willowbrook farm

historic yellow springs

The Depth of Resilience

A woman and a man came into the barn one day during a barn sale who had a profound impact on me. They had followed the signs that my hubby, “the sign guy”, puts out for each and every sale. It had turned out that they did not have to follow them far for they told me that they were neighbors on the next street and were just curious as to what went on at a Barn Sale. The woman was a stunning red head with brilliant blue eyes who happened to be in a wheel chair pushed by the gentleman. Being that I love conversing with our guests and this woman drew me in, we started to chat. Before I realized it, we had spoken for a good twenty minutes. My husband had joined in as well as Chris Stoner who was working behind the counter.  I had learned that her name was Mariah Fenton Gladis and her husband was Ron Gladis. She was a practicing psychotherapist who despite her longtime diagnosis of ALS… thirty five years prior… she was still practicing and traveling, lecturing on her life journey and helping others on their own. Ron told us that his son Coleman, was producing a film on her life story. We ended the conversation, the three of us who had just met this intriguing couple, stunned and impressed by them. 
My thoughts kept turning back to them and of course with technology today, I was able to do a little research into Mariah and Ron Gladis.  That was two years back. They continued to pop into the sales here and there. We would continue our conversations where we had left off and Ron would flip us communication on the foundation that they had started in 2006 and the progression of the movie. Through all of these facets, my impression of this couple expanded and my admiration grew. I was totally thrown into a state of awe upon watching the TEDx Talk, Creating Moments that Matter, where Mariah speaks of creating spontaneous moments that matter which have the power to change lives. The smaller moments being the ones that need more awareness and more attention. The power is in our own hands to both give and create the moments as well as to receive them. “You are the master of your moments,” states Mariah in this talk, and through ALS, which she considers her teacher, she has learned that this moment right here and right now is absolutely precious. 
Mariah uses her life altering experience of living with ALS, combined with her skills as a renowned psychotherapist, to bring her message that “even our heartbreak can be turned into something of value and experienced as a gift, a present, to resource and mine wisdom and compassion.” She gives lectures internationally on the value of hope and personal sustainability and the concept of reaching both inward and outward to provide more love, compassion and forgiveness in this world. That is one of the many topics that Mariah believes in and teaches that is much needed in this world that we live in today. They resonated deeply within me and after rewatching  a couple of Mariah’s videos, I had to reach out to Ron to see if they would be the non-profit that we worked with for our upcoming fall barn sale. We were thrilled that he agreed and we are beyond excited that both Mariah and Ron will be at our Fall Preview Party on September 20th to tell you more about their inspirational cause, The Mariah Fenton Gladis Foundation. 
Through their foundation, The Mariah Fenton Gladis Foundation, whose mission is: to help individuals, families and communities through programs that bring a sense of love, compassion, and forgiveness to those with a passionate desire to create better lives, they fund and give special workshops, support needy students in life skills and training and provided private counseling focusing on the underserved and financially destitute population. They have funded workshops such as the following: 
Embracing Yourself into Wellness, for cancer patients.
Befriending Death/ Transforming Life, explores the practical and psycho-spiritual preparation for death.
Bless the Broken Road, which I referred to earlier as using physical or emotional heartbreak as a gift. 
We hope that you can either join us in the barn, Wednesday night, September 20th for our Fall Fete Preview Party or come by to visit the barn sale from Friday, September 22nd through Sunday, September 24th to support their foundation in both friend raising and fund raising. 
In Mariah’s words, “we all have the power to make moments that matter, moments that can transform, connect, elevate and… sometimes heal” 
Hope to see you soon! 

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  1. Melissa says:

    I just love this story Meg. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Tony says:

    Meg this is something worth
    Sharing,we are so blessed to
    be in a position to help out to such a worthy cause. God