Category Archives: new blog

Woman entrepreneur in the USA

                             toolbelt6

 

All I can say right now is

GOD BLESS AMERICA!

Where else in the world can someone (namely me, a woman entrepreneur over 50) still be able to carve out an entrepreneurial existence? Probably only right here, in the good old U.S .of A., that’s where. You see, I’m an entrepreneur but I’ve been looking for a “real” job for the past two months by  sending out tons of resumes for office work with only two, count them, TWO, calls back for interviews.

“Ok, fine. Whatever. I’m not going to take it personal.”

I know I’m qualified and experienced to do a whole host of jobs, including, but not limited to: teacher, office manager, business owner, bookkeeper, and writer.  Regardless of a call back however,

I STILL NEED TO SURVIVE!

 So, amidst the constant checking on Craigslist and Monster, I’ve also been marketing myself and my unique abilities in the hopes of producing an income.  I thank God for my entrepreneurial mind, my resourcefulness, tenacity, and belief in my abilities because

TODAY I HIT THE JACKPOT!

All three business’ of mine got work.

1) This morning my Story Train www.thestorytrain.com educational company got hired by a private school

2) I just got hired to paint a kitchen through my home renovation company, Shwen-o-vations, and

3) I got hired to perform ( www.sharenwendy.com ) on an ongoing schedule at an upscale retirement/assisted living facility.

So tell me, where else but in America would I be able to do this? Where else is it still possible for hard work, ingenuity, and some luck, to produce an income? 

I may not be making millions of dollars like you hear about in those rags to riches stories, but I am able to put food on my table and pay my bills, legally and respectfully.

No one told me how to do this.  There isn’t a “motivational guru” cheering me on other than the voice in my own head telling me to believe in myself, my abilities, and to just never, ever give up……ever.

Hello world!

Hello “Readers of my Blog”,

I had to make a switch to this new hosting program for my Blog.  It’s very different than the old blog format that I had for four years.  I was up till 1 o’clock in the morning transferring all the blog posts I’d written and placing them into this new program.  It made me really nervous because I’m not a tech person, and I was so afraid I’d lose everything but it seems like I successfully transferred everything except for some of the pictures.   I will be continuing to get to know this new format and what the capabilities are as well as reviewing all of the old posts to make sure they formatted correctly.  Hello and have a great day!

Tony_the_tiger

 

Good things do happen


 

                                                      


          My dream of attending Harvard University and the road I journeyed to
get there began in the
summer of 1971, selling newspapers on a corner in
Harvard Square.  How did someone like me, a gal with a street-wise, edgy attitude
and a lower middle class status, and mother of four, ever make it to Harvard University and
earn a degree? In fact, based on my inner city upbringing and the life
I’d liv
ed, the likelihood that someone like me would ever make it to
Harvard was slim to none. I still haven’t quite figured out how the heck I
even made it through high school. Honestly, it was on a wing and a
prayer (me winging it and my mother praying).
           
 
                                                 

                Our lives are full of routine.  We usually just go along, set in our ways taking care of our responsibilities, hoping that the universe will smile down on us occasionally.  Occasionally, we are the recipients of this good fortune and this helps to reinforce our belief that good things really do and can happen to good people who work hard and that sometimes it really can be “our” turn.  I graduated with my B.A. in Humanities from Stonehill College in North Easton, MA when I was 39 years old.   From there, only one college was on my list to apply for my Master’s degree, and that was Harvard University.   I received my degree from Harvard 12 years ago, in June 2000, which was also the same year I turned 40 years old.  I’d like to share my admission statement, which I submitted to Harvard along with my other required documents in the hope I would be accepted into the Reading Specialist program of Harvard’s Graduate School of Education.  This statement illustrates why I feel that the universe truly smiled down on me the year I got accepted.    
 


