This is the part of who I am that led to this book!
My name is Sherry L. May. I was born and raised in Iowa, living briefly in Texas, Oklahoma and Missouri.
Following my dream, I was doing amateur Stand-Up Comedy when, at age 35, I had a massive hemorrhagic stroke. (I died during that stroke, but I came back.) I truly believe that I was made to come back for a reason. Actually, many reasons. The poetry I used to write, before the stroke, was to me very harsh.
Now, I see my poetry as softer and educating. I see life as lessons on looking at the world. This is how the world looks to me since I woke up from the coma, relearned how to walk, how to talk, and how to deal with life from a wheelchair. Now, I only use the chair to go long distances.
I have learned that people judge the brain injured very harshly because we cant put our brains in wheelchairs! I get angry and frustrated, and the depression is awful. I am a survivor, though, and if slaying the Dragons of the world is why I am back, then so be it!
I really wasnt one for joining groups before, however my stroke has allowed it. I am now a member of two groups that you dont want to join. I am a Stroke Group Leader, affiliated with the American Heart Association. I am a member of the Iowa Brain Injury Association. And, I have recently been appointed to serve on the Iowa Governors Brain Injury Advisory Board.
When I did stand-up comedy, I didnt even joke about politics. The closest I got to being politically correct was that I am vertically challenged. At 4 foot 11 in shoes, buying groceries has always been a challenge! My stroke has expanded my world.
Inspiration For Body Bags
My Mom and I had gone to Washington, D.C. to a poetry convention. What I saw broke my heart. It is a beautiful city with a desperate problem.
People were sleeping under the statues. We went on a trolley ride into the downtown area. I looked down the street and saw homeless people wrapped in plastic because of the rain. They lined the sidewalks for two blocks.
When I was crying Mom asked, "Why are you crying?" I said, "Look around, we are in what is considered the wealthiest country in the world. We are in the richest city and all of these people are sleeping on the streets. This is what you expect to see in Third World countries."
I was also embarrassed because of the people from other countries on the trolley.
I was also ashamed.
A friend of mine said, tour D.C. by night! We did. What an awesome sight, grand building and all. At Lincolns feet you feel so small. And the cemetery stones a ghostly white. It was a silent moment, what a cost. The young men and women we have lost! The downtown. Whats that rolled in plastic? Not a safe place to leave new carpet! Wait! Its a tuft of hair, not carpet! LOOK! Body Bags of people, all lined up. A shoe, an arm, a tuft of hair! Sleeping on the concrete! I cried, "Doesnt No theyre not dead, walking corpses you see. For they lost hope. Theyve lost their dreams! They may as well be in body bags it seems.