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HV142- Solidod

Hearing Voices from NPR®
142 Solidod: An Apache Original
Host: Larry Massett of Hearing Voices
Airs week of: 2012-09-26

“Solidod” (52:00 mp3):

“Solidod: An Apace Original” (2012 / 52:00) Larry Massett

The Life and Times of Solidod, the last remaining member of her village of Mescalero Apache who lived on the edge of Death Valley. HV editor Larry Massett helped our friend Solidad publish her new e-book, An Apache Original: The Life and Times of Solidod.

Larry composed and performed the piano music in this radio hour.

Solidod is in her 80s and tells about 300 years of her life stories in the book. Here’s an excerpt from Larry’s…

Book cover: An Apache Original: The Life And Times Of Solidod

Introduction

When I first met Solidod she was living alone in a tiny room in a rather depressing subsidized-income apartment complex in Florida. She herself was anything but depressing, though. A few minutes after we met she showed me the little knife she carries with her in her buckskin purse. “But Solidod,” I said, “that’s kind of a dangerous knife, isn’t it?” I said- meaning, dangerous for an 80-year woman. “Yeah, it’s sharp,” she laughed, “but it would be better if it was rusty. So the cut would get infected in case I stab somebody.”

Wow, tough lady. Tough, but also funny, curious, brimming with energy, and a world-class storyteller. As she told me about the adventures of her life I realized she’s been everywhere and done just about everything: horse-trainer, bodyguard, trans-Atlantic sailor, carpenter, gardener, artist, you name it. And she’s busy. She spends her days zipping around town selling the t-shirts she paints and the jewelry she makes, checking on old friends and chatting up new ones. Most people her age seem to be winding down; Solidod’s just getting started…

Me and my Indian, my husband; painting by Solidod

Me and my Indian, my husband

Several of Solidod’s paintings grace the book’s pages. The e-book is in Kindle format: Amazon make a free Kindle Reader for nearly every computer, tablet, smartphone, and web browser.

Solidod Woods photo by Jake Warga

Here’s a few paragraphs from chapter one:

An Apache Original: The Life And Times Of Solidod

As the eagle soars high above the early dawn, he looks down on the barren boulders that surround most of the mesa. He spots a jackrabbit and a quail. Which way to go? Big is better, but quail is tastier. As he screams and dives on the quail an Indian man is coming out of his wickiup. That’s the original mobile home. It’s like a brush harbor only smaller. Sort of like a pup tent made out of brush.

The man walks to the edge of the mesa. It is sunrise. Going to be another one of Mother Nature’s beautiful days. He sprinkles pollen to the four winds and bows his head, thanking the spirits for all his blessings. He is thinking of his family. He wonders what they are going to do for food since the government did not come through- again.

When there is very little food the Apache do not have babies. The women do not flow in hard times. This baby coming is a big surprise because it will be the only one for many moons. It is his daughter’s baby. She has waited for four years for this. It will be soon now. Her father and her husband are very concerned.

The father watches the sky because he always does. He always gets up to meet the dawn. He blesses his life and the life of his family. He has a little pick at the back of his mind that tells him something is really not quite right…

Getting ready to go to the grand entry of the Pow Wow' painting by Solidod

Getting ready to go to the grand entry of the Pow Wow.

Solidod did a lot of sailing. The chapter titles chart her travels:

  • Loxahatchee, Florida
  • Casablanca
  • Virginia Beach, Virginia
  • San Salador
  • Disney World
  • St. Thomas Virgin Islands, and…

Canary Islands

We had been under sail all the way so we didn’t realize that the batteries were dead. We didn’t know they were old and would not hold a charge. We came upon a mountain sticking up out of the ocean. No beach or nothing just a big-assed mountain. Of course as soon as it got between us and the wind we were done for. We dropped the sail and then we had no steering. We saw a cut in the mountain and a harbor there. We let her drift toward the cut, we were headed for that big-assed mountain so what are going to do? No wind, no batteries. So I said lets get the oars out of the lifeboat and use ‘em to get to the dock. The captain said you can’t do that, you might puncture your ribs. Well, they might get punctured anyways so let’s try it. I got on the bow and the captain got on the stern. We paddled this yacht into the harbor. There was a little man waving us off, we kept coming, he kept waving, we kept coming, now he’s waving a gun. We’re trying to tell him our boat is broken. He’s yelling, we’re yelling, and don’t forget the gun. Them some guys came alongside in a launch and took our line and took us to another dock. The captain told them our batteries were dead. They said they would take them and get them charged. We thought we would never see them again, but what else could we do? They took them.