                                                                   My Harvard Admission Statement

                                   By: Sharen Wendy Robertson

           January 1999

 

                My first visits to Harvard Square were during the summer of 1972.  I was 12 years old and worked as a “hawker” selling the Boston Phoenix  and the Real Paper for .50 cents a piece on the street corner across from Harvard Yard.  Anyone who sold newspapers this way was called a ‘hawker’ but I had the distinction of being the youngest.  Every morning at 5:30 a.m., I rode the subway from Quincy Center to Harvard Square.  I sold my newspapers to business people, pedestrians, and students hurrying about to start their day.  All that summer I watched from across the street as people hurried in and out of Harvard Yard, entering and exiting through the big, black iron gate.  I knew, even at that young age, what Harvard represented, and I dreamed of being able to walk across the street, walk up to the big gate, and of walking into Harvard Yard as if I really belonged there.  From my street corner, with the sound of the subway train permeating the air and my newspapers bundled close beside me, I imagined I was across the street; instead of right where I was: on the corner making change for the newspapers I sold.

                As a teenager I continued to work while I attended the Quincy Public Schools.  I am the oldest daughter of seven children and my parents divorced when I was 15.  Wherever I worked, whether I was selling newspapers or waitressing, I always tried to help my family out financially.    In 1974, I met Carmelo.  He was 17 and had recently emigrated with his family from Sicily.  We were married in 1978, one month after I turned 18, and our first child was born within a year.  We lived in a one-bedroom attic apartment in the home of my in-laws for five years, because my husband, being the oldest child in his family and with parents who spoke very little English, was responsible to stay close by.  My own mother continued to need my help raising my younger siblings, so my home was their home.  I often thought about college, and I prayed that one day I would be able to go.  I never felt, however, that the time was right. 

                We had a second child two years old later.  When she was two years old, I thought maybe the time was right for college.  So, at 23 years old, I started night school.  Several years went by, we had another child and then another.  With four children, my marriage, my mother, and my brothers and sisters to take care of, I found I could only take a class every couple of years.  I was frustrated.  I wanted to finish my degree but there were so many other responsibilities to consider that I knew it still wasn’t the right time. 

                In 1985, my husband and his father incorporated a family asphalt paving business.  The company began without any trucks or heavy equipment.  Each day, since my father-in-law did not have his license, I drove him to the job, with the picks, shovels and wheelbarrow in the trunk of my car, and then drove back to the job to pick him up at the end of the day.  I taught myself all the skills that were necessary to run a company, from bookkeeping to payroll, and all the administrative duties, as well.  I did this all out of the dining room of our apartment.  My business sense took many years to develop, but as the business grew, so did my expertise.  I learned how to manage vendors, bookkeeping, accounting, corporate laws, monthly taxes and reports, marketing, scheduling the work, and held the position of corporate Treasurer.  I read books and found people who could answer questions.  I did this while I ran my home, raised my four children, ran a private day care, and was a second mother to my siblings.  My dream to finish my education did not diminish or disappear, however it did get pushed further and further out of my reach.  I tried to take a class when I could, but it was slow: ten classes in fourteen years!  Yet, I was still hopeful that one day the time would be right.

                Throughout my life, I have tried to be sensible, with a strong sense of balance.  I attribute this to my deep spirituality and my passion for writing.  These two qualities have served me well in my life, and I have always thought of myself as a writer.  In fact, I wrote my first two poems when I was only nine years old.  I love everything about writing:  from initial idea (imagination) to the finished piece of writing.  In 1994, when my youngest son went to first grade, I started writing children’s stories.  I became a volunteer storyteller in his class and also in my other son’s fourth grade class.  I loved writing and this was the perfect environment for my ideas to flourish.  Within four months, my storytelling had evolved into brainstorming new stories with the classroom students.   I found their ideas to be energizing, genuine, imaginative, and unabashed.  I stopped bringing in my stories and started working with them on theirs.  We worked through the entire writing process: initial idea, first draft, revision, editing, and publishing.  Months passed.  I was volunteering in several classes by then.  Their stories were so beautiful and creative, and they had worked so hard to get them polished that it prompted me with what I thought was another great idea:  I would showcase the students and their stories on local access television.  I called the program, The Story Train. 

                The initial idea, whether in writing or any endeavor, is simply the first step in a process.  Luckily, I enjoy formatting, developing, and revising an idea the same way I enjoy the writing process.  I am not afraid to be creative.  Developing a cable show and creating a literacy program from the ground up was a very exciting challenge.  I organized and formatted the show, worked out all the details with our local cable company (which was where the show was taped), the school, the buses, publicity, and I did all this while I still volunteered in their classrooms. 

