reasons, not my emotions on their spur of a moment. And if it turns out to be a spam, scam or spark, I will try not to close that gate again, but rise and thrive. After all, so far so good to the extend that I who was once Battered, and tattered, fought hard enough not to be Shattered…
Dear World, such are the mussings and matters in this other memoir of mine.
Get your Kindle ready, the Bonanza runs from the 18th of January to the 21st. A day sort of for each book… that’s my birthday gift to us all with so much gratitude…
Thank you
Gratitude all the way

The Fear of Loving: Philophobia – Chapter six of WCS… Part 2


  1. What's the Worst Case Scenario...
    What’s the Worst Case Scenario…

    And there we go, with the probable causes! Glad to know I am not alone and hmm that maybe even the Queen of England was philophobic until she married her prince! The article concludes on her case thus: “Historians now believe that her condition might have arisen owing to the fact that she had seen her mother Anne Boleyn as well as her cousin executed for love. The fact that her own father was responsible for the execution might have made her believe that all romantic relationships have a tragic ending”.

    Philophobia symptoms vary from individual to individual:

  • Some people are so afraid of love that they cannot open up to anyone. They do have committed relationships, but cannot maintain any of them.

  • Their well being often depends on the responses they receive from the person they love. This can keep them high strung and anxious all the time. They may be extremely possessive or, conversely, they may drive away their loved ones with their detachment.

  • One also experiences severe anxiety owing to the pressures of commitment: restlessness, shallow breathing, rapid heart rate, nausea, chest pains, etc are a few physical symptoms that can be attributed to Philophobia.

  • Panic and anxiety attacks are also common. These can be terrible since the sufferer often feels dizzy, or feels like running away, crying, shaking or sweating profusely or even feels as if s/he is fainting.

    Oh my, what is all this I am learning? Why now, oh my, after all this wreck in my life? At least, I have admitted the problem and started out to find a solution. Maya Angelou advised the following which I firmly believe is worth it: “We have to confront ourselves. Do we like what we see in the mirror? And, according to our light, according to our understanding, according to our courage, we will have to say yea or nay — and rise!”

    I therefore read with keen and pupil like attention the recommendations of my resource article on ways to face your philophobia which are unfortunately so generalistic. Anyway, it says the following: There are many ways of overcoming the fear of falling in love phobia. Self help books, talk therapy, psychotherapy, hypno-analysis, etc are a few effective methods that have shown proven results.

    There are also several online and offline forums or support-groups that can encourage an individual open up about his fears about love and commitment.

    I am even very proud of myself to have finally resolved to face this fear and research about it this much. I wish my sons read this and hopefully don’t get or develop any such phobia. Anyway, they’ll probably stand a better chance of facing any problems they come across earlier than later, knowing from my experiences and works, what some of these may be. As for me, I am this day November 13th 2015, in the seaside resort city of Limbe in Cameroon, making a firm resolve to face any remnants of this fear head on and welcome my next relationship with much more optimism, courage and love than would have previously been the case. Yes I Can!!!

The Fear of Loving: Philophobia – Chapter six of WCS… Part 1


Walking the Talk, unravelling the me within in the process
Walking the Talk, unravelling the me within in the process

Philophobia‘[fear]] of falling in love or emotional attachment. The risk is usually when a person has confronted any emotional turmoil relating to love in the past but also can be chronic phobia.

Fear

The Fear of Loving

This chapter is definitely one of the most delicate, sensitive and VIP chapters in this memoir of mine to the extent that I had to getaway to write it. I currently find myself in Limbe, a famous city in Cameroon with its coast to the Atlantic ocean. I wish I could insert a video or image of the waves hitting the creeks very close to the motel I checked into! I have finally taken the example and advice of dear Maya Angelou seriously, to retreat to a motel to write, although I don’t have the items she would take along. Talking about the waves hitting against the creeks, this is making me contemplate if that’s what’s been happening in my life and relationships? Do I start loving and only find my love waves bouncing off some creeks put there inadvertently by myself or what?

