Hemelt: Edgard writer’s new book details victory over stress

Published 12:04 am Saturday, August 11, 2018

Gail Comminie suffered three strokes between Oct. 28, 2013 and Jan. 9, 2014.

She said the second stroke put her in a wheelchair and left a speech impediment.

Her neurologist, noting the stroke’s size and location, said she should be dead or, at the least, paralyzed.

At the time, Gail was tasked with caring for her mother, while dutifully going above and beyond in her duties as a wife and mother and balancing those acts with schooling and work.

If it sounds familiar, according to the Edgard resident, it should.

As a longtime community columnist, Gail knows the West Bank and St. John the Baptist Parish well. She knows the people and sees those who suffer in silence.

Stress was her poison pill. After January 2014, she knew if nothing changed, it would cause the premature end of her life.

Like with many things, Gail turned to her faith and asked God, through prayer, for guidance.

The result is the recently published, “Can You See The Stress? I Do Now!”

“We all have dealt with stress, and some of us deal with it better than others,” Gail said. “Stress can have a commanding hold on our lives, causing us to do things we wouldn’t normally or act in ways we wouldn’t normally act. I have not always dealt with stress the right way — the way God instructed, but I do now.”

Her book details her journey of how stress nearly ended her life, and how she came to face it, deal with it and overcome it.

“God saved my life so that I can tell my story and, maybe, help someone else on the same journey,” said Gail, a deeply rooted River Parishes woman committed to her community.

“I was born and raised in Edgard. Most of my family still lives here. Edgard is a close-knit community, a place where everybody knows who you are by your name. The people and the residents here are always there for one another in times of need. I have visited many places and have not found a friendlier place or a place more welcoming than Edgard and St. John Parish.”

“Can You See The Stress? I Do Now!” was published by Parables, Earthly Stories With a Heavenly Meaning. It can be purchased at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and from Gail directly. Call 225-624-5916 for more information.

Despite penning a community column since 1989, Gail said adopting the book was challenging, but rewarding.

She anticipates writing more, and has begun work on “I Still Have A Praise In Me.”

“I want my readers to learn the warning signs of a stroke,” Gail says.

“My experience in the health field is what saved my life. I am now living a more healthy life, and it is my goal to encourage someone else going through the experience I went through. I know God is in control of my life and wants me to tell my story.”

Stephen Hemelt is publisher and editor of L’OBSERVATEUR. He can be reached at 985-652-9545 or stephen.hemelt@lobservateur.com.