We went for a walk. Trying to get our land legs back. You know how they say you’d walk a mile for a camel, well, we walked about a mile and we saw a real camel. We also saw people living in caves. I saw a woman sweeping out in front of one. Birds were singing everywhere. There were all kinds of beautiful flowers. We got to the center of a park. They were having Cinco de Mayo, the Fifth of May. There was music, singing, and dancing. There were vendors with trinkets and food. I told the captain they must have know we were coming and were having a party for us.

We found out the next morning why the little man was so upset, there was an ocean liner berthed there. We would have been squashed to bits. We went over to thank him. He got all red in the face when we kidded him about his big gun.

The battery guys came back. One of them spoke English and he told the captain that the batteries were old and would not take a full charge. We got twelve new batteries. Six for now, six for backup.

The guys wanted to take us for a tour of their town. OK. Does everybody drive on the wrong side and go hell-bent for everywhere? We went whipping round the mountains up and round the hair-raising curves, with the guys laughing. And talking all the way. Then whipping down the mountain and round the hair-raising curves. The next morning they asked us if we would like to see the phenomenon. We said yes, so here we went whipping up the mountain again. We went till the road ran out and then we walked about a quarter of a mile. There was a small cottage. There was a kid sitting outside on a rock. The guys said to give the kid a little money, so we did. A little lady came out of the house and asked us to come in. This human being had a great big head, and one eye was on top of its head and its nose was where its ear ought to be. It made noises, it had a little bitty round mouth. It had a tiny body with a big head. The lady said it was twenty-five years old. She said they wanted to destroy it but she wouldn’t let them because it was God’s phenomenon. The captain couldn’t stand it so we went outside to wait. I didn’t want to look at it much but the guys were nice to us and they thought it was something special. I didn’t mind leaving there. Next the guys took us to see a lady who made goat cheese. She made us some coffee, she put some goat milk in it. UHH! I didn’t mind leaving there either.

When we got back down the mountain we met some more guys. They told our guides to bring us to their houses. In the islands the houses are built like terracing. They do not have streets, just steps and sidewalks. If you ask where so and so lives, he will say so many steps up and to the left or right at the red or blue door. We went seventeen steps up and to the green door. The house was spotless. They have an open-air patio inside the house. There was a young man there who wanted to play his guitar for us. He played and sang. It was beautiful. He wanted to go to America with us. The captain said no. We did not want to be responsible for anyone else.

Then they took us to a bar. We were ready to be back on the ground. When we went in the guys told the bartender it was all right for me to be there. We were Americans. The ladies there were not allowed in the bar. They had us trying all kinds of strange things to eat. One thing I remember was a thing like a shrimp. They ate them legs and all. When it came to the squid I said thanks but no thanks.

When we got the batteries back we took the guys for a day sail. They didn’t seem to know that a sailboat heels over when it is really up in the wind. They had brought us some of the food they eat and we were all on deck. The little guys puffed up like roosters when the captain let them take the helm. The boat heeled over and the food and the plates went flying around the deck. They looked at us like they didn’t know what was happening. Then they understood and we all had a good laugh. We cleaned up the mess. One of the guys was stuck on me. That’s what the captain said. I think he just wanted to go to America. He played a guitar and sang. The music had a strange sound to me. We did stay in the Canary Islands ten days. When we walked we saw a lot of big condos. On the balconies there were big canary cages. Every bird was trying to outsing the other one…

Me and my grandfather.  He is naming me Solidod, Daughter of the Sun.

Me and my grandfather.  He is naming me Solidod, Daughter of the Sun.

Photos of Solidod Woods by Jake Warga:

Solidod Woods in recording studio, photo by Jake Warga

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82 comments | Write comment

I can not remember when I have been touched by someone’s story this profoundly. Words can not do justice to begin to describe the depth and beauty of this woman. There are truly amazing spirits among us. Blessing upon blessing for Solidod.

Comment added by Shoshana on 09.27.12

What a blessing to hear these stories. Stunning that one woman has the capacity to withstand all that she endured, then emerge with such profound grace. She has much to share with each and all. Unforgettable and transcendent.