                The first show was taped at the Continental Cablevision studio in May 1995  The Story Train (cable program).  I had four more shows that year and even branched out into surrounding communities.  The program was endorsed by superintendents, school teachers, and administrators.  The show was nominated for an award in 1996 and 1997 in the Massachusetts Cable Commission Contest as best educational program on local access television.

                My original hope and goal for The Story Train, as idealistic as it may have been, was to offer the program to schools free of charge.   I just wanted all children to have access to the way it builds self-esteem.  I thought this an attainable goal if I could secure funding.  I researched and applied for federal non-profit status and in February, 1996, The Story Train became a 501 © (3) corporation.  I found support from local arts councils and businesses and held fund-raisers.  Inspiring children to want to write is the mission of the program.  In keeping with this mission, I designed a website for publishing students’ stories The Story Train website.  I also researched and applied for a federal trademark and on December 23, 1997, The Story Train was granted trademark #2,123,589!

                The Story Train was off and running.  I had successfully marketed the program and was busy bringing it to schools throughout Massachusetts.  The program was accepted into E.R.I.C., the national database for educational resources sponsored by the U.S. Dept. of Education.  As part of their master’s program, college students from Cortland College in New York chose The Story Train as their class project.  The city of Brockton is considering adding the program to its curriculum in January, 1999.  They are seeking state funding, which will enable this to take place. 

                From the original idea in 1994, The Story Train had evolved into a variety of components, from the television show to the website.  It was during this busy time in the classroom that I realized that my own education was no longer something I could put off.  In May 1997, I enrolled full-time to Stonehill College night school.  When I finally decided the time was right I gave everything I had.  I have since taken 26 classes in 19 months.   I have been able to earn a 3.7 GPA, care for my home and family, and work for The Story Train because I am organized and confident I can do what I need to do.

               I am very excited and humbled to finally have the opportunity to attend college, and I gratefully pray each day to be able to continue to do so.  It seems like yesterday I was hawking newspapers in Harvard Square, dreaming I could walk through the iron gate “as if I really belonged there.”  I have held onto my dream of one day being able to attend Harvard for over a quarter of a century.  Imagine my excitement at being so close to making this dream a reality.  The time is finally right!                        


Photo of my son, Carmen, and I.  June 1999,  Stonehill College graduation.  I would be attending Harvard that September!

Even with my B.A., I still could not forget my dream from
1971, as an 11 year old girl selling newspapers on a corner across from
Harvard University. My dream of one day walking through that
wrought-iron gate “as if I really belonged there” had never faded. I’d
worked hard my entire life and at 39 years old I decided to throw doubts
to the wind. I thought, “What the heck. I have nothing to loose. It’s
worth a shot, probably my only shot.” Equipped with my B.A. and letters
of recommendations from my professors at Stonehill College, I applied to
Harvard University’s master’s program for teachers. Then, I waited.

Four months later, April 1999, an envelope arrived in the mail. I
looked at the envelope, my hands shaking. I did not have the courage to
open the envelope. I decided to give the honors to my 14 year old son,
John and 12 year old son, Carmen. They ran in the living room while I
waited nervously in the kitchen. The clock ticked. Not a peep from the
living room. I called out to my boys, “Well, what does it say?” Still,
not a word. (I now realize that they were trying to read the letter.)
Finally, an explosion of excitement from the living room! They ran into
the kitchen and could not stop jumping up and down. “Yes!” They both
screamed.

I will never forget the day I walked through Harvard’s gate, but
unlike in my dream from 1971, I really did belong there. I started my
teacher program (not night school this time either) in September 1999,
took 13 classes that year, and received my Master’s degree in Education
in June 2000. I’d just turned 40 years old. After the graduation
ceremony I walked over to my “corner,” the one where I’d sold my
newspapers on 29 years before. It was the most surreal moment of my
life. As I stood there
across from Harvard’s gate once again, I could
feel the presence of my 11 year old self still sitting there on her
newspapers. In my mind, I smiled at her. I looked across the street with
the same anticipation I’d felt back then, except this time the
anticipation faded quickly because this time (and it finally was the
right time), I was holding my degree in my hand. I could see in my mind
my 11 year old self was smiling, too.

