Christine Timmins: Teacher, Speaker, Author, Community Service Advocate
My story: My childhood was spent in the San Francisco Bay Area where I grew up with one sister and a wonderful extended family spread throughout the area. After high school I set off for San Diego State University where I earned a BA in Psychology and Business Education, my teaching and administrative credentials in secondary education, and then an MA in Education at United States International University.
I am now retired after 39 years of teaching high school, (32 years from a wheelchair) in San Diego, California. Teaching really was a wonderful career for me, and I enjoyed it up to and including my last day. I tried to be a role model and push my students to reach their full potential in all they accomplished. It was important for me to demonstrate that a disability did not have to keep anyone from pursuing their dreams.
At age 28, I broke my neck in a car accident which left me quadriplegic – completely paralyzed. Several months later some movement came back in my right arm. An unexpected divorce catapulted me into the stark reality that I was a single woman again. Then, six years later I was diagnosed with breast cancer. With the help of a mastectomy, chemotherapy and radiation, I am now a survivor of over 20 years. But my story does not end there…
During my teaching years, I worked on curriculum development for the State of California as well as for the district, and for high school reform throughout the country. During my career I was honored to receive numerous awards including Freedom Foundation, Teacher of the Year, and the Eagle Spirit Award – a symbol of healing, conquering, and excellence.
In addition to my teaching career, I have been a member of my local Kiwanis group for 25 years. Additionally, I served five years as President of Tender Loving Canines Assistance Dogs, Inc. In my retirement I enjoy being with family and friends, participating in my church, choosing flowers for my garden, and spending time with my service dog, Ben.
I have felt God’s presence and guidance in my life since I was very young; and although I have had my share of down days, my faith has always enabled me to remain hopeful and positive. My experiences and the lessons that I learned from them during these years have been life-giving and have awakened in me a stronger faith, not only in God, but in people, institutions, and all life around me. I know I am living in God’s grace.
Like most little girls, I thought I would have a storybook wedding, a good career, children, travel, a 50th wedding anniversary, and live happily ever after. I am happy, but like so many others, my life did not turn out like my childhood dreams. I think most people have some type of pain or adversity in their lives that prevent them from living life to the fullest. It is my hope that some of my experiences will connect with my readers in new or unique ways. If my journey and all I have learned can, even in the smallest ways, help others to overcome their challenges, pursue their goals and dreams, and find joy, my purpose in writing this book will be fulfilled.