Solidad is a treasure. Thank you.

Comment added by Nyima Lhamo on 09.29.12

Thank you Solidod for your stories and gift to us. thank you Larry Massett for going to Solidod (her spirit must have called you) and listening to her stories and sharing them with us. I love the beautiful artwork. I will buy a copy of the book. While I heard your voice, I felt my own strong life force. love, Donna

Comment added by dm on 09.29.12

Wow…what a story. I’m so sorry she was treated so badly. But I’m so impressed that she kept her fighting spirit and survived through it all. Thank you for sharing her story. I cried, I laughed, I hurt. God bless you, Solidod.

Comment added by Lois Tilson on 09.29.12

What an extraordinary story of an extraordinary life. Thank you so to much to Larry Massett and “Hearing Voices” for bringing this remarkable woman’s experiences to the radio and letting us know about her book. Her voice–written and spoken–is truly honest and brave and funny and very, very perceptive about the world she’s known. And, to Solidod Woods: your spirit is a blessing in this world. You are a tribute to storytellers everywhere. Thank you.

Comment added by Priscilla Waggoner on 09.29.12

Absolutely fascinating.

Comment added by Chris H on 09.29.12

Thank you for this introduction to Solidod and her story of perseverance. Beautiful radio and will look for the book. What a meaningful life, as really, each of ours … Kudos

Comment added by Claudia Sipes on 09.30.12

Solidod your story and fighting spirit is most uplifting. Thank you Larry Massett for guidance you have given my friend.

Comment added by luis Ybarra on 09.30.12

AMAZING!! I was so moved by Solidad’s stories. I wanted to reach through the radio and give her a hug. Not because I felt like she needed it but because I felt like I did!! Solidad you spirit is inspiring!!

Comment added by Cyndi Routledge on 09.30.12

Solidod, you are a national treasure. I feel like I know you and have known you for a long long time – bet many others have told you this. I think it is that you have suffered and are sensitive to the interior of others. Good journey.

Comment added by LESLIE on 09.30.12

Solidod my husband and I sat in silence as we drove mesmerized from Houston to Dallas listening to your story. I prayed and thanked our divine creator for helping us to understand why innocent and beautiful people like yourself suffer and for the assurance he has given that he will repair and remove all human pain and suffering in the near future.

So many people on this planet are suffering because of human hate and prejudice. Solidod you are an excellent example of the ability for humans to recover, survive and thrive from the depths of pain and misfortune.

Comment added by Patrice P on 09.30.12

Solidod my husband and I sat in silence as we drove mesmerized from Houston to Dallas listening to your story. I prayed and thanked our divine creator for helping us to understand why innocent and beautiful people like yourself suffer and for the assurance he has given that he will repair and remove all human pain and suffering in the near future. So many people on this planet are suffering because of human hate and prejudice. Solidod you are an excellent example of the ability for humans to recover, survive and thrive from the depths of pain and misfortune.

Comment added by Patrice P on 09.30.12

Query, why there is no picture of this remarkable woman on your web site?

Comment added by Bonny on 09.30.12

Solidod’s story is a haunting yet compelling one of the resilience of her spirit. What she described so vividly after her husband’s murder were consistent with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD.) yet after time ridng the bus & grieving, she found purpose & meaning in her life and she still continues to grow & thrive. Thank you for sharing your story of survival and self-redemption in the face of so many traumas & losses

Comment added by Victoria Dreisbach on 10.01.12

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Solidod’s spirit burns so burns so bright and hot that her tribulations have been alchemized into gold, enriching all who hear her story.

Comment added by Emjae on 10.01.12

Larry Massett and “Hearing Voices”… I thank you for this most wonderful presentation. I’ve met Solidod, she is an individual who Loves Life! She is an absolute realist and totally honest… she tells it just as she sees it. A delight to be around her because her school of hard knocks wisdom is evident immediately. Her book, “An Apache Original-The Life and Times of Solidod” is a most enlightening read!

Comment added by Steve Fugate on 10.02.12

I was moved, inspired and fascinated by this incredible woman, after hearing her story on the radio tonight. What spirit she posses, a true Native American hero. thank you NPR for bringing her life story to the forefront.

