On Bended Knees

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On Bended Knees
By Bernadette A. Moyer

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As I was driving back home from the gym today I noticed a car with Texas tags, and living in Maryland I know just how far that Texas is and how many miles to drive from there to here. I had a rush of memories about the year that I lived in Beaumont, Texas with my first husband and our daughter who was just one year old.

I thought about how I came to Maryland to start a new life and to flee an abusive relationship. When I arrived in Maryland more than 35 years ago, I prayed I cried and I reminded myself of how I had to save myself and our daughter. This man that I married had a history of abuse from his previous relationships forward and I was warned about him. But just like any young girl/woman at just 19 years of age I had to make my own decisions.

If I had any doubts about leaving him our final day together soon took care of that as his parting “shot” literally was to punch me in the middle of my face. I skidded across the kitchen floor and ended up in a corner when he picked me up by my shirt and went at me again. That next morning I set out on an over 1,600 road trip home to my mother in Maryland. I wanted better for myself and for our daughter.

Less than a year later he died while taking a shower and had a seizure in the shower, he drowned to death. I had my share of guilt as he was alone at the time. As a society we don’t speak ill of the dead and since our child was so young I put the best spin I could on our marriage and our relationship. Just before her 18th birthday I told her the truth about him and it didn’t sit very well.

Victims live in shame and have all kinds of reasons for denying themselves and others the truth. It doesn’t change though, it is what it is and was what it was, an abusive relationship. Today I know better and am more than blessed. I don’t think he was a bad guy, I believe he was a troubled guy. Troubled from what he experienced in his first family and troubled from 6-years in the Navy during Viet Nam. His service experience left him an alcoholic (by his own admission) and with a seizure disorder.

He was a charming man and good looking too. Both his daughter and his first born grandson look just like him. I still celebrate our union on bended knees at least once a year at his gravesite. I thank God for all that I learned during our marriage and all the many lessons learned from his early death.

Thinking about Texas and that period in my life also reminded me of how important it is to pray and to bow down on bended knees. We don’t have all the answers but prayers and hope and forward marching have always saved me.

During tough times we find out what we are made out of. We can shrivel up and cry or we can turn it around and become stronger. Our hurt our anger and our disappointments can be used as the fuel that helps to propel us forward.

When I came to Maryland I arrived in an old late model Mercury that had a bad engine and probably took as much oil as it did gasoline. I lived with my mother for a few months until I could afford my own place. I was lucky to get a really good waitress job in a high end restaurant. I worked really hard and chuckle at the uniform of high heels, brown skirt and white dress shirts that we wore. I made great money and made wonderful friendships.

I became friends with many young people that were my age and made me feel new and young again. I was making it on hope and a prayer that first year. When my husband died we were still legally married and I was so fortunate to receive help from the Veterans. Things changed for the better. I changed for the better. I was resolved. I made my share of mistakes that’s what young people do but I always ended up back on my feet after so many prayers on bended knees.

Today I can look back with peace and with love and most importantly with gratitude. Every experience, the good and the bad contribute to who and what we are and above all else, I am a survivor.

My husband today keeps talking about our 25 years together and that next summer we will celebrate 20 years of marriage. We already have a trip planned. I am so happy but I never ever forget what my knees are for as I continue in prayer for all that I have and all that I have experienced.

Everything in life is either a blessing or a curse and for me with the power of my prayers and the strength of my knees I’ve known many more blessings!

You never know what will trigger a memory, today it was something as simple as Texas tags that took me back to another time, a time when I grew and matured and learned what it would take to care for both myself and for my child. It wasn’t easy but it was definitely meaningful.

Life is rich … and so much richer when after the struggles we find enlightenment. So many times it literally starts with the power of our prayers. Peace and prayers!

Bernadette on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/bernadetteamoyer

New books! Along The Way and Another Way on Amazon and Barnes and Noble

Estranged … Now what?

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Estranged … Now what?
By Bernadette A Moyer

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Knowing what I know now and after my own experience and hearing from thousands of mothers and fathers who are estranged from their adult children, I would do things differently!

I should not have wasted my time, my heart and my tears over someone who was already so far gone from me. Today I would say that yes you will be hurt and yes you might be shocked but what you really need to do is get over it and get over it as quickly as possible.

It is okay to love the child that you had and to reflect fondly on them but it is also necessary to let them go in peace and in love. When it is over, it is over. Some situations will allow for a reboot and another chance, some never will.

Today I believe that adult kids that estrange enjoy the satisfaction they receive in knowing how much they hurt their parents and their families. It is all about control. It is all about being selfish and all about them. It is the choice that they alone have made.

And the stories they will tell is that they were the victims. Think about it? A nice son or a nice daughter wouldn’t cut mom and dad out of their life. They will need to justify their actions and that means making mom and dad out to be the bad guys. And the more they can paint themselves as a victim, the more they can manipulate others and command support for their cause and position.