  1. I have had my fair share of relationships in this life and for my age that’s a wow. Indeed, for the sake of not sounding frivolous as Maya had once advanced as reason for not saying how many times she’d been married and divorced, I wouldn’t say the number of the relationships. I admit they are many, yep too many probably for an existence of barely a score and sixteen strokes. Today I think there was a pervasive like kind of element hovering over most of these relationships, which fear really prevented me from loving to the fullest even when and if loved in return.

  2. Oh my, when did this thing start? What is it really so I can face it once and for all and rise above it all? I really need to do that now and not later because I am simply fed up with this thing. No sooner do I start loving, than all kinds of doubts set in and nag on and on until I terminate the relationship. Truth be told, I have been the party who has put an end to almost all the relationships I was ever involved in. Almost just because there may have been an exception I am not aware of. This ain’t funny one bit and I am definitely sick enough about it to want to face that fear once and for all. So many false emotions appearing real whenever ‘love’ is in my air, causing me to fold my stuffs up and run instead of facing it all and rising.

  3. Why fear to love in the first place? Probably because of the fear to get hurt. I think we all agree that matters of the heart are very delicate and some people are more vulnerable and fragile than others. So, if I sensed that I was going to get hurt or maybe put in too much in the relationship and yet risk losing in the end, even if that sense was not real (which I wouldn’t know anyway), I’d rather take the closest exit and ‘cut my losses short’ as some say. I have done some research on this fear of loving and was happy to see that I wasn’t the only one having to deal with this dilemma. Indeed, this fear of mine around love, whether receiving or giving, is called philophobia (which I just discovered), and oh my I read that as far as unusual phobias are concerned, Philophobia certainly ranks high in the list. Source: http://www.fearof.net/fear-of-love-phobia-philophobia/

  4. That article goes on thus: “This phobia is more common in women than in men. The condition can greatly affect one’s life to an extent that it becomes difficult to commit or form healthy relationships”.

  5. Philophobia is an unwarranted and an irrational fear of falling in love. Sometimes, the sufferer does fall in love but it causes an intense emotional turmoil in his/her mind. There are many theories why this could happen:

  • Some therapists believe that an intensely negative experience in the sufferer’s past might have triggered the reaction. Parents divorce, watching them fight or separate or witnessing domestic violence in one’s childhood might be responsible for this phobia.
  • As stated before, many cultures and religions prohibit romantic love or term relationships between man and women as illicit under certain circumstances. This can cause intense panic in the mind of the sufferer since s/he firmly believes incurring the wrath of elders/society or God if s/he has feeling or thoughts about love.

  • Fear of commitment due to a few failed relationships, constant negative thoughts, anxiety and panic disorders are also linked to this phobia. People who are overly anxious or high strung might be more prone to it.

The nature, extent and causes of Philophobia all vary from case to case and sometimes it is a real mystery as to why it might have occurred in the first place… To be continued

Aw: My Fourth and second toughest to write, now available on Kindle…


Walking the Talk, unravelling the me within in the process
Walking the Talk, unravelling the me within in the process

Boom Boom Boom, my team and I did it again. Published kindle a week to set date … Paper back will be right on time. Big big hurray to us… How grateful am I to all and sundry who contributed in whatever way. I mean I acknowledge you all in there, but I must mention Amy Gamble who so selflessly and speedily wrote the memoir, and my fair Lady Dyane for her soulful blurb.

Talking about my lady Dy, her recent post on Wrting Heals Her Brain, frankly  joins a few other reasons  to  illustrate the euphoria with write I type away. Imagine’ chemotheraphy’ for Trauma, Pain, Shame, Guilt, Fear, you name them. Now I got the talent, I got the courage, I got the zeal, I got the boost, and I even got a small  but precious audience… hmm I can’t describe it all can I?

