On May 17th our community gathered for an annual West Norriton Day in an area high school parking lot. With the support of local police, fire and emergency personnel, neighbors with strollers to walking canes enjoyed glorious weather, attractions, entertainment, food, and fellowship opportunities of all kinds.
I had a fabulous chance to do a book signing and selling of my children's book, Kylie's Blossoms. For me, it helped the character of Kylie come alive. In other words, I was able to explain where Kylie came from and what she was all about, to the youngsters and the not so young who stopped by to chat.
I was blown away when a young lady told me that I was the first author she had ever met! It hit me like a thunderbolt that I was indeed an author, and I took ownership of this feeling.
The character of Kylie is a way for me to portray some of the childhood values that my mother instilled in me. I also had a teddy bear that never left my side and we loved to take walks and pick flowers for Mom.
Written in dedication to my Mother, Miss Sammie, and named for my great-niece, Kylie Samantha (who was born nine months after Mom's death), this book was a labor of love and a therapeutic act of healing for me.
It was inspiring to speak with young children who love to read. A few aspired to be writers and one, an illustrator. While most read with Kindles, some actually preferred books they could hold in their hands. One young lady was with her grandmom and they still read with each other. That touched my heart.
It was equally sad to observe the number of children and adults who ignored the idea of a book. Some, who stopped for a free piece of candy, looked shocked at the idea of saying thank you, let alone reading a book. Their eyes were busy darting to the next available free attraction or food item that their parents allowed them to indulge in.
The day lit up again when my niece, Jennifer, joined us with her two children, Kylie Samantha, herself, and her little bro, Brayden! Aren't they the sweetest children?? Oh yes, Auntie mar is biased for sure! I want to note that Jennifer has a fantastic library of books, including Kylie's Blossoms, and she and her hubby, Chris, read to their children on a daily basis.
I was thrilled to learn that PennSTAR was going to make an appearance at West Norriton Day. Many people, even living in our immediate area, have never heard of PennSTAR.
Here is an excerpt taken directly from their website about exactly who they are:
"The PennSTAR Flight Program provides critical care air and ground medical transportation to the Tri-State Area (the Delaware Valley region, which includes eastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey and northern Delaware is also known as the tri-state area) within a 100-mile radius of Penn Medicine. PennSTAR provides rapid transport of critical care patients between medical centers, as well as "on-scene" services at the site of accidents and trauma-related incidents.
"They operate six helicopters and one critical care ambulance 24-hours a day, seven days per week, staffed by expert pilots, critical care flight nurses and flight paramedics. All clinicians are cross-trained to operate in both helicopter and critical care ambulance so the superior level of care delivered to our patients is consistent regardless of the transport modality. All transport requests and support communications between transport teams, medical centers, and emergency crews which are coordinated and integrated by a dedicated communications center."
"Since 1988, PennSTAR has safely transported 40,000 patients in six states."
I am one of the 40,000 blessed and grateful individuals who was safely transported to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania for life saving surgery, June 18th,1999, on a PennSTAR helicopter under the safe and competent care of these flight angels.
It was not until almost fifteen years later that I could proudly climb onto a PennSTAR helicopter of my own volition and take ownership of that part of my life again. True, it was not the exact same helicopter but I was okay with that. The three wonderful gentlemen present on West Norriton Day had not been working for PennSTAR in 1999, but I was able to shake their hands and thank them on behalf of the life saving work they do today.
I walked back to the table with tears of empowerment and gratitude in my eyes.
Life is filled with second chances and I, for one, embrace them each and every time.
Until next time, be peaceful and be proud of yourself.
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