My name is Jane Vassil and I grew up in New York City in Astoria, Queens. Throughout my life, starting at a very young age, I was faced with several issues that had skyrocketed over time and finally disabled me when I was in my late 50’s. I was always, and still am, a very positive and outgoing individual who believes in a strong value system. Goodness and kindness, as well as respect for all beings in our ever-changing world is most important to me. First and foremost, my hero is God who was and still is my protector, healer as well as my eternal Father in Heaven. My family and my friends are next in line after my Lord and Savior. While I was brought up in a very loving and giving family who taught me values and respect for others, I had experienced many traumatic occurrences outside the home as the years progressed. Even though I struggle on a daily basis, fighting with severe pain throughout my body, I will never give in to the pain and never allow it to control me. I am in charge – not the pain. I just forge forward and do what is needed every day. I never give up and never will! I always feel that there are rainbows after every storm.
I have a strong faith that I will be able turn my life around and be healthy again. I also believe in people to help you get there. We all need people to survive. I am finally learning how to receive from others as I have always been a giver, and still am.
I have worked since the age of eight. I sold the Herald Tribune Newspaper door to door, pumped gas, worked in a hosiery warehouse as a stock girl and then fulfilled outgoing orders for 32 stores until I was asked at the age of 16 to operate a store on my own. I then worked in sales in a jewelry store and then onto the corporate world in Manhattan. I first worked at the JC Penney Company, McGraw-Hill Publishing, Quantum Chemical Corporation, Hansen PLC, Viacom, and finally ended up in Healthcare with Saint Vincent Catholic Medical Centers. I worked in the Human Resources Department in every organization. My last position at the hospital before its closure and my total disability was Corporate Director of Human Resources Benefits/Services. Despite all of the adverse occurrences I have faced in my life, I always kept a positive attitude and was very spiritual, believing that God was always in control of me and my life. He is the driver on my life’s road.
Over 45 years ago while babysitting my nieces and nephews, I conjured up a story while I was trying to put them to sleep. They loved it so much that when I became disabled, I decided at some point to finish the story and have it published. From start to finish, it took me a couple of years to research all the dos and don’ts of having the book published since this was a new experience for me. I did the majority of work on this project myself without much help. The book is a children’s book called “Martha and Me” (A Handicapped Child with a Purpose in Life). This little girl “Martha” is the main character who you can’t help falling in love with. She is sassy and very smart. Martha is physically challenged and yet that does not bother her in the least. She forges on with her life while she is being bullied in school and raised by a single parent. She experienced her father’s demise when she was a toddler and yet she keeps him close to her heart. This book reaches out not only to children but also to adults who have faced any kind of adversity in their lives. Martha is a very positive child living in a negative world of prejudice and bullying. She also has a confidant named “Nickel,” her one-eyed teddy bear, who is with her in good times and in bad times. The book focuses on values that are missing in today’s world. It also has lessons for children to learn that will help them in their day-to-day activities. I have been given positive feedback from many children and adults on how they enjoyed reading this book as well as how it has helped them in some way or another. That warms my heart! In summary, I believe that when you give out positivity in life, the universe will send it back to you in some small or big way. No matter what I am faced with, I always stay positive and know that God has my back and will always be with me in my time of need no matter what. He is the constant in my life. Who is yours?
Jane N. Vassil (author “Martha and Me”)