This is the fourth memoir in two years. The second toughest to write after the first one:

My Mea Culpa
My Mea Culpa

I am not spilling more out of the bag; don’t worry if you can’t afford it at it’s listed price of 3.99 this week. I have enlisted all my four memoirs for a free book promotion to run from the 18th (my b-day) to the 21st of January.

I am honoured and humbled to have come this far. I mean I feel victorious, like Greg wrote in his recent post on Victory in Vulnerability. Oh my, this lady who once felt life had no meaning anymore, it’s all there in this one:

I am a tough woman by my own standards, and I'll keep affirming that until I become tougher!
I am a tough woman by my own standards, and I’ll keep affirming that until I become tougher!

I wish us all a happy Sunday and toff my hat to all the writers in the house 🙂 Next week I share two  chapters hopefully on some of my worst fears marred by my mental challenges 🙂

Thank you very much
Thank you very much

The TOC and Preface of yet another deeply honest memoir of mine


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Walking the Talk, unravelling the me within in the process

 

Hello World, as promised in my last post, here is the TOC and more of my forthcoming memoir:

  1. Dedication

  2. Acknowledgements

  3. Previous works by the same author

  4. Foreword

  5. Preface

  6. The Fear of Staying

  7. The Fear of Leaving

  8. The Fear of Losing

  9. The Fear of Failing

  10. The Fear of being Loved

  11. The Fear of Loving

  12. The Fear of stigma

  13. The Fear of Advocating

  14. The Fear of Dying

  15. Epilogue

As usual, I write in all candour and I think I have a better explanation for my style. Let me save that for another post, (electricity supply is out here and my battery is running real low)

The Preface:

What indeed is the worst case scenario when you take that dreadful decision to come out and tell the world that you too have mental challenges? I think some may wonder who or what gives me the authority to qualify my issues as mental challenges. After all, even Jesus was asked by what authority he was casting out demons. I may not have received any ‘official diagnosis’ to say I have a mental illness, but I will not shy away from saying I have my own set of mental challenges which have led me to near catastrophe more than once.

What is the worst case scenario let me seriously ponder! Well, I FEAR what people will say, think or do!!! And now what is this FEAR??? This is what I found: Fold Everything And Run; Face Everything and Rise; False Emotions Appearing Real. Which one is it??? How do I face it? How do I fight it? What do I do with it?

What about the things or issues which are either a result of those mental challenges, or which trigger the mental challenges? Do I fear them in anticipation? Do I fear them in retrospection? Is it worth dealing with them this publicly? Wouldn’t this be another trigger?

You all know how much stigma is attached to that word ‘MENTAL’. To be candid, when I first hear mental health, I immediately sway the ‘crazy’ direction. After all, if nothing is wrong, why the fuss or even mention?. I mean nobody goes whining about their ‘good mental health’ and produce reports and other materials on them. All materials produced for sensitization and all, is geared to helping people stay in good health or get better if they are already sick.

The deal I have come to observe is that, there is not so much written about mental health as much as there is about physical health. More to that, it isn’t so ‘en vogue’ to write about personal experiences with mental challenges and or illness. The stigma and shame is such that people suffering from all this including the conditions themselves, may get desperate enough and consider suicide an option. I admit I once did back in 2009 and even attempted same with a knife.

My message with this other ‘unconventional’ memoir of mine dear reader is straightforward. By sharing my ‘Journey’ with mental challenges, I want all those like myself and in ‘higher spectrum of any mental illness’, to know that they are not alone. I want to cheer us up in my own modest and humble way. I want to keep it real by sharing instances where I have acted out in whatever seemed fit to me in those circumstances – circumstances which in retrospection or even introspection, were mired by mental challenges.

Some say if it runs in the family ( genetics), you stand a risk of having a ‘frail mind or brain’ to put it this simply. And of course there are several other reasons and causes too, including childhood trauma.

