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What does a mother's death, a high fever, and blindness have in common?

I was born on September 22, 1942 to a wonderful father - Edward Sr., a Ford Motor Company worker and associate Pastor of Second Baptist Church in downtown Detroit, and mother - Elvira Logan Simmons, a wonderful wife and homemaker.

Early in life, tragedy struck. My mother passed away when I was 3 years old. I saw her go through the trauma of a heart attack and ran and cried for help. It was too late. Throughout life this has affected me in a number of ways. I did not get the attention and nurturing growing up only a mother can give as most kids my age had some significant female influence in their life. There was only a younger brother and a dad plus and aunt and uncle who played a part-time role in our life. Therefore, my brother and I had little understanding of the nature of opposite sex and we experienced some abandonment issues with females while growing up. As adults, I had three failed marriages. On the bright side, I am on good terms with all of my ex.'s and there never were any physical abuse problems with any of our marriages.

My first wife and I brought into the; world 2 wonderful girls. The oldest, Ericka, graduated from University of Michigan in Electrical Engineering. She is now, 28 years old, happily married and the mother of two beautiful healthy girls: Faith and Renee. Elisha, my youngest daughter, graduated from U of M getting her Bachelor's Degree in Architecture. She is now working and going to school to get her Master's Degree.

What does this all mean? I learned something about women. Each of them, including my daughters, taught me something about 'women.' This experience taught me about how women think and feel and how to listen to their issues. As a result, I learned how to "nurture" their experiences that later in life this was one of the things that turned me on to massage therapy as a career. For now, I enjoy giving to others what I never got as a child; the attention, and nurturing from a mother.

A high fever in my 9th year brought about nerve deafness in my inner ear. This left me with a 40% hearing loss in both ears. At that time hearing aids were too expensive for even a middle class African-American family. So this meant that I had to go to special school for the hearing impaired. As a result, I was motivated to be the very best student in my class at school and to learn everything I could about health, fitness, and disease. After many years of childhood illnesses my health began to slowly improve. I graduated from high school with a 3.4 grade point average. I went on to college and dropped out after two years of study.

I did not know what career to go into. Suddenly, things begin to change for me. I found work in a Chrysler plant and stayed there for two years. Saw a sales job in a newspaper and applied for it. This was a new beginning, a turning point in my life: I was a salesman; I loved it!! I loved talking to people and helping them to find what they want or need. From 1968 thru 1976 I worked for Grinnell's Bros. selling stereo systems, pianos, and organs; P. Lorillard, selling cigarettes: Whitehall Lab. As a pharmaceutical salesmen; and Investor's Diversified Services, IDS, as a licensed Insurance agent and Mutual Fund representative.

At age 35, in 1977 I was declared legally blind. For 10 or more years previous I sensed something was going wrong with my eye sight: it was progressively getting worst. Blindness began two things: first, to study more about alternative approach to health and fitness: As a result, I became a vegetarian. Secondly, I started working out daily, mostly, learning to run and later became a marathon runner. Again, a health challenge has motivated me to high levels of personal achievements. I have gone back to school on a junior college or college level from the mid 70's through the mid 90's with over 120 hours of college credits; I had no degrees for my efforts.

I asked myself; "What do I like to do best?" In 1986 I found the answer. It was Massage Therapy. I've been working as a licensed massage therapist and health and fitness specialist since 1989. Now, I want to be a finisher. I have put a business plan together. I have formally set up my massage business. I have attracted some people who want to work together and create a new and exciting health and fitness center. One associate is a home care provider, another is a chiropractor, and a third is a holistic medical doctor. Presently, we have our own business locations, but we are working together as a functioning group.

My personal business goals are:

  • To provide the highest quality of massage therapy service for business and residential clients
  • Provide health and fitness training
  • Educational workshops in the importance of good nutrition and exercise in a healthy life-style program
What does a mother's death, a high fever, and blindness have in common? Everything: Everything to motivate a high self-esteem individual to do great things. Massage Therapy has given me new life and as the bible says: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you," now has a richer and fuller meaning. Touching now becomes a healing art. It gives me the opportunity to heal someone's pain, stress, or tension. Again, the bible teaches us to: "Heal the sick, and to preach the Gospel." I feel everyday I am living that Gospel verse.