Comment added by Don L. on 10.03.12

Awesome, moving and inspiring. Your story touched me so much. I thank you for sharing.

Comment added by Micki Davis on 10.06.12

who is the piano music by?

Comment added by ellen on 10.06.12

Thanks for sharing your friend, Solidod. I read and thoroughly enjoyed her story. I highly recommend her book. I would love to read more and was sorry to reach the end!

Comment added by Carol Tabbert on 10.07.12

Absolutely fascinating! I listen to it over and over and think how much my life would be changed if I were to be able to sit down and enjoy stories with Solidod.

Comment added by Ken on 10.07.12

I hope Solidod’s book will be made into an audible book and that she reads it. How wonderful to hear her voice telling her life story!

Comment added by Kathy Hamilton on 10.07.12

[…] Click on the link:  Hearing Voices […]


Ellen, piano music by Larry Massett, also the radio piece’s producer and book editor. Forgot to mention that above, but it’s up there now.

Comment added by HV on 10.08.12

Incredible! How she survived so much actually scares me. How could this have happened to anyone, or be permitted is beyond me. We are not worthy, please forgive. I was transported traveling from New Mexico through Arizona to San Diego. I know I could not have survived what Solidod did.
Incredible resilience is an understatement. Thank you Solidod for giving someone to aspire to be.

Comment added by Peter on 10.09.12

Third time listening, Solidod is so amazing! I wish that more people in the US understood why Solidod’s story is the story of the US. She had to deal with so much in her life and not once did she give up. I am 6′ ft. 190lbs. athletic, and Solidod is so much stronger than I am. I admire her courage, her wisdom and her perseverance. No amount of words can bring forth the complete admiration I have for this Woman I really appreciate having stumbled upon this story.

Comment added by Angel on 10.13.12

This was one of the saddest life stories I have ever heard. The poor are so abused. Having to go to high school without teeth! Lots of adventures — very inspiring.

Comment added by Pamela Fox on 10.13.12

Am so grateful to this site for this story of my friend Solidod…it’s my wish come true….and bless the old ones for listening…book/linda

Comment added by book linda on 10.16.12

Your life has been so full! Thanks for sharing it with us. I thank the creator for letting your beautiful spirit walk among us.

Comment added by Robin Lynn Smith on 10.17.12

This story is blowing my mind. Solidad’s strength and wisdom and grace are so powerful and inspiring. Many thanks for her courage in sharing her incredible journey.

Comment added by Cat on 10.20.12

I enjoyed and was touched by this story so much I had to listen to it three times.
I am so glad there is an e-book available, as I want to read it again and again. (This will be my first e-book.)
Thank you Solidod, for sharing your story with Larry. Larry, thank you for the music and helping to share this story with me.

Comment added by Liz on 10.21.12

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She touched me to the core.

Comment added by Adrian D'Alessio on 10.27.12

is this the last show for Hearing Voices?

Comment added by dirk on 10.29.12

I’m a man of God but Solidod is a child of God.
Her story made me see that God is real her eyes/soul have seen God and Hell. There is a Haven and Solidod will be there in the day of Judgement for mankind. Her story if heard will help all mankind to understand that forgiveness is a God given gift to mankind.

I live in South Central Los Angeles I can never ever feel that my life is hard ever again. She is a living Angel the person that God walks with when he needs a friend. I’m at work try not to cry. what a story she should get the medeal of freedom from the UN and world Assembly of Nations.

I would say to Solidod God Bless you but God has allready Blessed her forever.
A different person after hearing this story. :)
William M. Taylor

Comment added by William M. Taylor on 11.03.12

Thank you HV for sharing Solidod’s story ~ a poignant and fitting finale to a wonderful series of programs. Thank you Solidod for sharing your powerful story of persistence and resilence despite your hardships. Blessings to you.

Comment added by Deborah H. on 11.03.12

Would love to get this in a physical form. I don’t particularly like reading a book on a screen no matter how soft and easy to read it is. When it gets in a paper form let me know. And I’m sure no publisher would pass up such a compelling and honest story.

Comment added by Elsa Dine on 11.03.12

Great price point $29.95. Totally worth it this is a treasure.

Comment added by Elsa Dine on 11.03.12

I am so grateful that I have and can call you my friend. You are truly an ORIGINAL! love hearing the storys that you told me many moons ago. Stay in a good way always.