Don’t play along and don’t play their games. Find things to do that will occupy your time and utilize your talents. Go to a therapist or go to the gym but keep moving. Life is all about forward movement. You can think, hope and pray that they return, but whatever you do, do not compromise the quality of your own life in the process. Remember if they do return you will have grown and changed and taken better care of yourself. And if they never return you will be healthier, stronger and better able to manage and enjoy your life.

Because if you compromise your life away you will eventually regret it and you won’t get those lost years back. Our response should be one that says I hold myself up in the highest. I will not allow you or any other to destroy me or my joy. My life with you or without you, matters. I am important and I deserve to be happy.

Back then so much of my life wasn’t even mine. Maybe that was a huge part of the problem? I had given so much of myself away in being a wife and a mother, a career woman and a friend. The last person who received my time and attention was me.

Learn to retreat in healthy ways. It is okay to be alone with yourself. It is okay to grieve and to process. It is okay to feel the loss and the pain. But don’t stay there and don’t get stuck there. Being a victim is never attractive no matter how it comes about. Fight for yourself. You are worth the very best!

There will always be up and down days. Some days you will have stronger and better coping skills. Some days will be tough. It takes time. It takes time to acknowledge this, to accept this and then to learn how to live with it. In our disbelief and in our shock we tend to want to fight it. Very little is resolved in hanging on to that which has already left us.

Where it may seem so unnatural and so unkind, remember it is happening in record numbers and in families around the world. You are not alone. This month marks 18 years since the trauma of estrangement entered my life like an uninvited guest. I have been through all the stages from denial, anger, hurts and trying everything and anything and to finally arriving at pure total acceptance. My life is so great right now and I don’t think I could be happier or be surrounded by more love. I am so lucky to have survived it.

I thank everyone that reached out to me and shared their stories and supported me through all my writings. I would not have made it through without the love and support of so many people.

My best advice is to try and build an even better life. All those things that you wanted to do but never took the time to do; make the time and do them. Life goes on. Life is lived by looking forward and not from behind. You are worth so much more than to have the child or children that you gave your life for and invested so heavily in, discard you.

Remember it isn’t about you. It is all about them and their choices …

In God’s peace and love … Bernadette

Bernadette on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/bernadetteamoyer
All books by Bernadette A Moyer available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble

An Easter Blessing

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An Easter Blessing
By Bernadette A. Moyer

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And He will raise you up on Eagle’s Wings Psalm 91:4
The Lord has risen
May you find peace and an abundance of love and light
In the spirit of the season
With bright pink tulips
Cherry blossoms abound
Vibrant yellow forsythia
New rich green grass
Lit with bright and shiny endless blue skies
There are miracles in every moment
A fullness and newness in the air
Hope lives eternal
May you know the richness and exuberance of every single day
The belief that every moment in every life truly matters
And that life is so much bigger than any single soul
Because I live, you also shall live John 14:19
Rejoice in the resurrection of the Lord
May He fill your heart with happiness and joy this Easter season!

Bernadette on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/bernadetteamoyer
All books by Bernadette on Amazon and Barnes & Noble

A Time for Reinvesting in Ourselves

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A Time for Reinvesting in Ourselves
By Bernadette A. Moyer

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It is becoming clear to me that our 50’s are a time of reinvesting in ourselves. For years we were living in the “sandwich” years between supporting ailing parents and raising our children. With two high demand careers, very little in the past ten years was about investing in ourselves. We spent our time and our energy on parents and on our children and we were happy to do it.

Between my husband and myself there is just one remaining parent and he is being well taken care of in an assisted living center. For so many years my husband was running him to the doctors, to the pharmacy and the food store. He literally was his father’s lifeline to the outside world until severe dementia made it impossible for us to continue to support him. He needed 24-hour care. It was a hard decision but a necessary one. (Update John passed in December of 2014) Today all our parents have passed away.

Our three kids have all been raised and no longer need us to support them. It took some getting used to when you have supported children physically, emotionally and financially for decades. But like everything in life there is a beginning, middle and an ending. There is a light at the end of the tunnel.

We are still young and investment worthy as both my husband and I are gearing up for what is ahead for us. At this moment in time we have both turned to education and wellness as to where we are putting our energy and support. Brian is studying and securing a Maryland State license that will allow him to further his career. I am taking an updated business class and learning more and more about marketing and social media and blogging.

In 2015 two new books were published and my blogs continue to attract thousands of readers, many who write to me and some who connect in person.

For our health many of the procedures we have put off are being addressed. At this time we are eating healthier and more organic fresh foods. We see the value in laughing more and pacing ourselves as we get through our work weeks and our off time. There is a new balance in our lives of both production and fun. We no longer have to put ailing parents and our children ahead of our own needs. No one told us that this would be the “all about us years.” My husband loves having me all to himself.