Come to think of it, what does the WHO and the good old science pedias tell us about mental health? It is important because it’s deterioration for whatever reason, is what manifests itself through challenges of the mind which occasion the action causing concern. When these mental challenges are not addressed for whatever reason, or worst still wrongly or poorly addressed, full blown mental illness may be the result and the consequences may just be fatal.

Dear reader, I have come to learn to think of the worst case scenario when something starts to ‘bug my brain’. I mean as much as possible. The Fear comes around, and I try my best to face, fight or simply flee away. Gladly, I read so much and interact with all walks of people without fear or favour. That is how I have come to learn of the different stages of mental illness, and really try to stay at level one. We will be looking at them in detail as we move on. The Fears don’t go away just like that, I have no magic wand. Yet as my dear friend Dyane’s forthcoming memoir will illustrate, a new brain can be born from the ashes of the old one.

It is therefore possible to live with a troubled mind especially when one can face these mind troubles. They are not visible like the cancer on your leg which can be tampered with some chemo or other therapy. And that’s one big challenge. How do you face challenges from a mind you can’t even see, not to talk of understand these challenges or even consider them as such.? When Fear is defined somewhere as False Emotions Appearing Real, this is for real. The dread of thoughts which have taken the mind hostage, gradually become real to that same mind which now sends wrong signals everywhere – troubled actions.

I have my journey to share, and I have met and journeyed with others who have shared theirs with the world and myself in all openness. The likes of Pam, Dyane, Linda and Amy Gamble, share their painful journeys and yet these are equally journeys filled with hope. I am however yet to come across any person from my country Cameroon who wants to share, only met some from South Africa online. The stigma here in Cameroon I dare say, is still so strong that even sales of My Brother’s Journey from Genius to Simpleton (about his mental illness and our struggle as a family), are yet to pick up.

The theme for the 2015 World Mental Health Day is Dignity in Mental Health and the Gbm Foundation and Center for Epilepsy and Mental Wellbeing of which I am the Country Director, is organizing a round table discussion hosted by the national radio broadcasting house. Dignity in Mental Health to me starts with the courage to talk about your mental health just like you’ll talk about your physical health. It equally means the braveness to seek for help with any issues threatening your mental wellbeing, just like you’ll visit the dentist with an aching tooth. Above all, this to me means empathy and respect of and for those with a troubling mental health.

The above are the basic interpretation of this 2015 theme for that important day. Stigma and shame have been known to cause havoc in patients and their families. Friends may even just vanish once you are diagnosed or identified to have any mental challenges or illness. Think even of how years back, cancer, aids and other terminally ill patients were ‘feared, shunned and even judged’! This pattern has to be broken, and someone has to take up that challenge.

Dear all therefore, maybe I am one of the brave few in my country who dares to dare to share such aspects of their life’s journey. Yes I am aware of possible impacts on my career and life, but I know someone somewhere will be inspired and motivated out of their ‘darkness’. This is therefore my journey to a new me, a me who wants to keep facing and fighting fear, and also a me who wants to share with the world in all candidness.

I once more sincerely hope this other memoir of mine makes a very good read.

Thank you very much
Thank you very much

Personal Breaking News: Book Cover reveal- Thank you Dyane


Walking the Talk, unravelling the me within in the process
Walking the Talk, unravelling the me within in the process

Oh my dear world, at exactly 6 pm my time today, I finished the draft of this fourth memoir of mine. My goal had been to get it ready for kindly release in November, there are still some days left and I’ll see how soon my editor will/can get back to me on this. You see, I needed that getaway to this Limbe by the sea and for me it’s been more than successful.

I must however thank very earnestly my Darling Dyane for her genuine encouragement and motivation. The power of people genuinely believing in you, cannot be over emphasized. Thanks to Dyane, I dropped going to the beach from my program for today (em not that I know how to swim anyway). There will be several other ocassions probanly with friends, the boys or even some new romanarum prospect (uh huh you guess right, I just learnnt a new word in latin).

