I’d like to introduce my readers to some people who are inspiring and wonderful. Their entire stories, which I encourage you to read, are found in my blog page “Interesting People.” But, their stories happened to be the first blog posts I published and I haven’t noticed anyone visit there. (Yet.)
Kind Reader, here they are: Doctor Mary Groda Lewis and Jill Foster, two extraordinary women.
By Leneé Cobb
First published 2001 in the Sequim Gazette
Although I interviewed Dr. Mary years ago, she remains in my heart and continues to inspire so many people, people she’s met, people she never will.
This morning, unbeknown to you, Mary Groda Lewis woke up wondering, “Who am I going to meet today? Who will I get to explore this world with?”
. . . You may have read about her in Reader’s Digest; or watched T.V. and seen her on the “Oprah Winfrey Show” or “Good Morning America.” Even if you have not, she is one of those rare persons who, when you meet, it feels like you have known forever. Actress Kristy McNichol memorialized her inspiring life in a made for T.V. movie, “Love Mary” in 1984. The film dealt with Mary as she overcame dyslexia, a massive stroke during the birth of her second child, and the difficulties she encountered in attaining her medical degree.
If Vegetables Could Talk
Jill Foster survived five brain aneurysms. Why should she be normal?
She surveyed the room with calm authority and zeroed in on the stranger. Smiling real big, she walked over, and extended her hand. “Oh, hi! I’m Jill. It is so wonderful to finally meet you.”
Two sentences later, her flaws were showing. She has a marked speech impediment. Why is it that we are drawn to imperfect people? She has trouble reading too. How then did she write a book? The right side of her body is paralyzed, which escaped this stranger’s notice for a while. How does one walk when half their body doesn’t work? With those imperfections, or maybe because of them, she became something more than normal. She was intriguing.
Prior to her aneurysms in 1989, Jill Foster was the manager for all of Boeing’s worldwide Workman’s Compensation Departments. Three weeks out of four, she spent in Washington, but the remaining week would find her wherever Boeing operated, be it California, Pennsylvania, Texas, or Saudi Arabia. She spent a lot of time for the company in Olympia too. To read Jill’s amazing story click here.