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Friday, August 3, 2007

Footprint in the Sand

Footprint in the Sand
By Mary Stevenson
 
One night I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord.
Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky.
In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand.
Sometimes there were two sets of footprints,
other times there were one set of footprints.
 
This bothered me because I noticed
that during the low periods of my life,
when I was suffering from
anguish, sorrow or defeat,
I could see only one set of footprints.
 
So I said to the Lord,
"You promised me Lord,
that if I followed you,
you would walk with me always.
But I have noticed that during the most trying periods of my life
there have only been one set of footprints in the sand.
Why, when I needed you most, you have not been there for me?"
 
The Lord replied,
"The times when you have seen only one set of footprints in the sand,
is when I carried you."
 
Author's bio:
Mary Stevenson was born November 8, 1922 in the Philadelphia suburb of
Chester, PA. She had many brothers and sisters, but was still able to
maintain her individuality and strong headedness.
 
This became even more difficult after the loss of her mother at age six,
which forced her father to raise all eight children by himself. Most of
her childhood was spent during one of this Nation's toughest and most
trying times, The Great Depression.
 
It was in her early teens (1936) when she first wrote 'Footprints in the
Sand' having been inspired by the many things that had affected her
young life. She was so moved by the power of the words she wrote that
she felt the need to share its meaning with those who could gain
strength from it in their time of need.
 
At age sixteen she got into an abusive marriage that resulted in her
flight and finding refuge on an Indian reservation outside of Claremore,
Oklahoma with her infant son. She was able to return home after getting
word that her husband had gone off to fight in WWII.
 
Mary eventually moved to Los Angeles in the late 40's where she met her
future husband Basil Zangare whom she referred to as 'the love of her
life'. It was at this time that she first saw 'Footprints in the Sand'
in print with 'Author Anonymous' as the only credit. Several attorneys
discouraged her from pursuing her claim to it for lack of proof. But her
greatest battle was with polio and the accident that almost took Basil
from her.
 
She decided to pursue her claim to authorship and later in the year was
(1984) awarded a copyright for her poem. Eleven years later her 1939
copy of 'Footprints in the Sand' was authenticated as genuine by a forensic
specialist and said to be approximately fifty-plus years old. This would
pre-date any claims made by others of authorship including Margaret
Fishback-Powers who has said to have written it 1964.
 
Mary worked for many years to gain recognition for creating 'Footprints
in the Sand', which has continued even after her passing in January of
1999.
 

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