I go back to Harvard Square now and then, just to visit for the day. I
take the subway into Boston and without fail, every time I pass my
“corner” I get goose bumps. Just the thought that I used to sell
newspapers “right there” fills me with a sense of pride and
accomplishment at my life. I will nev
er forget where I came from or the
work it took to get where I am and anytime I need a reminder I simply
take the train into Harvard Square and
stand on my corner.

                                       
             (Pure joy at receiving my Master’s Degree from Harvard University!)

In closing I’d also like to add that in keeping with my unpredictable connection to Harvard University, in August 2012 I was installed as the new President of the Harvard Club of New Bedford and Fall River Harvard Club of New Bedford/Fall River website 


Sharen Wendy Robertson owns the copyright to all posts on this Blog.

My new job at a dept. store.

                           

In this new life I’ve created I find the most important thing to remember is to smile.  Whether I’m teaching or painting or singing or taking care of my chickens or walking the beach I am grateful for all the wonderful things I experience in my life and for all the amazing people I meet.  I never wish harm to anyone or anything.

For me, whether it’s a gig
at a dept. store working at the cosmetics counter or a music gig singing on a Sat. night…..I’m really happy either way because wherever
I go and whatever I do it’s all about loving and connecting with
people. I love talking to people and learning about them and joking
around and making sure that people know that they matter to me. That is
what my life is all about in a nutshell. 



Sharen Wendy Robertson owns the copyright to all posts on this Blog.

Domestic violence: my truth, my song, my words

     
                       I am a singer/songwriter/writer at the present time.  However, for almost 50 years my life and my world revolved around two abusive men (my father and my husband).  This was my life ever since I was born.  I never knew there could be anything other than this way of life either.  I just assumed this was the way everyone lived.  I really had no idea how or the courage to free myself from any of it.  My fa
ther died in 2008 and so I am free now of his abuse and also my son died in 2008, and these two events were the catalyst for my finally getting free from my husband.  Now I live peacefully by myself, healing from a lifetime of trauma.  I have yet to learn to trust or what it means to have someone love me without hurting me.         

               Funny, now how the tables have turned for me because of my music and through the internet, now my “whole world” really is the whole world rather than just my husband. Now, from this new viewpoint, it amazes me how narrow (or maybe innocent) my perspective was. I am also amazed at how much power and authority I entrusted to just one single person in a sea of 7 billion. It really amazes me looking back at this now.  I will never do this again.  I have entrust my own self with power and authority in my life.   

               I was in a relationship with my husband for 36 years, from the age of 14 until three years ago.  He was my husband for 28 years.  Although there were things about him that I loved, for the most part he was a violent, angry, arrogant person with me, yet I stayed with him all those years.  I loved him, or I thought I did.  We also had a family together and a business.  It was the only kind of love I knew.  I take responsibility for the fact that I did stay, though.  I don’t blame him or anyone.     

              I don’t really know if he is violent now that we are not together (maybe it was just with me).  I am in the process of writing a book about my life, which consisted of an abusive childhood and subsequent abusive marriage.      

             I was a guest of Suzanne Perry on the “Global Forum On Domestic Violence.”  During the interview I talk openly about my life and how the violence and abuse have affected me.  I am not completely comfortable yet sharing on this topic, and I don’t know if I ever really will be but I am trying really hard to be honest and open in the hope that I will stop feeling ashamed and embarrassed.   I’ve also written a song which expresses my experiences living with domestic violence, from childhood through marriage.  The song is called, I Won’t Cry. 

           Please feel free to share your story with me.  I hope my honestly helps you.         

This is the interview link:

Global Forum On Domestic Violence

I WON’T CRY  on YouTube

I WON’T CRY  on iTunes



Sharen Wendy Robertson owns the copyright to all posts on this Blog.

Divorce & Life After Your Forever After Ends

                                                               

I first met my ex-husband when I was 14 years old, October 19, 1974.  We were married about four years later on March 19, 1978.  The marriage endured for 28 years, but ended in divorce on February 14, 2006 (yes, Valentine’s Day).   What happens when your life with a life-long partner comes to an abrupt end?  How do you pick yourself up and build a new life?  How will you find the strength to go on?  How do you say good-bye with your heart?  Will it ever get easier?  These were just a few of the questions that haunted me after my divorce. 

