Why Mother Marianne Cope?

Mother Marianne personified devotion to God and Medical Administrative expertise. She is not only sainted in the Catholic Church due in part to her intercession in my recovery but she is in the National Women’s’ Hall of Fame for her Contributions to Healthcare at the policy level from infection control to advocacy. She is the one who took a brothel and made it a hospital. She’s the one who welcomed unwed mothers, alcoholics, and other pariah of her time into her care. She is the one who took an island colony, a veritable prison and made it a sustainable home for lepers. She set the bar high with a standard of dignity for all. She’s a model to me of what it is to be badass with just the right touch of diplomacy.

Why Mother during my illness? A nun in the third order of Franciscans in Syracuse (who had been charged with the task of getting Mother canonized) was having dinner with her cousin, a congressman (who was my father’s former boss.) He shared that I lay dying in Intensive Care at a nearby hospital. Sister inquired as to whether or not my parents would be open to shifting prayers to Mother Marianne specifically, asking her to intercede in my recovery. While my family was faithful and praying it appeared that it would indeed take a miracle for me to survive and they agreed.

 Why share the story in book form – Misfit Miracle?  What’s the message for us?

Every book I have has dog eared pages, highlighted lines, pencil notes in the margins. I love holding a book in my hands, getting lost in it, using it as a tool to grow or be entertained. I want everyone to have that opportunity with The Misfit Miracle Girl.

In college I co-wrote and performed a one-woman show about my life and I always knew there would be a sequel. I didn’t think it would come 15 years later. I view the whole world as script, prop, and character- endless material. Quite literally this book started years ago as notes scribbled on little legal pads in every room of my house, in my car and in my purse. The physical act of writing is an imperative part of my communicative muscle memory.

I would like readers to know:

  1. You matter – thoughts, feelings, and dreams, all of it.
  2. If you want to measure success by seeing only what those around you have, congratulations, you’ve arrived. It takes much more to own your truth and power just as you are and trust that it’s not simply enough, it’s everything.
  3. Respect one another’s belief. Unity can be found in disagreement.

 How have you transformed?

I think my biggest transformation is that by getting this book out of my head and on to paper I no longer feel shipwrecked. The process of writing this book has been one of recovery, catharsis and great joy.  I am supposed to be the vehicle for inspiration. I am supposed to be the face of one person’s joy and another’s loss. I still want to look good when I leave the house and I want people to feel that I am kind and compassionate but I really don’t care if you’re not ready to hear what I have to say because I’m going to say it. For all the gratitude I have, I’m finally unapologetic, too.

kate-d-mahoney-misfit-miracle-girlKate D. Mahoney is a professional storyteller, actorvist and author who travels the country to share anecdotes from life as patient and caregiver- it’s crisis, but with jazz hands. Please email kate@katedmahoney.com to schedule a speaking engagement.

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