Now, Dyane has not only encouraged and motivated me, but she agreed to write a blurb for this memoir which I share here below.:

As I read Marie A. Abanga’s fourth memoir “What Is The Worst Case Scenario” it reminded me of sitting down with a trusted friend, one with whom I could be my authentic self, to discuss the most important issues our lives. Marie deftly weaves her innermost thoughts, life lessons taught by family members, and her philosophy in a lively, inspiring manner. She doesn’t forget to include a key ingredient: humor, which makes reading her book entertaining as well as heartrending.

Brooke Warner, publisher of She Writes Press, wrote a Huffington Post article about the bestselling memoirist Mary Karr, noting,  “I’d guess that Mary has spent a lot of years feeling compelled to defend her own “truth.” She’s examined truth in ways that few other writers have. After all, she’s subjected herself to three memoirs — more than the average writer of memoir to be sure.”

When I read that article I immediately thought of Marie for the same comment could be stated about her. Like Mary Karr, whose groundbreaking book “The Liars’ Club” brought attention to the memoir genre, Marie is an extraordinarily prolific writer of four memoirs. Marie isn’t afraid to examine and share her truth, even when it won’t win her any favors. She has a greater vision: to help other people feel less alone with their fears. This gifted writer and humanitarian has much to teach us, and she does it without coming across as pedantic or boring. Through “What Is The Worst Case Scenario” Marie gives readers a solid sense of hope in facing a variety of frightening and isolating states of mind.

Dyane Leshin-Harwood, B.A. 

Author, Birth of a New Brain – Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder Founder, Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance, Santa Cruz County, California

I wanted to walk this mental health advocacy talk to the end of the rope, by going deep down withing myself and facing my own demons one after the other – at least calling them by name.

Dear gentle readers and followers, it’s been yet another trilling, painful and revealing journey but above all one which leaves me with so much hope for a better, brighter and bigger future spiced with this awesome amazing grace I receiving from my Almighty Father.

Kindly look by here next week for more about the contents and eminent kindle release, I wish us all the best and I hope this other memoir of mine will make a goodread 🙂

Love is in the air huh...
Love is in the air huh…

Now to you Dyane, write on I urge, you know you can and that Lucy and I will bark you on to the finish line 🙂

F4 to My Memoir: A Woman of Faith indeed, By Barb Parker


  • BTS_Cover

    On Sunday, I host yet again another event on Facebook to launch my memoir . I had done this for each of my previous works, and the attendees have been increasing with each book launch. I was therefore looking forward to sharing the various forewords to this memoir before the D-Day. You can read them by clicking F1, F2, F3(1), or F3 (2) if you missed reading any of them.

    The F4 is from my dear friend Barb Parker all the way in Canada and once more I most honoured and humbled to have such people in my circles.

    ” It was an honour to be chosen to edit and proofread Marie’s memoir. Although Marie and I have never met in person, we share a love for writing, helping others and facing challenges with courage and Faith. Marie inspires me through her writing and encourages me with her strong desire to Dream Big and follow her Dreams.

    With each one of Marie’s books that I have read, I realise that people are placed in our path for a reason. Perhaps I will never meet Marie’s family, but I have come to know Marie’s family through her words. I may never travel to the places where Marie has travelled, but I can now create in my mind, a picture of her homeland, her places of studies, her bus routes, and her places of residency. This was made possible by Marie’s creativity through her words, which pull the reader into her world.

    Marie is a dynamic writer, an inspiration to All women. When her world seems to be almost shattered, she has the courage to push forward, stand strong and keep moving forward with dignity and courage until she reaches her ultimate goal.

Marie, much like myself, relies on her “Faith” to get her to the next level, whether it be in her writing, her speaking, her   travels, or her daily commitments in life.

I am Blessed to call Marie A. Abanga, a “Friend” and I trust each person she meets along her journey will be inspired by her strength, determination and dedication to make this world a better place. Barb Parker- Canada, Author “My Sister’s Journey From Headache to Heartache, and “The Choice My Path My Destiny”