Life is a journey filled with stories, events wanted and unwanted. This is my journey and story.
I married at nineteen and was widowed eleven days after I turned twenty-six. I was financially strapped and responsible for raising my six-year-old son, Keith, and four-year-old daughter, Laurie. My family and friends were supportive, but I still felt very alone.
After three years, the sting of death was experienced again with the sudden death of my dad. The unexpected events made me stronger and more determined than ever to show my children we were going to make it—that no matter what happens in life, everything will be all right in the end. I picked out the following scripture and stood firm, believing “all things work together for my good.”
Awakened after my dad’s death, I began my journey and pursued what I now believe is my life’s purpose and passion. I received a BA degree from Hofstra University at the age of thirty-four, demonstrating to my children that all things are possible if we believe. Today, I am proud of my son, a pharmacist and college professor, and my daughter, a wife, mom of two beautiful girls, and a financial analyst.
I never thought I would love again, but after twelve years, I did. After one year, we were married, and after seventeen years, we relocated to Florida. I felt I was living my “happily ever after” dream. After three months of relocating to Florida, I believed I found paradise. But my “happily ever after” dream turned into a nightmare in three short weeks, when the love of my life died. It was difficult and unimaginable. I could not shake off the dread of experiencing grief all over again.
After three months, I found a grief counselor, who understood and believed in me. When I was very sad, she reminded me of my favorite scripture quote, “All things work together for my good.” We explored feelings I never knew I carried in my heart, releasing them when I felt ready. We explored and uncovered many possibilities, where I could use my past hurts and experiences. We both believed that helping others helps ourselves.
Today my driving force is to work with those experiencing loss—loss of a loved one, employment, housing, identity, and more. My purpose is to encourage the hurting to always look for the pony in every pile of unwanted manure, for this too shall pass, and find their unique gift within.