My relationship with my ex-husband was a roller-coaster ride from the get-go, forged with a lifetime of chaos, drama, tears, laughter, loving, frustration, arguing, attraction, intimacy, hurt, etc; but we were two strong souls, committed to each other, our marriage, and our children.  Our lives were intricately woven together with very little distinction as two separate individuals.  We were one, wrapped up in a relationship that took decades to mold.  We relied on each other, and so did everyone else around us, including family and friends.  We made a life, which included raising four children and running a successful business together for 25 years.  We were supposed to be together forever, but I guess sometimes forever isn’t really as long as, well…..forever.  

The 5 year anniversary of my divorce just passed on February 14, 2011.  I wish I could say that the divorce was amicable and peaceful but it wasn’t, in fact, it was probably one of the worst divorces ever!  I could probably write a book titled “Everything NOT To Do When You Get Divorced” and make a million dollars, that’s how bad it was.  I had no idea “how” to get divorced and was basically just going through the motions.  On top of all that I hadn’t stopped loving my husband and could not imagine living my life without him.  Fear was my constant companion, as well as prayers and tears (oh yes, lots and lots of tears).   My heart was utterly and completely shattered in a way that is difficult to describe, I guess “grief-stricken” would be the correct word.  The physical pain of not being around him was so excruciating I liken it to withdrawing from heroin or something (although I’ve never gone through drug withdrawal).   Besides the despair and grief I felt, I also had to get used to sleeping alone at night after sleeping with someone for over 28 years.  I also had to get used to waking up alone and starting the day without anyone asking if I was okay.  No more phone calls throughout the day.  His voice was gone.  I was completely alone, feeling abandoned by my friends, family, and children. 

My finances and the lifestyle I’d worked so hard to build also came to an abrupt end.  I wasn’t living in my home anymore, just an apartment.  I had no income, alimony or child support.  The job I’d had for 25 years in our family business was gone.   There was no cash to split in the divorce, just a few pieces of real estate we’d worked hard to acquire in our 28 years together.  I got those (and the bills that came with them) while he kept the business and our marital home (and the bills that went with those).  The day after my divorce I went to my banker and remortgaged my properties for the down payment to begin building a new home of my own.  I moved into my new house less than seven months later.  This was a home my ex-husband and I were supposed to build together, one we’d planned for, and even though I was on my own now I decided to follow through with the plan anyway.  I look back and think of why I did this, and I understand my motives.  I ask myself would I have done things differently if I knew what I know now, the answer is……probably not.  First of all, this was a dream house that my ex and I were planning on building before the marriage fell apart.  Secondly, I subconsciously thought that maybe, just maybe if I hurried up and built the house everything would go back the way it was “supposed” to be.  Thirdly, I also thought that the economy would hold up and if my finances got bad I could just sell the house and make a profit.  Lastly, I thought my kids would move in with me if I had a nice, new, big house for them to live in instead of the apartment I was living in at the time.  Sadly, none of these reasons ever came true.  But, I still own and live in my house, even though the bills and the mortgage are sky high.  There is one shining reason why I would still build this house today though, and it is because I am proud of myself for having accomplished this on my own.  I set my mind to the task, didn’t let fear rule me, and I went ahead and was even the contractor for the project.  I did it all by myself, and to be perfectly honest, it was a lot easier only having to answer to myself.  Although, I admit I definitely missed having someone around to trust, to talk to, and to share ideas with.  Sure, I was afraid every day, but I did it anyway. 

Regarding my finances, well, this has been an ongoing struggle for me on my own.  I was a stay- at- home mom running a family business out of my house for 28 years.  In the divorce, my ex-husband didn’t want to pay alimony, and I would have had to argue with him for it, which I didn’t have the strength to do so I didn’t press him on that.  Thankfully, all the years of juggling finances in my marriage and our business taught me the skills to manage on my own.  I will say I’m more at ease and able to accept the ups and downs of this struggle than I was five years ago.  I just continue on like I always have, plodding along one foot in front of the other.  I strive, hope, and pray each day that I’m able to hang on financially for just another 6 months, but I can’t project long term.  I don’t have a financial plan for my future anymore like I did for all the years I was married because losing my job in our family business and the downturn in the housing market has taken away any security I had.  I used to worry and cry about it a lot after my divorce, but now I’m resigned to the fact that I can only hope to get through each new day, one day at a time.  I can’t worry about not having a plan anymore.  I don’t have any Social Security either because I worked all those years in the family business without taking a paycheck.  I have to accept this and relinquish my worry to faith. 

