Mark Danger Powers


I’ve written about my fearless mother before. But have I mentioned her incredible strength?

Yesterday morning, my 66 year old mom was out shoveling snow in the cold Upper Peninsula of Michigan. She swiveled to make a turn, but her boot chose otherwise and stayed frozen to the ice.

Apparently, there are three spots that one’s ankle can break. She managed to break all three.

Had that happened to me, I think I’d still be lying at the end of the snowy, icy driveway, crying my way into hypothermia. Not mom. Nope- after hitting the ground, she proceeded to drag herself all the way back to the house, up the stairs and through the front door. She calmly called my siblings to inform them of the fall, kept an eye on the grandson she was babysitting, and waited by the door for my niece to get off the school bus.

As you may well know yourself, a broken bone can be painful. Not to mention three of them. And at her age. But . . . no pain meds for this woman! She refused painkillers the entire day, as she sat around the hospital, waiting for her reconstructive surgery to be scheduled.

I hope that I am able to be so strong, both physically and mentally, in the face of life’s painful struggles. And in the spirit of this week’s holiday, I’m grateful for the symbol of strength that my mother continues to be to me!

Who and/or what are you grateful for this Thanksgiving?
Please share below . . . and enjoy the holiday!

(photo by Victor Bezrukov)


  1. Thanks for the reminder, Mark. My mom has always been the tough one as well. She grew up in the 1920s on a farm in Ohio. She contracted polio, spent months away from home in various centers for the care of children with polio. She never let polio slow her down. She played baseball with my uncles, managed to graduate from high school at 16 year and went to Kent State to get a degree in Journalism. After graduation, she told her parents that she was off to Montana for her first job, jumped on a train, and headed west. Her first stop in Montana was Billings where the only room she could afford was in a brothel. Her job was at a newspaper in Red Lodge, a small town about an hour from Billings.
    After that start, she continued to show what grit and determination can do. She sacrificed her career in journalism to keep our house running while my dad was recovering from disabling illness.
    To make a long story short, she finally published her first book of poetry at the age of 80.
    The hardest thing I have ever done, I did a week ago. It was moving this strong, independent woman from her home of 60 years to a retirement village because of her inability to continue alone with her post polio syndrome. She still keeps her good humor and strength.
    Thanks, Mom and thanks, Mark.

    • Wow Jeff, what an incredible story. She sounds like an amazing woman! I’d love to read her poetry sometime. Here’s to strong moms everywhere . . .

  2. She was amazing! It was an eye-opener to hear her tell the details and I’m really not sure what I would have done in that same situation. She is definitely one incredibly strong woman! Her fortitude should be an example for the rest of us to follow.

    • Hear hear, Deb- she’s always been one of the strongest, most courageous and resilient people I’ve ever known. I’m glad you guys are all nearby to be with her through this.

  3. Mark,
    Your mom is certainly blessed with some awesome inner strength to handle her injury like she did. I know from personal experience that it is tough watching your parents get older. Add distance and health issues, and it can be even harder. I will be keeping you and your mom in my thoughts.

    • Thanks, Laura. You’re definitely right; it can be tough at times. We chatted tonight and she sounded good. Thank you for sending thoughts her way!

  4. My late mother’s strength has always been an inspiration to me. Quiet. Courageous. Undaunted and unstoppable. Now and then I see myself reflecting some of her, and feel that a bit of the debt to her has been paid.

    • Hmmm . . . I can certainly say that you do indeed reflect those awesome attributes, Priscilla! Thanks for reading and commenting!

  5. Mark, this is a great post about your mom. She is setting a great example, isn’t she?

    My grandpa is similar. He is 102, and yet he still gets up and goes for a brisk walk unaided every day. A remarkable man. I’m thankful for him!

    • Incredible . . . 102? That IS remarkable. I can only hope to be so able and determined as I age. Thanks for adding this about your grandpa, Ryan!

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