KARA: "What inspires you?"
DALLAS: "Finding beauty all around me is what inspires and motivates me! In my future plans, I will write a book on finding and experiencing it, especially in every day life. Years ago, my granny developed Alzheimer's. She was the most personable woman I have met, and to be loved by her--known by her, is one of my greatest gifts. So losing her little by little was devastating. My parents and family became her care takers, doing jobs that were very difficult at times like changing her diaper or bathing her. At first thought, that isn't something that typically is associated with beauty, but in serving her we grew to love her with depth that I never knew existed. Beauty came from that service which has prepared me for MANY of the trials I later experienced. I focused on the beauty of her hands, her blue eyes, her clean body. Finding that kind of beauty is sort of a game I play with myself. If someone irritates me, I try to ask what there is about them that is beautiful instead of letting that irritation take from me energy better used somewhere else. Feeding my sweet boys through a tube is hard for me at times, especially if it ends up spraying into my mouth because of the method we use to de-compress their stomachs. So my challenge (or the game I play) with myself is to see the beauty of being able to nourish them, etc. I figure if I can find beauty in those types of things, my ability to find beauty in the easier things will flow to me like a river!"
KARA: "Tell us about your first husband, Art. What kinds of things you were able to do together? What was the most special thing about being able to spend time with him?"
DALLAS: "I met my first husband, Art Berg, when I was just 15 years old. He lived 900 miles away from me and so we developed a friendship long distance and were engaged to be married in February, 1983. Six weeks before our wedding, he was traveling with a friend who fell asleep at the wheel. In the wreck that followed, Art broke his neck at a C5 C6 level and became quadriplegic. I was only 19 years old at the time. I can't think of anything more difficult, or anything more wonderful than what followed for the next 18 years. It changed the way I looked at my hopes and dreams, and how I accomplished them. We wrote a book together called, Some Miracles Take Time, along with a couple other books about the experiences we had. We lived a very full life and figured out how to take Art scubing diving and para-sailling. He played wheelchair rugby and set a world record in 1993 by pushing his wheelchair 250 miles in 7 days. We traveled much of the US together, and different parts of the world. Art became one of the world's leading motivational speakers and is a member of the National Speaker's Hall of Fame. We truly were given more than we ever missed because of the accident. Art had an amazing way of taking difficulty and seeing the humor in it. His message was one of humor, change and ownership for our lives no matter what happens. Eight years ago, he died in his sleep from an unexpected and adverse reaction to a medication that he'd been prescribed. To this day, I still have people write me, letting me know of the impact his life has had on theirs!"
Here's something Dallas wanted me to add: When I asked her why she is an Incredible Woman (something I ask each woman I feature), she said "I believe if anyone views me as an incredible woman, it is because I am surrounded by them! I truly believe that." (I forgot to add that to Monday's question, and Dallas asked me to mention it.) I hope you are enjoying getting to know this wonderful woman! Visit again tomorrow for two more questions/answers. If anyone wants to contact Dallas, or just ask a question, write to me at kara(dot)incrediblewomen(at)gmail(dot)com and I'll pass your email on to Dallas.