As we come to the end of 2016, I would like to take this time to reflect on the passing of another year. The year started out in January with high hopes, of a great and productive new beginning. When we cross over into a brand new year, it also gives us a sense of freedom from the old. I love January because it means that summer is closer and that means the beach is just ahead. Yet, 2016 proved to be, without a doubt the worst year of my life.
March 7th, I became deathly ill. We just didn’t know it at the time. But, the flu escalated to pnemonia and then sepsis. I spent 15 days in the hospital and even flown to another hospital with a breathing tube in. I was in full respitory failure. The memories still haunt me and why I am still in need of Trauma Counseling. I lost 45 pounds and most of my hair. I did not know how bad and how hard it was going to be, to recover from such an illness. I thought, I was just going to go home and get back to normal immediately. I couldn’t even walk. So, I am not sure what I was thinking. It took 6 weeks to be able to walk up the stairs. I spent a total of 5 months is Physical Therapy. I was so weak; so frail and so scared on top of it. Before I got sick, I was the queen of running around and getting it done. I went from being on top of the world, to crushed underneath it. I was figure skating and getting ready to take my Silver Moves in the Field test, to not being able to lift my skates off the ice. I lost friends for reasons I have yet to understand. They were there before I got sick, and gone during my recovery. My family and boyfriend stayed by my side the entire time and I am forever grateful for their love.
But, due to the above, to say I struggled is an understatement. I suffer from PTSD and General Anxiety and trauma responses. Everytime I hear the helicopter that transported me, it takes me right back inside that helicopter to where I woke up convulsing, in absolute terror. This past year has been a nightmare. But, it has also set me up to make the winning goal. All I can think about is a hockey game. When players pass the puck and set up the goal to another player who then scores. I can hear the cheering so loud in my head as I am typing this. I have been set up, to score and to score big. The day, yes the day, I came home from the hospital I started coloring in the storyboards. I was so determined to get back to working on the film. If all I could was color, well damnit, that is what I was going to do and I did! I couldn’t walk. But I could color. I lost every bit of muscle in both legs to the point, I was literally skin and bone. For a figure skater, this is devasting. I worked close to 17 years getting the skating level I was at, and to watch it disintegrate right before my very eyes, well – like I said I was crushed. But, I am happy to report that I am an even better figure skater than I was before I got sick. I weigh less and I more flexible. I am almost ready to take that Silver Moves test again.
For the film, it’s been quite a “set up” year for us. We met Producer Tom Malloy who is one of our Producers. We also have Ed Mantell. In 2015, we had no producers. We finally were able to secure our Library of Congress copyrights as well. Sometimes it takes a lot of “set ups” to cross the finish line or to win the game. I believe wholeheartedly that 2017 is our winning year to get this first film off the ground and produced. I don’t care what it looks like. We are set up to finally receive our funding. We are well prepared with our Treasurer Carol Tarquinio. The business bank and the L.L.C. for the film are set up. We are still working with our Fiscal Sponsor Carol Dean of From the Heart Productions. We are building a solid relationship with the Harrisburg, PA Film Office as well. I guess you could say, “We have all our bases covered.”
I am looking forward to a great productive year…for real! I thank my God and each and every one of you who have stood by me during this past year. Though it was very dark, like the picture above, God and you were like a burst of heaven shining down on me. I cannot wrap my head around what I went through and what I am still recovering from. But I do know, I am fortunate to be alive. I am greatly blessed to still be able to carry on and to do what I know I am meant to do. I have had to learn to like myself all over again. It hasn’t been easy. But, I also believe I have been set up to become the person I have always wanted to be!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year,