Words From An Open Heart by Jessica Cronk - Read Online
Words From An Open Heart
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Hi, my name is Jessica Cronk. I’m 27 years old. I have a disability known as spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy with stable hydrocephalus. Because of this, I’m wheelchair dependent and weaker on the right side of my body, I’m easily startled, and my head is a bit bigger than most because of extra fluid around my brain.
Despite my disability, and the daily issues that come along with it, I’ve always enjoyed writing! I began writing short stories in elementary school. My very first stories were titled Cheetahs, The Magic Unicorn, and The Flying Turtle. I loved Elementary school. The teachers and my friends always encouraged me to keep writing and to make the most of my creative abilities.
As time passed, I began exploring other forms of writing, particularly poetry. From middle school on, I was complimented on the creativity expressed in my writing. Not only did I enjoy writing, it was the one avenue that allowed me to truly express myself…whether I was writing down my thoughts, feelings, or just losing myself in a world of my own creation. In my writing, I learned I had no limitations.
At least, that’s what I thought at the time! A year after I graduated high school, I enrolled in an English course at Macomb Community College. I did all right, but it was very difficult to face the fact that I didn’t fully grasp all areas of writing as well as thought I had after all this time.
I struggled with grammer and sentence structure. There were many times I became discouraged because I had such a difficult time with basic writing principles. It was tough, but it was a good learning experience. My professor really worked with me. In fact, he approached me after class and asked if I’d consider writing a biography. I was flattered that he thought so highly of my writing. I was also very grateful for the opportunity he was offering me, but that just wasn’t something I wanted to do at the time and I respectfully declined.
I decided then to take a break from academics. The long days on campus took a toll on me mentally and physically. During this time, I became acquainted with a woman named Linda Oleszko who ran a small animal rescue known as Tiny Paws Rescue. I was curious to know what it was all about so I began inquiring. Near the end of our conversation she said “if you’d like you could come volunteer for a day? That way, you’d be able to check things out yourself.” I was hesitant at first, but I took her up on the offer. Not long after, I became a regular among the rest of the volunteers!
It was unbelievable!! I had always wanted to work with animals since I was a little child. Now, this childhood dream had become a reality.
You see, I was often told that the chronic pain, weakness & spasms caused by my cerebral palsy would prevent me from doing a lot of things that other people are able to do. But Linda didn’t see the disability- she only saw a fellow animal lover.
After I had been volunteering for a while, I returned to writing by writing detailed descriptions about each animal’s personality that I fostered. One day, mom asked. “Why don’t you write poems anymore?” I didn’t have an answer for her question. At that time, I didn’t think about it too much. After all, I had the best of both worlds. Did it really matter if I wrote poetry or not? I would soon discover the answer to this question in midst of a prolonged health struggle.
Without warning, I had to quit volunteering at Tiny Paws Rescue. I began experiencing severe weakness, fatigue, chest pain, difficulty breathing, and an awful burning sensation in my arms and legs. Knowing this wasn’t normal; my mom took me to the doctor. They performed several tests, but didn’t find any evidence of an illness. We visited many other doctors in an attempt to get some answers. Unfortunately, they weren’t able to find any evidence of an illness, either. After some time, I was finally diagnosed with a bacterial infection called pseudomon
Published: Xlibris on
ISBN: 9781483601939
List price: $3.99
Availability for Words From An Open Heart: Illustrated by Madison Patenaude
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