There really isn’t much to share as far as the dating scene goes.  The last time I was single I was 17 years old, and then even before that, before I started dating my ex in high school, that would be when I was 13 years old!  I haven’t dated much since my divorce, even though I’ve made lots of friends, male and female.  Now, and I can only speak from my perspective, but the singles scene is nothing like what I thought it would be like when I was married.  I naively assumed that there would be plenty of eligible single, healthy men my age available for a committed relationship.  Wrong.  Of the men my age I meet, most either drink too much, smoke too much, gamble too much, work too much, don’t work enough, are still raising young children, are not divorced yet, are looking for a gal a lot younger than I am,  are way too old for me, way too young for me, are overweight, underweight, not in shape, not looking to commit, and number #1…..only looking for a “casual” relationship (if you know what I mean).   It’s hard to know who to trust and unless you have a huge network to tap into, it’s slim pickins’ as far as dating goes.  The reality is that even after five years of being divorced, I am still single.  I’ll admit this is a disappointment to me.  Part of the problem I know is that it’s been a lot harder to detach emotionally from my ex than I thought it would be.  He was my “first and only” in so many ways.  I see now, and I wish I knew then, that detaching in my heart from being his “wife” was going to take years.  I hope one day to meet someone and open my heart just enough to fall in love again, but as the years creep on by I have learned to accept the fact that maybe that won’t happen, but the thought of this probability does not fill me with anxiety the way it used to. 

A down side to not being in a relationship is the fact that I am minus the intimacy and physical contact I knew for more than 30 years.  Not just in the most intimate way of “being” with someone (which I miss) but my life also lacks the simple element of touch, which includes little things like holding hands, hugging, reaching out and touching someone’s face or arm, having a shoulder to rest my head on, having arms around me sometimes when I’m washing dishes, having someone to slow dance with, and of being close enough physically to look deep into someone’s eyes, not only to see their eyes, but  to know and completely trust the person who is looking back.

All the while, and through all the negative and difficult things I’ve had to adjust to in the five years since my divorce (which sadly also includes the tragic loss of my 20 year old son in a car accident, the death of my father, my step-father, and my dog) a part of me has been and continues to be moving forward.  I’ve been taking baby steps all along, so small I’ve not really paid much attention until right now while I’m writing this essay.  There were some days when the only step forward I had the strength to take was simply getting out of bed (and honestly, sometimes I didn’t stay out of bed very long). This is the part of me that never gives up or gives in, never sits around feeling sorry for myself, and always has hope that tomorrow will be better than today.  I have a life now that does not resemble anything of the life I had while I was married, except for the fact that my integrity is intact, and also that I still don’t smoke or drink alcohol or take drugs.  This new life I’ve created is overflowing with a fullness and sense of vibrancy which is unlike anything I’ve ever known.  

Back five years ago, going through my divorce, I thought my life was over….really.  I could not imagine my life without my husband.  I’d been “his” for ¾ of my life, and I had no experience or memory of being in the adult world without him.  I had no idea what to expect, and I was terrified and alone.  I didn’t even have a routine I could continue to follow because I’d lost my job, my income, my home, my marriage, and my kids (they were old enough to decide and they decided to stay with their father) all at the same time.  The only thing I could rely on in my life was the absolute knowledge that I would absolutely get out of bed every day even if it killed me, and I guess I built my new life from that small piece of truth and stability.

