I am a former British police officer who lives in England. Several unique life experiences, near death encounters, physical disabilities and emotional incidents have combined to provide a firm foundation for my stories, poems and paintings. At the age of 30, after combining an accidental blow to my head with a late night party, I survived my first massive stroke. To return to the job I loved proved to be a sometimes amusing, sometimes daunting struggle that took 18 months. With great pride in this achievement, I survived another 11 years as a fully operational, uniformed police sergeant. During this time, I stretched his mind to the limit by studying for a degree. Nine years after that first stroke, everything was put on hold when a younger man took interest in my family, my home but mostly, my wife. Within weeks, my 19-year marriage was at an end; my mind and life collapsed. My inability to cope with the changes left me homeless and estranged from all I loved and cherished. Despite having no faith, I was encouraged to pray. Amazingly, the prayer worked! Throughout the loneliness and despair of being homeless, prayer sustained me and brought me to a new life, new love, but most of all, a loving and welcoming family that was happy to love me as their own. It was meant to be a happy ever after ending to the tragedies, but just four weeks after my last exam towards my degree, and 16 days after my second marriage, a road accident caused a second major stroke, bringing my working life to an abrupt end. Undaunted and determined to defy the paralysis, I took up music and art, achieving grades in piano and despite having a right arm that I can barely control, I even play the violin! My paintings have been generously described as breath taking. (http://www.philipcatshill.com
) I'm glad I don't harbour any ill feelings because I think hatred consumes you quicker and more effectively than cancer. Life is for loving. We only have one crack at it and I am determined to enjoy every single minute of all that remains, and I can do that because when I was at my lowest and called out to God in despair, he was there! Prayer works, prayer heals, try it, and persevere with it. Life is wonderful. Live it. Enjoy it. I support, help, advise and guide fellow writers wherever my limited abilities allow. I have designed websites, created covers and in my limited way, helped with editing, but mainly, I have supported with promotion and marketing. I do this without the expectation of a fee.