Comment added by Susan B.K. on 11.05.12

Absolutely beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing your story with us all. Words cannot come close to the enrichment that your story has given me. Emotions one only feels deep in their throat as they hold back tears is exactly what I am experiencing as I write. It is a complex mixture of joy, grief, sorrow, compassion, love and so much more. Your recording reminded me of stories told by family members, many of whom have already passed. They were strong people who confronted remarkable hardship with love and commitment to others. Many of them carried experiences common with Cherokees who managed to stay in the East and add to the tough and beautiful mosaic of Appalachia. Many of them cannot share their stories anymore, but thanks to you, I can remember them through your story. Thank you!

Comment added by Brandon Hensley on 11.11.12

Dear Solidad,
Thank you for your time and your courage in telling this story of your life. Where I grew up running in fields and climbing in trees in upstate New York I sometimes found old arrowheads and your words brought the memories of the people who made them alive.

How can we heal the wrongs from the past and move past the old violence and hate? We are all the Creator’s and each sunrise is a gift we all share. Change has always been a part of your life, is a part of all of ours but it is happening faster than ever before. I’ve been in tribal settings, by invitation and heard the brutality and the feelings it has left behind. You’ve lived both. You’ve also seen and lived through and sometimes because of good people so I honestly and sincerely ask: how can we come together today to create better tomorrows, for us and those coming after us?
Mitakuye Oya’sin
Sherrie

Comment added by Sherrie N on 11.17.12

Thank you Solidod and everyone associated with sharing your important life story with the rest of us. I believe that everyone who hears your story in ‘your’ voice is blessed!

With much appreciation,
Sandy Fisher

Comment added by Sandra Fisher on 11.18.12

I am very moved by your telling of your life’s stories Soledad! I am filled with emotion and love for you and for the universe as I listen to this episode of Hearing Voices.

Much love

Comment added by Zachary Meyer on 12.02.12

How wonderful to have that life experience as hard as her childhood was, but her way of telling her life story its so sweet and the joy and sadness you hear just so moving.
Heard the show three times, not once i tought about changing the radio station.

i always listen to NPR.
Gracias Solidod.

Comment added by Lucy on 12.09.12

Solidod, lived at my place on “D” Road in Loxahatchee in the 70’s and found me again years later at the Lake Worth Motel. I sold the motel in 86 and married and moved to Starke and lost her again. Chat me up Solidod at jacquelyntotura@gmail.com or on facebook.

Comment added by jacquelyn totura on 12.15.12

I want to know solidod

Comment added by solidod woods on 12.16.12

Thank you for finding Solidod. This woman’s story is heartbreaking and beautiful.

Comment added by Seth Schoenfeld on 12.16.12

I would love to see pictures from Solidod’s life. I wonder if I can see them anywhere.

Comment added by Seth Schoenfeld on 12.16.12

A truly inspiring life, filled with trials and tribulations, only to be triumphant along life’s journey. I love Solidod’s fighting Warrior spirit…a quality we all shall strive to emulate. Her spirit reminds me of my mom, who I lost this past year. May Solidod continue to be blessed as she continue’s along the path.

Comment added by Darren on 12.17.12

Wow! .. A Jill of all trade .. Thank you for sharing your raw, awesome story… My granddaughters will read it, and they will better for it. Paz!

Comment added by Myrna R. Diaz on 12.21.12

I am honored that i have her as my neighbor!!!

Comment added by cynthia stiffen on 12.27.12

Solidod your story is truly breathtaking! You lived through so much, and have had such an amazing journey! I am purchasing your book when I return home from work, and would love to see and listen to Solidod Woods (perhaps at a booksigning!)

Comment added by Alex Vanagunas on 12.29.12

Solidad’s story is incredible. She is a true survivor, which barely begins to describe her life and experience. What a woman to learn from. To be so well adjusted after so much horror at the hands of merciless people – who were not her own people, which disgusts me – is a heroic example of humanity.

She should be heralded by the nation.

Comment added by James on 12.30.12

I am incorporaton this into my lesson plans for all grades immediately!

Comment added by Ira Cooper on 01.05.13

My goodness, what a remarkable human being, what a remarkable spirit. I am humbled. Thank you, Solidod and thank you, Larry.

