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10/21/2002 - Rock On
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Inspiration comes from rock ?n roll. I'm completely serious. What? You don't believe me? Then answer me one question - why is it I always cry at rock concerts? In a good way, not the "Oh-I-feel-sad-so-I-think-I'm-going-to-cry" way. Okay, maybe it's just me. But let me share with you an experience I recently had.

I have been sick most of the summer with a tenacious sinus infection that refuses to release its uncaring grip on me. At this point, I had gone through several different antibiotics to no avail. Because of my underlying condition of MD, my life had become miserable. Normally, I only sleep in my iron lung and occasionally do a breathing treatment during the day. Since the sinus infection took control of my life, I have had to spend a great deal more time inside my iron lung. I could not leave the house for more than an hour because I would get so physically exhausted and need to go back into my iron lung. I was literally losing my mind. There was only one thing left to do.

I needed to go to a Rush concert.

By far, Rush is my favorite rock band. I had been looking forward to their San Diego concert for months, and had bought my tickets well in advance. As the day of the event approached, I prayed that the antibiotics would kick in and I would get better. All during this time, I was still writing. Not as much as I would like, but I still managed to get in at least a few pages a day. Needless to say, the day of the concert arrived and I still felt horrible.

I wasn't going to let that stop me.

I loaded up on over-the-counter decongestants, took a fair amount of narcotic painkillers I had been saving for the right occasion, and off I went with my two, trusty caregivers.

Upon arrival, the show had already started and Rush had taken the stage. My throat began to swell and I could feel a panic attack coming on. I took a deep breath and asked God for a little strength. Not a lot, but just enough to carry me through until tomorrow.

My feelings of panic disintegrated and I could breathe easier again. We took our seats, letting the masters of rock take over our senses. During one of my more favorite songs, "Resist," the inevitable finally occurred.

I began to cry.

There I was, barely able to breathe, spitting out these huge, green gobs of mucous. And yet, I was filled with joy and inspiration. Not only because of the music, although it did contribute to my sudden glee. But the real reason behind it all was because a simple phrase popped into my mind.

"They will never extinguish my voice."

I began to look back on my life at all the trials and tribulations. Despite all of the obstacles, I have always put words on paper. This is my voice. No matter how hard they try, they will never extinguish it. Even when my spirit passes on to the next dimension, my words will not die. They compose a brilliant fire that can never be extinguished.

I am so grateful to have been given the gift of my voice.

Treat your voice as if it were a gift from God, because indeed it is. Never let circumstances extinguish your voice. Remember, it is a fire that cannot be extinguished.

Rock on.

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