Most of the content was taken from a journal she kept while using hippotherapy, or horse therapy, as a means of treatment. There were many days when she would come home from a riding session at Miss Toby’s Horseback Riding Academy and say, “Within five minutes of getting on the horse, my pain and tremor were gone.”
To be sure, the pain and tremor would later return, but over time the pain became less and less, and now she rarely has pain and never at the same level as before.
Her motivation for writing the book was to help other people who may be experiencing Parkinson’s or some other debilitating disease. In the beginning she gave copies to family, friends and others who knew someone who would benefit from it.
One couple to whom she gave a copy are friends Stanley and Nina Russ, who live here in Conway, Ark. Stanley is a retired state senator and both he and Nina are thoughtful and gracious human beings. Stanley has written me a number of times, but this time his letter was to Viola. I might add, something he said gave me a chuckle and I will share it with you a bit later.
Since it’s just a short letter, and I’ve asked Stanley for his permission, I’ll just share it with you.
He begins, “Dear Viola, I’m sure Nina will be writing you about receiving your book. But I want to put in my two cents worth. After Nina read, ‘Who Me?’ (late in the evening, at least for us) she handed it to me and said, ‘You will want to read this.’ I peeked at it intending to put it aside and read it later. I didn’t put it down until I had read every word of it. The book is captivating, inspiring and educational reading. I now know the ghostwriter behind Jim Davidson. Thanks for telling your story in such a poignant way.”
Needless to say, we both appreciated the fact that Stanley would take the time to share his thoughts in this way. It meant a lot to her and to me, as well. A few weeks later I ran into him down at the post office and thanked him for his letter. At this point he said, “She’s got spunk!” That’s the primary reason I decided to share this with you. Regardless of where you live in this great country of ours, I believe you can relate to what I am saying.
While “spunk” is not a word I use often, I knew basically what it meant, but I decided to go to my dictionary and check it out. Among other things it means “courage, spirit, pluck and mettle.” I can tell you that Viola has all of these qualities and many, many more. In the face of the challenges that she must deal with each day, she handles herself with poise and grace, unlike anyone I have ever known. Her situation also reminds me of the saying we have all heard, “When you’ve got your health, you’ve got just about everything.”
As I’ve said many times, we are all going to die from something, but it’s what we do while we are living that really makes the difference. Something I heard an evangelist, the late Angel Martinez, say one time really sums it up, and what he said could be one of life’s greatest paradoxes. He said, “When we are born and come into the world, we cry while those around us smile. But if we live our lives as God intended, a life of service to Him, when we die we can smile while those around us cry.”
If you also have challenges in your life, regardless of what they may be, I hope hearing a small part of Viola’s story has been a blessing to you. In fact, I hope you also have “spunk” that helps you face each new day with courage and high character.
If you would like to have a copy of “Who Me?” the cost is $8.45 and it may be obtained from Viola here at our office, 2 Bentley Drive, Conway AR 72034, or call toll-free 1-800-242-2618 and she will be happy to send it to you.
(Editor’s Note: Jim Davidson is a motivational speaker and syndicated columnist. He may be contacted at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway AR 72034.)