Comment added by Tom on 01.06.13

I first heard this program several weeks ago. Each time I hear it I laugh out loud, cry profusely, and go through every emotion in-between. Solidod has made me examine every aspect of my life and realize I need to make more room for curiosity, compassion, faith, hope, bravery, and learning. I don’t think history has seen many people as special and unique as Solidod. May we all strive to be more like her.

Comment added by Nicole on 01.06.13

I would like to thank all the people who have helped me get his book together. And thank you all for listenin’ and buyin’ my story.

Comment added by solidodwoods on 02.05.13

I love her story! I want to buy this book in paper back or buy a full audio version of this book for my grandmother to listen to who also had a very rough life and can no longer read.

Comment added by jams on 02.14.13

I met Solidod last year and read her story. It was just in loose paper form then. She is an amazing lady and I am vey glad to have met her. Nice t hear your voice again Solidod. take good care.

Comment added by allan osborne on 02.20.13

Enjoyed your story on Amazon Kindle and happy to learn copyright printed copies are available from you.

Comment added by Lou on 03.05.13

Mesmerizing voice, inspiring life story.

Comment added by Jennifer B on 03.16.13

I could only cry and cry when she told her story. I am so far from where I was born and grew up, but like her I keep going and believe learning is the most amazing gift of life. I believe like her so many things. I would give her a place to live here, but I’m far away. I hope she is well, well.

Comment added by Mary E on 03.17.13

I am sorry I have not had the chance to meet this magnificent person.

Comment added by Bud Carroll on 03.17.13

Amazing story, loved her sense of humor.

Comment added by Rey on 03.17.13

It was awesome.. It was moving.. It was inspiring.. brought to me the moments of smile, laughter, tears.. its simply amazing.. keep the goo work going mam. loved ur story..

It would have a place in the hears of Indian boys and girls ..

Comment added by Amar Ankola on 05.29.13

i’m grateful that there’s still room in the world for people like solidod and programs like this for giving her voice.

Comment added by marianne ehrlich ross on 07.05.13

Thank you for sharing your story.

Comment added by Traci on 09.05.13

wow storge women i amazed how you make it

i love you thanking don’t worry about what is next

great job hearing voies

Comment added by ahmed sadiq on 01.18.14

[…] of tea and sit back.  You will smile, I am certain of that.  In this audio story from the program ‘Hearing Voices, Solidod is in her 80s and tells about 300 years of her life stories from her book. ‘The […]


What a beautiful soul

Comment added by Ochia on 04.24.14

I was given a email to contact Solidad but it is a wrong one, I don’t know if any one is still in contact with her, she was speaking to a guy name Bill the other day and he told her about me and that she would hear from me, he meet her on Saturday at Coldwater AZ.

Because of the wrong email I cannot do so, so I hope someone can give me her correct email address.

My name is Annette tell her as she was told my name and also that I live in Australia.

I so wish I could meet her,

Thank you,

Annette (Runningwater)

Comment added by Annette on 05.19.14

Solidod said it was fine to give indicate her e-mail to you.
It is 1lucky1star.@gmail.com Solidod lived in Florida before
returning to Arizona after many years.

Comment added by Luis Ybarra on 05.20.14

Thank you.

I had the email address but it was given wrong no . (dot) before @ so that is why it was returned.

Thanks again I appreciate it

Annette (Runningwater)

Comment added by Annette on 05.20.14

Thank you Solidod

Your story is a blessing

Thank you

My best wishes and prayers for you

God Bless

Carlos

Comment added by carlos on 06.29.14

I don’t know her but I love her. Her story reads like a 3-D movie. I wish her health and a long, long life.

Mike

Comment added by Mike on 09.06.14

Learning to love our neighbors,is the debt we all have and could never be fully paid,all we could do is keep on raising that ceiling.

Comment added by Carlitos on 09.06.14

I listened to this story while driving home from work, and I cried for Solidod’s suffering, but I was elated but her extraordinary strength to endure and thrive. You are a beautiful strong woman. Thank you for sharing your story.

Beth

Comment added by Beth Sherman on 09.06.14

TRULY A INSPIRATION!

Comment added by BRENDA on 09.08.14

She is one of those people who has being truly blessed and others could learn from her.

Runningwater (Annette)

Comment added by Annette(runningwater) on 09.09.14



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