Am I my country, that girl from the US? No. Am I my class, that girl who thrived in a loving home? No. Am I my family, mother, wife, daughter, sister to two handicapped brothers? No. Am I my grief, mother of a lost baby? No. Am I my career, one who gives children a voice? No. Am I my passions, nature girl, conquering rock and trail? No. Am I my friends, true and faithful one? No. Am I this illness, hampered by unrelenting pain, fatigue? No.

I am me.

I am ever becoming.

The best of me as I was created. The sludge from life that dulls the shine, diligently peeled away.

Many threads form the fabric of me.

Here is one thread that makes the fabric of who I am:

Having two disabled brothers provided many learning opportunities, despite difficulites too painful to relive here. I absolutely knew the importance of communication at a vulnerable age. Confusion, grief experienced by not being able to communicate with my elder brother was melted away the day he spoke first words. I’m reminded of a quote by Jean Vanier, something like,” why are we surprised at violence from the mentally, physcially challenged?” Would we not, also, become overwrought with frustration should we be unable request a drink, or say “I love you”.

In the wider world the same is true- why are we shocked to hear of violence, ugliness, when there are so many who can not use their voice. Ugliness ensues.

Memory fades as to how I stumbled on WP. I’m thankful for stubbing my toe, though. I was one of the founding subscribers, and rarely have I been so drawn to something as I have been to this movement. From the start I questioned it, however, “How does this magazine have anything to do with my carrer? My passions?” Wait! (Hand taps head). Is it not the same? A voice is a voice. No matter how small, far, what form, place. What are we as a community if we can’t/won’t communicate one to another?

Life is strange. Paths wind. In ways never imagined. Would I be here, in community with sisters worldwide, taking this chance, if it weren’t for this illness, forcing me to stop. To rest. Listen. Write. Thoughts, ideas, dreams needing action. Distance is only perception with this mass technology. Now, not only am I able to touch lives of those physically near, but I can answer the calls of my sisters around the world.

I have a venue from which to facilitate communication with those who may be non-verbal, yet have much to say.

I have a venue to train mothers to, in turn, teach their non-verbal children communication.

I have a venue to teach rising voices how to be focused on a dream, set goals, develp plans of action, and follow through to see their idea come to be and make their voices heard. To become.

Take action! This post was submitted in response to Voices of Our Future Application: Your Journey and Vision.


Dear sister, thank you for sharing your story with us.

Your sharp, intense words and language show force, pride, and firm determination.

Keep going!

Stay blessed


Your words Michelle revealed a depth of pain, yet the strongest of determination to turn life's sufferings into life's miracles. You reminded of one of my favorite writers, Dale Carnegie, when he said that often the people with deep sufferings and pain in life have the greatest story to tell.

I'm happy to be a part of this network that allows me to read such inspiring stories as yours. Thanks for sharing your blessings with the world.



Thank you for such kind words! I did not take enough time to write my story, due to being ill most of the week. So I do regret that it could have been so much better, for sure. But I'm glad it ministered to you anyway.

Peace- M.

Let us Hope together- Michelle aka: Cali gal Listener Sister-Mentor @CaliGalMichelle Tweets by @CaliGalMich

I can feel the depth of your reasoning and the strenght of your thought. Lovely article. If you were ill writing this, i'm really looking forward to reading from you in full health. Do take care of yourself. cheers!

Once I click on your article, I couldn't stop reading it! Thank you for sharing your story and allowing us to understand your situation. You're right, no matter how big or small the issues may appears, to somebody out there it is a big deal to them. We all share different perspective yet with common interest and that is how we can come together to solve problems. Thanks for sharing again! That was lovely and well said!

Yenly Thach

Thank you for sharing your story, Michelle! I hope that no matter what you'll keep writing, because you have a voice of your own. I am looking forward to reading more of your writing! Myrthe

Giving voice is one of the most important gifts anyone can give another human being. Blessings to you.