What a response! After receiving tons of entries from across the country for our “first sentence of your story” contest, a friend and world-changer was chosen the unanimous winner. What a sentence, and what a “rest of the story,” Dr. Joe Cruse has to offer to all of us.

 The winning sentence:

 I arrived drunk and bleeding from a self-inflicted chest wound into one of the very operating rooms where I had done surgery myself and my favorite scrub nurse, with tears inside her mask, scolded me with, “Hush up Dr. Joe…and STOP WIGGLING!”

 Years after the event described above, Joe Cruse became the Founding Medical Director of The Betty Ford Center and President of the Medical Staff at Eisenhower Medical Center. At a time when austere prognostications were common for individuals struggling with the disease of addiction, Dr. Cruse offered hope, dignity and joyous recovery. As a oncologist-surgeon, author, speaker, consultant and in my eyes, a great humorist, Joe was a leading force in changing the way the medical community and our nation looked at addictive disorders.    

 Not surprisingly, Dr. Cruse declined Mindful Midweek’s $1,000 award, but he did agree to help judge the one-sentence stories of the other finalists to receive the prize. That winner will be announced in next week’s Mindful Midweek.

 I wish to thank each of you for sharing a small piece of your story. Now get busy with your next chapter.