Letter to the Editor

Make lemonade

Friday, July 29, 2011

Dear Editor,

There's a saying "When life hands you lemons, make lemonade."

Samuel Clemens, the writer, known to us as Mark Twain, is remembered for his famous stories of Tom Sawyer, written in 1876, and Huckleberry Finn, written and published in 1884. They are literary classics.

There were times when Clemens' life was turned upside down. His father died when he was 12, and he became a typesetter for his brother's, Orion's, newspaper in Hannibal, Missouri. At 15, he went to work on a river boat. His only son, Langdon, died as an infant. His favorite daughter, Susy, died while he was on a tour selling some of his books. Olivia, his wife, preceded him in death in 1904 and his daughter, Jean, died in 1908. By the time Clemens passed away in 1910, his great sense of humor was gone.

Making lemonade was no longer possible for him.

In contrast to this, 23-year-old Elizabeth Smart of Salt Lake City has begun a new chapter in her life. June 5, 2002, at age 14, she was kidnapped by Brian David Mitchell. He held her captive and raped her and abused her psychologically.

For nine months, he eluded police. Finally, she was rescued. Mitchell was convicted in December 2010 of kidnapping and unlawful transportation of a minor across state lines for sex. He is now serving a life sentence in a federal prison.

With the help of her father, Ed Smart, Elizabeth is creating the Elizabeth Smart Foundation. Their goal is to create more awareness of missing persons cases. Public appearances have been scheduled for her on Good Morning America, Nightline and ABC News.

When I was left paralyzed in 1993 from Guillain-Barré syndrome, I also was faced with making lemonade from lemons. I now do it every day when I get around using a walker and a wheelchair.

Helen Ruth Arnold,

Trenton, Nebraska

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