Anything is Possible!

With Love, Hope, and Perseverance

Reasons to Live

39 Comments

This post  was inspired by Eliza at Reasons to Live

IMG_1972 (2)

In 1976, I thought about suicide. I was in 21, my boyfriend had broken up with me, and I dropped out of college. Things weren’t working out like I had hoped. Not even close.

I didn’t act on my suicide thoughts because I knew how much it would hurt my parents. They had already lost my younger sister who was killed by a drunk driver. They didn’t deserve to lose another child. No parent deserves to lose a child to death.

Eventually, I went back to college and married someone who I had a lot in common with like art, science fiction, pizza, and beer. We grew up a little and made wonderful memories having two children who I love dearly.  If I had killed myself at 21, I would not have know the love and joy of a family.

Over twenty years of marriage, my husband and I grew apart. We didn’t seem to have as much in common anymore, but I still believed in our marriage. I believed we’d grow old together and travel across the country in an RV after the children were grown.  But that wasn’t what happened.

My husband left me around the turn of the century. I was in shock. Devastated. I didn’t want to live anymore with the pain of being rejected and “alone,” though I was never really alone.  Thoughts of suicide crossed my mind, but I knew I couldn’t act on them. My children needed me, my dogs needed me, and my parents loved me. I couldn’t abandon them.

Vulnerable and confused, I made things worse by allowing myself to fall into a terrible relationship, now dubbed “the rebound from hell.” But I survived and moved on, putting one foot in front of the other. Sometimes I got dragged.

Cartoon about footprintes

In time, I learned to love myself again. I rediscovered my value, my gifts,  and the constants in my life that have always been important to me like nature, animals, music, art, family, and God who has been with me through every heartache and every challenge.

Now, I am married to the love of my life who found me when the time was perfect. Together and as individuals we’re exploring creative ventures, living our dreams, and building wonderful memories.

If I had remained single, I am certain that I would have been happy in the company of friends and family, loved unconditionally by dogs and by God, growing in confidence, peace, and gratitude.

 

I would not have wanted to miss any of this life.

 

JoAnne and little Ayla on a horse at Ashton Farm (2)

Me and my daughter 1995

Jesse swimming (2)

Jesse 2006

Bride & Groom framed  by doors

2012 with my high school sweetheart

JoAnne painting rabbits

Painting on a community mural 2016

sunset scarlet with bird

So many spectacular sunsets…

birds on beach w blue

Walks on the beach…

Jess looking at hole in tree

…. and adventures with grand children.

 

 Miracles are everywhere.

Remember these words from Mary Oliver’s poem, “Wild Geese”:

 

Whoever you are, no matter how lonely

The world offers itself to your imagination,

calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting –

announcing your place in the family of things.

Author: JoAnna

An open minded, tree-hugging Christian, former counselor, and life-long lover of animals, I'm returning to my creative roots and have published my first book: Trust the Timing, A Memoir of Finding Love Again. I also paint angels.

39 thoughts on “Reasons to Live

  1. I echo Derrick’s words, JoAnna. I think far more of us have suicidal thoughts at times in our lives and it is something we don’t talk about. I love your photographs. ❤ JoAnna ❤

  2. I love your story! You tell it with such ease because of your wisdom and profound healing 💗 I hope your message continues to spread because you have so much to offer, continuously — must have been so hard losing a sister so young and the trauma for the whole family. I can imagine how (and in some ways I know how deaths like that shake the whole family tree). I hope you keep realizing your value and all the people who need you. I wouldn’t have gotten to meet you…for example…
    And I’m so very glad 💗

    • Thank you for your deeply affirming words, I wrote this post a few months ago and almost didn’t publish it. But then, I came across it in my drafts and it (or God) nudged me, hard. It’s taken a long time to process my sister’s death and understand how it affected my family – even my relationship with my children, maybe my career choice, who knows…. Not that the process is ever finished. When I think back, I can still remember the pain and confusion. But I’m grateful to have gotten to this point, 45 years later, that I can write and talk about it with relative ease. I’m very glad to have met you, too, Ka. ❤ Your understanding means a great deal to me.

  3. I’m glad that you never committed suicide, and that you lived onto hav3 such a wonderful life. I liked the little comic too. That was funny 🙂

  4. Thank you for sharing this. Living proof that you never know how well things might turn out.

  5. Thanks for sharing, JoAnna. I, too, have had my dark days and desire to end all the suffering.

  6. I for one am very happy that you kept on living.

  7. I am glad you are embracing life now, JoAnna! Thank you for sharing your journey. The light is so much warmer than the dark xx

  8. Thank you for sharing!!.. life puts challenges in front of oneself on a daily basis… how one deals with those challenges helps to determine what one will become… “One cannot cherish and success unless one has known failure, one cannot cherish ans know happiness unless one has known sorrow, one cannot cherish and know love unless one has known heartache.” (Larry “Dutch” Woller)… 🙂

    “I believe that everything happens for a reason. People change so that you can learn to let go, things go wrong so that you can appreciate them when they’re right, you believe lies so you eventually learn to trust no one but yourself, and sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together”… Marilyn Monroe

    • Thank you for this beautiful and true insight, Larry, yours and Marilyn’s. You have helped me to be more grateful for the past. I hope you’re having a lovely weekend.

  9. This is so beautiful! Thank you for sharing your story and for those wonderful quotes as well! Life is so abundant, and Spirit/ God is always there, even when the mind doubts…when we still the mind, we can feel it so clearly, I find. Love that you married your high school sweetheart, how adorable!! Thanks again, loved reading this! Blessings and love 🙂

  10. Thanks for sharing this JoAnna… this is so touching. I love all your pictures and milestones that you were here for, and will be here for. The comic image is good – based on the footsteps poem I presume. I’d love to reblog this if you’d be okay with that…
    Love, light and glitter

    • I’m very okay with you re-blogging this! Yes, the cartoon is based on “Footprints.” I like that it takes something serious and enhances it with humor most of us can relate to. Thanks again for the inspiration, Eliza! Love, light, and glitter.

      • Now I just have to figure how to reblog! 💕💕💕

        • At the bottom of the post, next to the “like” button and little photos of likers, is a button that says “re-blog.” Click that and it will open a box where you can write and optional comment, then drop down gives you a choice on what to re-blog it on (which site if more than one.) Then you click on “reblog post.” Hope that helps. 🙂

          • I finally figured it out. The ‘reblog’ option only lets me reblog to elizajourneythroughlife.home.blog so I couldn’t do it from here, but I was able to share it through wordpress itself. Thank you! Now I should get writing :). I have a post for reason 200, so just need to write reason 199… gosh, it’s major to realise that it even got there, when, I never thought it’d get anywhere. Thank you!!!!
            Love, light and glitter

  11. Beautiful and powerful ❤ Thank you for sharing so deeply

  12. Dearest JoAnna… What a heartfelt post that takes courage to tell… Thankfully you found also the courage to carry on and just look at the rewards, your new love as you found each other again, and your beautiful Children and Granddaughter… So many wonderful things to be thankful for..
    And I know how those dark thoughts can often seem at the time the only way out of our misery.. I know as I also have been there… ❤ Sending Huge Hugs your way JoAnna… So missed my time here on your blog…
    Sending Love and well wishes.. Take care of you.. ❤

    • Thanks for your warm understanding, Sue. Those times of misery seem like another lifetime in some ways, yet certain memories are clear. I am so grateful today that I carried on, because the rewards were much greater than I could have imagined. Feeling the hugs. Love to you, Sue. ❤

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