The most traumatic events in my life have been when beloved family members passed away. My Grandpa Fetterolf died when I was a student at Yakima Valley Junior College in Yakima, Washington. I interrupted my education to help care for my dad, since my mother had gone to stay with her mother. I did not make it back to school until 30 years later. I did a mix of part-time and full-time studies until my husband’s health made it necessary to cut back on my study load.
At my mother’s sudden death, I soon realized she had been my connection to the rest of the family and relatives. Her death was doubly hard, realizing at my age of 45 years old, I was now part of the eldest generation of both my family and my husband’s family. What a shock to add to the grief!
When my husband died at age 71, I was left alone to manage the five-acre family farm with no close relatives to help. My son, David, lived and worked 30 miles away, so I rented my home and moved from a three-bedroom house to a one-bedroom apartment. What a squeeze!
At the time I worked as secretary for our church. The following spring, I became the secretary of a larger church. While working there, I became aware of a Prayer and Healing Conference at Lutheran Bible Institute in Issaquah. Upon reading posters and brochures during breaks, I felt God wanted me to be there as a student.
After attending college full-time for six month, I moved in with my son in Lynnwood, Washington, via the psych ward to deal with the effects of the many changes in my life. In two years, I had lost my spouse, home, business and moved away from a life style and community where I’d spent most of my life. I had lost all my identity in continual adjustment and the loss of my second husband.
Through all these experiences, I have found relationships are more important than material goods. With each loss, I was able to gain new skills of filling my needs and asking for help when needed. I praise God for sticking by my side through the ups and downs of my life journey.
Pat Beaudry's new book Life of a Poet is recently released on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/dp/1978423705.
Pat Beaudry is a Mountlake Terrace resident whose poetry and stories have been published several places, including in A Holiday Sampler anthology.
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