Monday, January 18, 2010


Sometimes chasing your dreams hurts. Sometimes helping others hurts. And then sometimes you have to put on your 'big girl panties' and keep on marching to the beat of your own drummer, and 'take that leap and build your wings on the way down!' (author Kobi Yamada).

 I learned yesterday that a project I have chased and worked on night and day for almost two  years is 'all about stroking my ego!'  Or so someone has said.  With respect, I ask them to walk in my shoes.  I ask them to write the next book.  I ask them to spend hours and hours and hours finding $5,000.00 to pay for 5,000.00 books to distribute to our wounded warriors returning from Iraq/Afghanistan with life altering injuries.I ask them to work untold hours with a graphic designer getting the layout of the books just right for patients unable to spend long reading, for patients on medication with short attention spans, for patients with prosthetic limbs, with severe burns, with vision problems. I ask them to research hundreds and hundreds of quotes to match to hundreds of photos that have to have releases obtained and attached. I ask them to lift 160 books in a case to the detriment of their back.  I ask them to package and ship them to hundreds and hundreds of soldiers and chaplains in Iraq/Afghanistan to distrubute to those who need them the most. I ask them to do this for free. And sadly, I invite them to find funding for a reprint of the much needed  5,000 books to go to all those soldiers who are severely wounded coming back from Afghanistan, as the war there escalates. 

Well you get the picture.  Sadly, this person will not distribute the books to the wounded warriors or to the deployed and deploying soldiers.  I ask you who is this about? 

I have authored over fifty five books.  None have been about me or my ego and the two, and soon to be three, Pockets of Peace books are the only ones that have come from my guts, my soul.

The Pockets of Peace series of books will go on.  The dream and goal will go on. And the series of books will continue as long as there is a breath left in me. It will go on for the soldiers and for patients taking one step at a time through dark tunnels from severe injuries, amputations, burns, heart disease, strokes, MS, brain tumors, and more, and to children who have lost a parent to war or children who have been sexually molested and abused. It will go on because i know their pain.  I have been there.  Is this all about stroking my ego?

I have a mantra I incessantly preach to my therapy dog teams in the Penny's From Heaven Foundation, the teams that go out into the world to share the special medicine our dogs provide for those who need them the most. "It is not about me - it is not about my dog - it is solely about the patient."

Robert Browning said, " Our aspirations are our possibilities."  My aspiration and my dream with these books is to make a difference, to dry a tear, to change a life if only for a moment.  To me every day that I sit and wait for something to happen is another day wasted.  Yes I give my dreams everything I have in me and just when I think I can't take another step or write another page or wipe away another tear is the moment when I become amazed at the energy that comes out of me.  To me it is an insurmountable aspiration.  How can I possibly make a difference when there is so much suffering, so many people in need, so many soldiers changed in the prime of their life, so many not wanting to live another day, so many struggling to live another day.  How can I make a difference simply by a little book we distribute to those stuck in quicksand.  Here is what keeps me going.  Here is how I manage to hold on.  Here is how I write one more book in the Pockets of Peace series.

Making a Difference

An old man was strolling along a beach one day. In the distance he saw a young boy and girl reach down, pick something up and throw it back into the sea. Drawing nearer, he saw that the sand was littered with thousands of small stranded sand dollars. The children were patiently picking them up, one at a time, and returning them to safety below the water."What are you doing?" he asked. "Saving sand dollars," replied the children as they continued about the job at hand. The old man, somewhat jaded by age, thought the children's actions were futile. "But the beach is littered with dying sand dollars. What possible difference can you make by doing this?"

The young girl bent over, picked up another, and threw it with all her might. With a plop the sand dollar sank safely below the water. Then, turning to the old man, she said with all the wisdom of a child, "I made a difference for that one."


And finally I end today's post with praise for the book. Not for me but the aspiration, the goal, the effort, the grace of God who gave me a little talent, alot of grit and planted the seed. 

"I had seen some samples from the Pockets of Peace book and it looked great, but the actual book exceeded my expectations. It’s wonderful—no wonder it creates such a response in the combat vets!"
--Beth Schietzelt ~ Soldiers’ Angels ~California

“Pockets of Peace” is a beautiful and comforting booklet. Please let us know where we can get more copies. Bless you for all your work for veterans. ~SOUTH TEXAS COMBAT VETERANS

“I have raved about your book to many people to help spread the word. It should be used at every hospital or treatment center for PTSD troubled patients.” ~Tom Criser, Author – The Ghost in the Orange Closet

And most importantly of all from a soldier:
"As always God intervened and I was led to a book written by the Penny’s from Heaven foundation. I picked up the book to just look at and read it cover to cover in one sitting. I couldn’t believe that there were others out there, even civilians, that intimately knew what I was going through. For me it was nothing less than a lifesaver on paper. After I finished the book I cried. It was a good cry, and one that I needed for months. I can honestly say that day the door for recovery was opened for me. It was just a little crack, but I could finally see the light, and knew that I was worth saving. All from a book This book changed my life and gave me the courage and strength to meet the ghosts of my recovery head on." ~SSG K. I.
I thank those of you who support the dreams and aspirations of these books - they are making a difference.  If you would like to contribute to the production of additional books for those who need them the most, please visit, and contribute via paypal, check, or credit card.  Your gift will not go unnoticed and you too can wipe away a tear and make a life just a little bit brighter as a door opens to hope and to faith. 
The next and third in the series of Pockets of Peace books will be released in a couple of weeks...its title...POCKETS OF PEACE, For Fears, For Tears, For Laughter, Love & Life.  It will go to hospitals, hospice, assisted living, schools, rehabilitation facilities, any and all health care facilities we can touch.  God bless you all for your support, encouragement and love.

"Let me listen to me and not to them."
~Gertrude Stein

"If someone believes in you, and you believe in your dreams, it can happen.
~Tiffany Loren Rowe

1 comment:

  1. I have a story to tell. It's a sad story, but I truely believe by telling it some healing will come. I was MEDEVACED from Serbia on the 20th of February 2009. I had my own personal "escort service" and restraints. I was evacuated because of PTSD/TBI and a laundry list of physical injuries. I was suicidal, and if I could have gotten my hands on a weapon I would have not hesitated for a moment to end the pain. I still can't talk about what happened. If I admit it happened, then it becomes real. God had a plan for me when I arrived broken, battered, and bewilerded at BAMC. My first day there I found a penny's from Heaven flyer and immediately called Patsy, who has become one of the best friends I have ever had. Her love is pure, simple, unjudgemental, and real. Before I could even speak to her the dogs found me on a magical day that began the process of changing my life. I don't know haw many hours I have spent holding on to a hand full of fur and crying my eyes out. They did more for me than all the Psychatrist's at BAMC. I have four copies of her Pockets of Peace. I have that many because they are my security blanket when I can't get through another moment. I was with friends riding yesterday and was sure I saw a dead body hanging from a tree. My friend, fealing me start to shake stopped the Harley and let me off. I immediately pulled a copy of Pockets of Peace out of my backpack to read. Unbeknown to me I was with a Vietnam Veteran who was on another bike with us. He looked into my eyes and we both knew, we both cried, and we both read. Peace came easily to us with the help of a book that my damaged brain can comprehend. I hope that whomever made the statement about the books being an ego trip was driving along highway 16 in Texas yesterday and saw twelve bikers, many with tears in their eyes gathered around a book that I credit with saving my life more than once.

    I love you Patsey...more than you could ever know.