Tuesday, March 17, 2009

"Can't Never Could"

Every morning I usually read my hometown newspaper online. Being from a very small, Southern town, it's just tradition to keep up with the neighbors. Today when I visited I read this inspiring story. I never knew the heroine, Mrs. Margaret Jones; but,I sure would have liked to have spent some time chatting with her. I thought that you might enjoy "meeting" her, too.

One of my favorite quotes is "Can't never could!" I've used it often with my students. I use it a lot with myself when I start throwing an extended pity party!I don't think that "can't" was in Margaret's vocabulary. I've added her memoir The World In My Mirror to my bookshelf. It is going to be an awesome read!

"Margaret Jean Jones, 72, died Monday morning at her home, leaving behind a legacy that includes the Margaret Jean Jones Center, three books, hundreds of editorials and numerous lives touched. She was also named The Times 2000 Profile Citizen of the Year.

Looking back on her accomplishments in a 1998 interview with The Times, Jones said she truly enjoyed her life, despite the almost lifelong paralysis she suffered.

“There are probably things I would have done differently, but all in all I’ve had a blessed and fulfilling life,” she said. “I can’t look back and be bitter. I have made a conscious effort not to be bitter, but to concentrate on the things I have done that I’ve enjoyed.”

Jones spent more than 55 years bedridden with fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva — a connective tissue defect between the muscles that results in the proliferation of bone formation.

With her neck and much of her body frozen by the condition, her window to the world became a small mirror she could angle to look out of her farm house window, as well as the typewriter and computer she would use to share her thoughts.

Despite her handicap, Jones thrived as a writer, penning a memoir called “The World In My Mirror,” numerous columns for The Times and other publications, as well as two historical books about Cullman County.

She also helped found the Margaret Jean Jones Cullman County Center for the Developmentally Disabled (CCCDD), and wrote regular entries for the center’s newsletter until her death. The center teaches individuals with disabilities how to take care of themselves and prepares them to be productive citizens."
(Excerpted from The Cullman Times)


Michelle said...

Wow, this is a wonderful post. It makes me thankful everyday for what I do have in my life. No matter what happens in my life I will always look at all the good and know that I have been truly blessed. What a wonderful woman. Thanks for sharing, Marilyn!

mysteryhistorymom said...

That really makes you think. What a wonderful post. What an amazing lady!
Thanks for letting me know about your swap package, Sweetie! I know that Angie will be thrilled! Lori

Anonymous said...

This sounds like an interesting read. Isn't it amazing how someone can take 55 years of being bedridden and turn it into a written journey into the world as she saw it! Inspiring to say the least.