My life finally has order and a sense of peacefulness.  I have charted a new career as a singer/songwriter and connected with thousands of new people through Facebook, You Tube and my website, www.sharenwendy.com  none of which would have happened if I were still married.  I have been on a quest to fill the emptiness I feel by finding and connecting with people who I can relate to and who can relate to me, especially since my son has died.  Part of my first name is the word “share” and that is exactly what I am doing.  I am now free to express myself in any way I choose, from the way I dress to the songs I write.  However, this freedom is about more than being able to wear what I want or write whatever I want; no, it’s much more powerful than that.  It’s something I feel in my soul and down to the core of who I am.  It’s about being free to live an authentic life, which means being free to be who I always dreamed I could be.  I am making my own dreams come true, something which was next to impossible when I was taking care of a husband, children, and a business.  I wrote a song last year called Free and Clear which describes this inspiring, fulfilling freedom I have now.  Even though I still have days when I am sad and reminisce and long for the life I had and the comfort of being “someone’s” wife, the reality is that I’m not even the same person who lived in the life I miss.  I’ve grown and blossomed into this new person or better yet into the person I was always meant to be. 

FREE and CLEAR

By: Sharen Wendy Robertson

 

I couldn’t get to the place, that I always dreamed about,

Because my mind, was haunted with so much doubt.

Then one day I looked to see, the child inside of me,

Waiting for a chance to fly, into who I always dreamed I’d be.

Now I’m standing, standing free and clear,

Step to better days, with truth to light my way.

Mmmm, mmmm, standing, standing free and clear,

Move to higher ground, with peace I’ve finally found.

With one small step I stood and walked,

Turned my back away from fear,

Truth poured from my soul, held back for many years.

And then the clouds all went away, the sun warmed the sky,

I walked through my fear, and then stood tall, free and clear.

Now I’m standing, standing free and clear,

Step to better days, with truth to light my way.

Mmmm, mmmm, standing, standing free and clear,

Move to higher ground, with peace I’ve finally found.

An original song written and performed by Sharen Wendy Robertson

Sharen Wendy Robertson owns the copyright to all posts on this Blog.

Finding peace during the holidays

alfie7

For those of you who, like me, are trying hard to be strong this holiday season because you’re dealing with the loss of a loved one, the next few days will truly take a different kind of strength.  This kind of strength can only be found in the thought that our loved ones are still here with us.  I wrote this new Blog in the hope that someone may find comfort in what I am about to share.  I know the pain and sorrow associated with losing a parent, and also losing a child.  It has been a little over two years since my dad died in July 2008, and also a little over two years since my  youngest son, Carmelo, died instantly in a car crash in on August 7, 2008.  My dad was 71 and my son just 20 years old.  They died three weeks apart.

       It’s true that these losses have at times broken me down in mind and spirit.  I have often times found myself crumpled up in a puddle of tears begging my divine creator to please, please have mercy on me and ease my pain.  I have felt abandoned by the universe, wondering why I was even still alive, left to carry such intense pain alone; pain I could never imagine even existed in this life, only in hell.  I don’t drink or smoke or take any medication, so the ache of my pain has never been dulled.  It burns through my soul and into my DNA, if there is even such a thing.

Something weird happened to me when my dad died.  A weird something that I have since referred to as simply an “experience.” This experience definitely helped me deal with his passing.  First, let me say that when my dad died I wasn’t really a believer in an afterlife or in spirits being able to communicate with us.  Secondly, I do not want to influence anyone to believe anything.  I can only share my experience and let you decide what, if any, meaning it holds for you.  This is what I “experienced” at the same instant my dad died:

My dad had a heart attack and for a week was kept alive on life-support.  It was a long week for my seven siblings and I, and we knew at some point we would have to make the heartbreaking decision on when to remove the breathing tube.  The day came and we were in the room, surrounding our dad in his hospital bed (all except my sister, who hadn’t spoken to my dad in many years).  I laid my head down on my dad’s chest and put a
blanket over my head to hide my tears from everyone.  The nurse was there, prepared to
take out the breathing tube.  I started to cry under the blanket, my tears soaked his chest.
The breathing tube was removed.  He breathed on his own a few breathes.  I could feel his chest move as he struggled to breath.  Then he stopped.  His chest was still.  I looked out from under the cover at his face.  Next thing I knew, my knees gave way, I collapsed on the floor next to his bed, and found myself in some kind of trance or dream.  I still don’t know what to call it which is why I call it an “experience.”

