I began this Journey on Feb. 13th, 1969, the day that I was born, and boy oh boy, what a Journey it has been.
We all experience challenges in our lives, some more so than others. I do many times wonder why certain things happen, and then I remember what my very wise grandma said, “You never question God, because he has a plan and whatever the plan is for you or for me, we must be strong.”
I have had my fair share (sometimes they didn’t seem so fair) of challenges in my life. Some of the stories you will read will be the first time I have shared them with anyone, I have kept them hidden deep but surrounded by light.
In 1981, my dad took his own life; I was 12. In the years to come, I began a downward spiral that literally put my mother’s life through hell and almost cost me mine.
Many times, I would push the limits of life. I remember one time I even tried to cut my wrists with a pair of scissors because I honestly just didn’t care anymore (something that only one other person knows about). But luckily, the scissors were very dull, and couldn’t provide the proper cutting involved. To be honest, I don’t even remember what specifically sparked that event as there were so many things going on at that time.
I put myself in situations over and over that would land me in serious danger, including being raped by a friend of a friend. I did manage to get away and get help. The police were called, and when the guy was found, he was in possession of a stolen gun on him. Needless to say, that could have gone very very badly.
The years pass on, and I just pretty much go through the motions of life. I am happy to be alive, but just always felt alone and lost. I struggled at every turn, from money to men, to emotions and loss.
Fast forward to 2010; I was the sickest that I had ever been. I was probably, believe it or not, at the lowest point in my life and I was in bed more than I was out. I was so depressed because the Doctor’s couldn’t give me any answers. I had had enough, and I didn’t want to do anything. At times, I honestly didn’t care if I lived or died. But, I had children that needed a mom, so I would do my mom duties and was done beyond that.
My husband and I owned our own business, and I quit working; things were failing in the business, and I didn’t want to be a part of it. I struggled daily to maintain life, and my husband didn’t understand what I was going through. He felt as though I had given up on him and the business. Little did I know, that led him down a path of distance and anger. He needed something that I couldn’t and wouldn’t give him. I think I knew deep down, but I just didn’t want to acknowledge it because then that meant I had to deal with and face what was going on. I was in NO place to feel those feelings; I only felt my despair in what was going on within my body.
The beginning of my Rise:
Feb. 17th, 2011 my mom fell and broke her hip, and my world changed. My grandmother lived with my mom, she was 95 and couldn’t take care of herself. So, I dropped everything I was feeling and went to take care of my grandmother. Little did I know, I was in for the ride of my life. For months, I didn’t know if I was coming or going, I still had children in school. There was driver’s education, cheerleading, and I was also taking care of my grandson while his parents worked. My dog had just had puppies on the same day that my Mom fell, so I had that to contend with too. I was back and forth, hospital, home, moms and doctors, school – and somewhere in between, I had a husband. But, he was consumed with the business and what he was doing, and he didn’t have time to help me much. He was, however, there for me if I asked.
From February to May much is like a blur, everything felt like it was moving so fast yet so damn slow at times.
After my mom came home from rehab, she still needed assistance as did my grandmother. The beginning of May, my grandmother took a turn. I honestly believe that she knew that my mom could no longer take care of her the way she used too and just gave up. I also believe she missed her husband and was ready to go home to be with him. May 15th, she celebrated her 95th birthday in rehab. So now, once again, it was back and forth to the hospital, then rehab.
The day came to bring my grandmother home with Hospice care. I knew it wouldn’t be long as she had given up and knew it was time to go home. The night my grandmother passed was a life-changing time for me. I witnessed the most amazing event of my life. As she took her final breath, with her loved ones surrounding her, I was moved to look over my shoulder and what I saw would forever change my life. I saw my grandfather’s Light walking towards us, then he stopped, reached out his hand, and I watched my grandmother rise. She walked toward him, grabbed ahold of his hand, then they turned and walked off together. True love!
I had been given a tremendous gift that day, but I wouldn’t fully understand for a while. It was the beginning of my awakening, so to speak.
Several months had passed, and things with my marriage had truly come to light. Once again, I was on a rollercoaster of emotions. What am I to do, haven’t I already been through enough? The tears, the pain, the hatred and anger, the sadness and once again, feeling lost and alone.
I had had several visits from my grandmother after she passed, they were always short and sweet. One night, I had a visit from both grandparents, and it was as though they were sitting down with me as if I were a child to have a talk with me about what I was doing with my life. It was at that moment that I saw forgiveness and Love were the only things that were going to get me through. They helped me see that. They helped me understand life in a way I hadn’t looked at it before. And so, I began my quest for a change.
In March of 2012, my husband and I closed the business, and we started over. We truly loved each other, but we had gotten so lost in our own issues, that we forgot to support one another as we had in the past. I take responsibility, as does my husband, for what we brought to the table of our marriage. I began to search deep within myself, and some of what I found out was scary and surprising. From the spiritual to the physical. I was brought to some hard realizations of things that needed to be fixed so that I could move into the new life that was awaiting me, so to speak.
I struggled even to share this story because many do not know, including family. I look back, and can clearly see the times that I could have easily said, “enough is enough,” and been done with life. The things that happened over the years that nearly broke me, but didn’t. Those things, those challenges, only made me stronger.
And so, I rise!
I am the woman that I am today because of each and every challenge I have faced in my life. They have only made me a stronger person. Some might ask, “if you could go back and change anything, would you?” The answer would simply be “no.” Why? I was brought through each of those challenges for a reason, and I believe that reason is to spread the Love that I have with others, to teach, to inspire, and to let others know they are not alone.
It is my wish for you that you will rise above and be forever filled with the love of God.