Encouragement Lives!

24 years ago today, I was on the eve of a Leap Year Day surgery. Following a diagnosis of Stage IV ovarian cancer, I was given 3 months to live. If I didn’t wake up from surgery in the hospice ward of Mass General, I had signed off to let the surgeon use my body for experimental treatments that might help save other women after I was gone.

God and my sturdy fleet of guardian angels were with me. The diagnosis was false. What I had was going to “take me out,” but it wasn’t cancer. The successful surgery gave me a renewed lease on life. Not everyone gets to wake up to such a positive result.

Whether or not we face critical life-and-death situations, sobering diagnoses, or any of Life’s other “foul balls,” we all have crosses to bear and challenges to face. I was blessed to have my parents with me, my sister Deborah literally at my side before and after surgery, and an amazing circle of supportive friends and colleagues. Life and experience have taught me that not everyone is as fortunate.

And yet, everyone needs someone, even if it is just some ONE, to be positive… to be with us, to believe, to assure us that we are not alone, and to encourage us with every possible prayer and loving thought. I hope that those in your life who uplift you know how precious they are to you.

The dozens… or perhaps even hundreds of stories I have heard over the years from people who did not feel the warmth, comfort, and strength from someone supportive became the impetus for me to write one of my books.  2019’s “Encouragement: How to Be and Find the Best” is all about unlocking positive, life-changing skills and learning to team up with people who are true encouragers and not discouragers. I have been deeply humbled by the outpouring of love and gratitude that continues to come my way from people who have read that book.

Whatever you may be going through, you can do it. As long as there is breath in your body, do not ever forget that.

“A person who tells you that you are not good enough knows that you are better than they are.”

— Cathy Burnham Martin
Author, voiceover artist, and dedicated foodie

About Cathy Burnham Martin

Author of 20+ books, and counting! A professional voice-over artist, dedicated foodie, and lifelong corporate communications geek, Cathy Burnham Martin has enjoyed a highly eclectic career, ranging from the arts and journalism to finance, telecommunications, and publishing. Along with her husband, Ron Martin, she has passions for entertaining, gardening, volunteering, active and visual arts, GREAT food, and traveling. Cathy often says, "I believe that we all should live with as much contagious enthusiasm as possible... Whether we're with friends or family, taking people along for the ride is more than half the fun."
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