You Can’t Break Me

f you know me or have followed my blog, you know that my life has been riddled with difficulty, sickness, and many trials. No more than the next person, but still, more than my share. I have had to dig deep and triumph even if it has taken me decades to do so. My most difficult trials to overcome were my childhood, divorce, and illness. Two out of three aren’t bad, considering this disease is completely unpredictable.

I’ve never said the words, but I’ve often thought to myself, you can do this, just pray, you’ll be ok, keep fighting! In other words, I was speaking to the worse trials of my life, telling them, you can’t break me! And you know what, they did! Did you think they didn’t? Life will often split you in two when you’re young and unprepared.

But God!! I feel like these last three years, I’ve been given a second chance at life. I really don’t let my illnesses take me down anymore. It’s hard sometimes but I persevere. I have grown so much spiritually, emotionally and mentally that I am able to speak happiness over my life and still tell those things, “Hey, you’ll never break me.

That’s why acting in this particular play alongside this phenomenal cast, is so important to me. In the play entitled  You Can’t Break Me”, I play a character that is actually who I am in life, a no-nonsense Auntie who talks to much but tells it like it is! Therefore, it is amazing to watch the vision of Shawna D. Moore come to life. Yes, she has done it again. She has written yet another masterpiece that will make you laugh, cry, sing, and shout hallelujah all at the same time.

I identify with this play for several reasons. One, I had a dad who was very strict and controlling. I suppose the way my mind was set up, I was saying, “You can’t break me” to myself a dozen times a day, in my head of course. But that’s a whole other post. Two, as I said above, the character I play is basically who I am in real life. I’m a blood Auntie to 21, a Great-aunt to many and an honorary Auntie to more than I can count. Three, the ministry flowing through this play, and all of Ms. Moore’s plays, has touched my heart and spirit will in such a way that I am a better person for it.

Just think it all started with me liking a post asking for actors last year. Now tomorrow I am blessed to act for our phenomenal playwright, Shawna Moore, alongside our leads and cast India Franklin, April Watson, Jocelyn Minor, Michael Davis, James Washington, Linda Millhouse, Davalon Gray, Allyson Jones, Salada Mack, and directed by my cousin, the incomparable, Anthony Noland. I love you all!

I’m so excited to keep fulfilling one of my dreams and mark this one off my victory board. I am in love with the stage. I know that I will be doing this for the rest of my life! Thank you, Shawna, for bringing your beautiful visions to the stage and allowing me to be a part of it!

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Valerie Collins
Valerie Collins was born in Tucson, Az, the last of six children. She has loved writing since a child but decided to pursue a career in Orthopedic nursing. Shortly after her marriage and birth of her first child at the age of 22, she was diagnosed with the chronic pain disease, Fibromyalgia, its subsequent conditions, illnesses, and syndromes. Once the disease disabled her in 2001, she revisited her passion for writing poetry and short stories and has accumulated over 100 poems and spoken word pieces over the years. She became a member of the International Society of poets in 2002 and The International Who's Who in Poetry in 2006. She currently is a member of Realistic Poetry International, Who's Who Among American Business Women, and Women of Facebook Create. Her accolades include 2005 Poet of the Year. She was awarded both the Outstanding Achievement Award in Poetry and the Official Commemorative Poetry Ambassador Medal while serving as a Poetry Ambassador associate in 2007. She wrote a play entitled “Fix Me Jesus” in 2012 for Alabama 1st COGIC State AIM Youth Convention Competition drama category which was awarded second place. Currently, she is in rehearsals for her second stage play for the local playwright, Shawna D. Moore which will be on stage in August 2019. She is in the process of compiling a two-volume poetry book entitled My Poetic Life: A Memoir of Love and a book detailing her life with Fibromyalgia, entitled Behind the Walls of Silence. In July 2018, she created her first blog site My Poetic Life (The Book) as @vfurrmstheblogger to act as a launch for both books and it has taken on a life of its own. She also owns a small crochet business, Val's Gifts of Warmth, where she sells her handmade crochet items.
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Larry Tyler

A very touching story and powerful message. Embrace being strong and know that truly nothing can stop you.