          My eyes were closed (I thought I passed out) but my mind was wide awake and in my mind, I saw my dad ahead of me walking away really, really fast.  He appeared to definitely be in a hurry to go somewhere.  I called out to him, but he just kept walking away really fast, almost running.  I called out again and started running after him.  I was running right behind him and calling him but he didn’t hear me and he didn’t turn around.  I finally got close enough to reach out to grab his hand.  In that instant when my hand touched his, he stopped moving away and turned slowly around to look at me.  His face was so different.  It was illuminated with a soft white glow….he looked like he was about 35 and not 71.  He didn’t look sick anymore (my dad was sick for a long time with diabetes and arthritis).  He wasn’t overweight anymore.  He just had a look that I can only call angelic.  His eyes were compasionate and loving.  I said, “Dad,” and paused and said, “don’t go.”

          Then, I turned around and all my siblings were standing there with me.  My dad looked at us all, and then he reached through the group and held out his arms for my sister (who he hadn’t talked to in about 20 years).  He hugged her and honestly, the hug seemed to last like 20 years even though it was over in a moment.  Then he moved back from us and started to turn to walk away.  He wasn’t running this time though.  I got anxious and said, “Dad, don’t go.  When will I see you again?”  He turned around to look at me, and with great tenderness put his hand out to me and gently said, “Sharen, don’t worry.  I’ll be waiting for you.”  He smiled at me then turned away slowly.  I stood there with my siblings.  All of a sudden a huge white light appeared off in the distance (and I mean huge, bigger than the sun).  My dad started walking toward the light (without a limp anymore).  He was young and strong again.
alfie8My dad and I in 1992.

I watched him walk off and started to open my eyes.  I was still on the hospital floor next to the bed he died in.  My sisters were looking down at me, calling out my name.  They picked me up, and I told them what happened.   None of us even tried to explain what happened and I guess we all hust innocently believe that I really did catch of to my dad’s spirit on his way to heaven.  I think (or I hope) the experience comforted them too.  I keep this memory close to my heart and know that my father would not have told me he would be waiting for me if it were not true.  Was it a dream?  I still have no idea what the heck it was, but I know that my spirit chased my dad somewhere after his spirit left his body.

The next experience I had was a dream I had a couple of weeks ago.  I have been feeling really sad with the holidays approaching, missing and longing for my son (who died in a car accident two years ago), crying a lot.  The dream really helped me and maybe it will help another grieving soul.

I dreamed I was at my mother’s house and my son, Carmen, was laying there in a bed.  I saw him there, and he started to move around like he was trying to come to life.  He kept trying to talk but I didn’t have any idea what he was trying to say.  I thought he was on drugs or something, and I was going to call an ambulance.  I kept reaching for the phone but never called.  The poor kid was trying so hard to talk to me, but it was all just babble to me.  I felt completely helpless watching him trying so hard to communicate with me.  He was almost crying, but he just couldn’t do it no matter how hard he tried. 

I woke up from my dream.  This is my interpretation:
I felt selfish.  Here I’ve been grieving without any thoughts of how or if my emotions and actions affect my son.  My dream proved to me that my son feels my sadness and longs for me to be happy.  He would do and give anything to make me happy.  He even tried to come back in a form and using a language that I would easily understand and recognize just to comfort me.  However, I now know just how difficult it is for him to take his ultra-pure form and force it back into a human form.  It would be like me trying to force my spirit to be a cat or a fish.  And, he doesn’t even speak English (or any other human language) anymore.  He has reached his fullest potential, and I need to be happy for him and accept him in this new form.  My belief that his presence is still here was completely renewed after I had this dream.  I need to stop my grieving and encourage and love my son, just as I did when he was here in person.  The relationship between he and I continues throughout eternity, the bond can not be severed just because the body dies.

I accept my “experiences” as nothing more than random things that happen.  I don’t define myself by them or try and label them in any way.  I try and live in the moment and accept things and just hope that by sharing my experiences I can help other people.
Peace, Love, Joy to all  = PeLoJo 
     

                                            Let me smile today and forget my sorrow,
                                                   wrap up my tears until tomorrow.
                                              Let me be of good cheer….. this is why,
                                     because my angel sees the world through my eyes.
                                          Let me give my angel a day filled with love,
                                                  my actions reflect to him up above.
                                          Let my heart be known by the songs I sing,
                                             for my angel carries my love on his wings.
                                                                  SWR (c) 2010


Sharen Wendy Robertson owns the copyright to all posts on this Blog.