Years ago I read that men never really “get their nicest or come into their own until their 50’s” for us this seems to ring true. Going out with my husband is like going on a really great date. This past year we travelled and attended so many functions and events, when he treated us to an Orioles baseball game we had the best time. He secured really great seats on the first base line looking directly into the dugout. We sat just a few feet from all the professional ballplayers. Brian held my hand as we walked through the city streets. And he walked to bring me bottled water and was really tuned into whatever I needed or wanted to enjoy the experience.

There is something so sweet and so nice about being appreciated by a man you have loved and lived with for 24 years. He expresses his gratitude for all the many sacrifices I made, and those that I wanted to make in helping him to raise his twin children. We survived and even thrived in spite of many challenges throughout all these years together.

What we have right now is yet another opportunity to reinvest in ourselves and in our marriage. It is a great feeling to be afforded this opportunity and at this time in our lives. This is a period of time that we never talked about or one that I never even thought about but now that we are here, I am thrilled. I hope that all our friends and family members also get this same special time in their life. All I can say is isn’t being in our 50’s great? We are worth it. We have worked hard and now it really is all about us. And who knows what our 60’s will bring but for now it is all about enjoying life, enjoying the simple pleasure of everyday life.

These are the reinvestment years and what greater cause for making an investment than in our own health and happiness!

Bernadette on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/bernadetteamoyer

New books Along The Way and Another Way are available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble

I Am in Love With Hope

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I Am In Love With Hope
By Bernadette A. Moyer

“We live in hope and we die in despair.” Charles Dickens

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“A leader is a dealer in hope.” Napoleon Bonaparte

“Everything that is done in the world is done by hope.” Martin Luther

“Hope sees the invisible, feels the intangible and achieves the impossible.” Charles Caleb Colton

I could go on and on quoting really greats quotes that direct us toward hope, without hope and faith we die. I am a “hope” junkie! I live on it and I am in love with hope!

Without it, what would we have? We hope for a better world, we hope for better health, we hope for sunny days, we hope for bigger bank accounts, we hope for good friends, we hope for success. We hope for love and for peace and for purpose. We hope for better days.

But what is hope, is it an idea, a thought, a way of life, prayer? Is hope about having faith? I don’t think a day goes by where I am not hopeful and filled with hope and faith.

There is such a great high that comes from hoping that all things go well, it’s a brand new year and a fresh new start to all that we are hoping for in our lifetime. Are we building a new house, starting a new career, having a new baby, looking for that perfect life partner, are we living in a way that all that we wish and hope for comes our way?

Do we hope and pray for better health and for a better joy with an increase in pay, are we hoping that our children will learn and will grow and will become a new generation of “hopeful” adults?

What would we become without hope? We live in hope and I am in love with hope. Hope for all that is good and great, hope for a better world for all of us. Hope it is a really good thing! Hope doesn’t cost anything but prepares us and sets us up for all that we hope and dream for in our lives.

Hope … what are you hoping for in this brand New Year… it starts with a thought with a desire with a willingness to believe that what we hope for can actually become realized.

Bernadette on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/bernadetteamoyer

All books by Bernadette A. Moyer are available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble

Surrounded by Angels

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Surrounded by Angels
By Bernadette A. Moyer

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I have always had angels around me, my entire life I was aware of the spiritual powers that surround me. Angels are defined as ‘the messengers of God.” In order to receive them you must open both your heart and your mind.

We hear stories about guardian angels, angels of protection during war and people that are helped by angels. We see angels in art, on cards, notes and décor. After my first husband died, within hours I felt a strong spiritual presence over my right shoulder. This was more almost 30 years ago; however I remember it so clearly. The message I received was, “you are not alone.” I was heavy hearted with a two year old daughter. My faith walk as an adult truly began at this time. I believe that God sent that angel with that message.

Years ago I wrote a children’s book titled, Angel Stacey, Earth Angel to Guardian Angel. It was a tribute to our children’s parents and our previous spouses that passed on at such young ages. We raised our children to believe that although God had taken their parent pre-maturely, they may have left this life but that they were still there in Heaven.

When my parents died, I knew they had returned home to God, to their maker. My sense was that my father had made his peace before leaving this earthly life. My dad knew his last days were coming and he took all the necessary steps to make peace with the people in his life that mattered most.

To me, my mother would struggle since she left so much unattended to and certainly left much unrest. But shortly after her departure, I had a strong message from what I believe was an angel. The message was simple, “God knew then and now so does your mother, and you must carry on with peace and love in your heart.”

Having faith is no doubt, the single greatest gift my parents gave to me. I live with less and less anxiety as I age. There are so many wonderful and beautiful angels; I personally have quite a collection in books, wall hangings, ornaments and more.

As a collector, they make me happy. I choose to surround myself with angels and I am receptive to hearing their messages. I truly believe that if and when we are ready to receive our angels, they are there for us. And when we receive the messenger, that angel sent by God, then we truly hear the voice of God.

Angel Stacey books are available at amazon.com

New book Along The Way and Another Way are available on amazon.com and Barnes and Noble

Follow Bernadette on http://www.facebook.com/bernadetteamoyer