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5/21/08 What happened? Grace was involved in a auto accident on the Golden Gate Bridge on Wednesday May 21st, 2008. She had just picked up her daughter, Sabrina from School. Sabrina was taken to Marin General Hospital. She suffered a concussion, a broken hand and cuts and bruises. She was released the following day. Mack, the dog was in the car as well. He suffered minor injuries and was taken by the Humane Society to a San Rafael Pet Emergency hospital and was released the following morning and is doing well. Grace has sustained multiple internal injuries and broken bones. She was airlifted to John Muir Hospital in Walnut creek and taken into surgery immediately. She is presently at Kentfield Hospital. The Grace Dammann Fund The donations account now exists, at Wells Fargo Bank. The account is called 'The Grace Dammann Fund.' Donations can be sent to Pauline Tesler's law office, address below. Checks can be made out to Pauline, for benefit of Grace Dammann, or to the Grace Dammann Fund. All donations will be used for the benefit of Grace and Sabrina, immediate and longer term. Should anyone prefer to make an anonymous donation, Wells Fargo maintains a donations account roster that is available at all Wells Fargo Bank branches. Donors can go to a branch bank and ask to make a direct deposit into the Grace Dammann Fund. In that situation, neither I nor Fu nor anyone else will know the identity of the donor. That means that later, if and when Grace can become aware of all the spiritual and material support and love that is pouring toward her, she would not know the identity of that donor to give personal thanks. Pauline H. Tesler Tesler, Sandmann & Fishman 163 Miller Avenue, Suite 4 Mill Valley, California 94941 Telephone: (415)383-5600 Facsimile: (415)383-5675

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May 1, 2011

May 6, 2011 1:16pm

May 1, 2011

Everyone in her life should get to watch a live birth, be with someone they love as that person is dying, officiate at a wedding between people they love, and have a song dedicated to herself at a musical event.  As a physician, I’ve gotten to do many of the first two but, recently, I got to officiate at a wedding and I loved it. It was such a gift to me. The hope expressed by two people who love each other who let us witness the vows they make to one another is so powerful. Two people being completely themselves, with love, reminds us of the vows we make in our lives, of those things for which we would lay down our lives and die. When the world looks most hopeless, the most hopeful thing we can do is to recommit, formally.

And this is one of the wonderful things about getting older.  I am no longer afraid of commitment. Last night, I got to hear my favorite women’s band, Blame Sally, sing at the Great American Music Hall.  I haven’t heard them in about 3 years.  They have grown and I was so struck by the power of song and music to call forth the emotion that travels along with our language patterns and how we describe our lives (mostly to ourselves). In particular, my friend Renée sang this song: All Rise. It was written in response to her cancer diagnosis...and with the words of the song I could feel, totally, how my heart wants to break with compassion for my smashed up poor little body.  It was dedicated to Fu and me: 

     All rise, all rise hear the recommendation, 
     All rise, sometimes the guide’s disguised in pain all rise, all     rise hear the recommendation
     Meet the guy with an open light, all rise
     And then they came into my home 
     They knocked me down and took 
everything I owned 
     I tried to see beyond alone
     Where empty makes room for 
something new and unknown 
     All rise, sometimes the guide’s disguised in pain…
     All rise, all rise hear the recommendation 
     Meet the guide with an open light,
all rise”.

 What I am doing now is beginning to live a life, not one that is very familiar (though the elements making it up are totally familiar) but one that I am trying to create.  What this entails is helping out in the office at Green Gulch and volunteering half a day of week at Laguna Honda, and continuing with seemingly endless rehab. While it is familiar, I do feel awkward. My body, which has been mine since birth, is now what is so peculiar and foreign and unknown.  And…I am learning to know what it needs, and love it.

And… this IS my life and…I am so grateful to have it. I am so grateful to have friends like Renée who gives such a unique gift to the universe and my young friends, Thea and Ivan, who let me participate with them in something very special. We ARE interdependent.  What each of us does matters so much to those both near and far. We are each a slightly misshapen stone dropped in a great big ocean and the ripples that emanate from each of us ultimately rock and lull all the others.

So, in Rene’s words, may we All Rise…and meet the guide with an open light…Happy Spring.

With much love,
Grace

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