A Reflection of Who I Am

Posts tagged ‘Deborah Wilson Smart’

Unpacking Memories – Sylvia’s Room


Reprint:crossroads

Ministry Offers a shoulder, and more, to the grieving
Courierpointonline.com
Kim Mulford – Keeping the Faith

I won’t rewrite this article in full because it touches on a lot of personal information about others who were involved and may not want their names put on social media at this time. I will quote from the article only specifics about “Sylvia’s Room”. The article begins telling the story of a woman who had just lost her husband. He passed away at home as was his wish.

“There were no tears from his wife, not yet. As her family members wondered who to call- 9-1-1? The police? An ambulance?— she was calm. As she had done during her husband’s illness, she called Deborah Karper, a friend and trained volunteer from her church’s new bereavement support ministry called Sylvia’s Room.

“She got everything in motion,” said (the widow), during a phone interview on what would have been her 27th wedding anniversary last week. “She called the pastor’s wife. We got a beautiful funeral home. I didn’t have to do anything. They picked me up and carried me through everything.”

Sylvia’s Room was launched in October as an outreach ministry of Green Grove Baptist Church, led by the Rev. George E. Holland, Sr., in West Berlin. Eight volunteers, called ‘roommates’ meet monthly with the Rev. Albert Griffin, an associate minister at Green Grove, who is also a certified hospice volunteer.

The volunteers are trained to recognize the states of the grieving process, the signs of severe grieving and how to help those in mourning.

The ministry is named for Sylvia Martin, a Green Grove congregant’s mother who died last year.

Volunteers are typically matched with families before the death of a loved one, and remain in frequent contact for 13 months after the death. The church also holds quarterly Sylvia’s Room seminars, inviting people to learn more about life insurance, hospice care, wills and other end-of-life concerns.

The ministry is open to assist anyone, not just church members, said Griffin.

“We believe that with this type of focus, we can help people transition through the grieving process in a more healthy way,” said Griffin.

Volunteering as a roommate is not an easy job, but it is rewarding, according to Karper.

The 57-year-old Atco woman is already familiar with grief. She lost her husband of 20 years to cancer four years ago. When she can, she shares what she has learned with the two women assigned to her.

“Basically, I have been mostly a shoulder to cry on,” said Karper. She reassures them they aren’t going crazy, that their feelings are natural. If a woman is having trouble sleeping at night, Karper tells her to start a journal and write down their thoughts. She is there to listen and to offer spiritual support.

“When they ask for prayer, I try to pray immediately,” said Karper.

Since her husband’s death, (the widow) and Karper talk even late at night. (The widow) is a mother of three—including a 13 year old who still lives at home— thinks God brought her to Green Grove because she would need its help after he husband’s passing.

“Deborah has gotten me through quite a few nights,” she said. “Shes been a blessing to me.”

Although Sylvia’s Room is now a ministry of individuals who take on the task willing and eager to be roommates to those who grieve the lost of a loved one. In 2003 I was widowed after almost twenty years of marriage, and in 2004 my current husband was widowed after 20 years of marriage. It is very hard to ask for comfort when your whole world shifts so dramatically. We both know what it is like to experience the lonely hours after the funeral or memorial service and everyone returns to their lives. A widowed individual is left to start life without their significant other; no matter how good or bad. The emptiness takes time to be refilled and with each person it is different. 

No matter how long time passes; no matter if remarried or not; a widowed person carries their departed loved one with them always. Don’t find it strange. Take my word for it, this is a memory that will always stay with you. 

Unpacking Memories – The Morning Exchange


Reprint:
A.M. Exchange – Women go beyond networking
by Christine Norris
Courier-Post – This Week Section
Wednesday, November 24, 1993

Businesswomen, helping business women is the basis for a new group formed in April of this year (1993). Created to deal with the special needs of female entrepreneurs and corporate professionals alike the Morning Exchange caters to helping its members thrive in an ever complex world. Formed by two former members of the Alli Lassen Leads Club, the Morning Exchange brings a group of hardworking South Jersey women together every Tuesday at 6:50 a.m. at the Friends Meeting House in Haddonfield.

Sharing advice

They come to share advice on how to grow in their businesses, but more importantly they gather to improve their self-esteem and to learn more about themselves.

The Morning Exchange where lasting relationships were formed.

The Morning Exchange where lasting relationships were formed.

Involved in women’s networking since the early 70’s, co-founder Deborah Karper knew that there was a need for something more than exchanging business cards and getting business leads. “The Exchange allows us to have the business networking piece where we learn about each ther’s business. But it also brings us together to discuss the lighter side of working,” she explains. “We deal with everything from self-esteem to working in a male-dominated profession to tapping into your whole self.”

Safe feelings

Morning Exchange co-founder Janet Janka, a massage therapist from Collingswood, compares the weekly ritual to a friendly gathering of friends instead of a hard-nosed networking session. “It’s a safe haven. If…”

That was it. I didn’t have page 13 which continued the article. I am so happy to have revisited with the program Janet and I formed together. Right now I do not remember how long we met but it was a wonderful experience and I met many wonderful people.

The article also shows how I have been true to my path. I still believe networking should be more than exchanging business cards. We should take the time and build strong relationships.

Unpacking Memories – No Nonsense, Nathan!


Kids’ Reading Fun is “No-Nonsense” at Gladstone
MetroKids-Behind the Scenes
First Printed: July, 2000

No Nonsense, Nathan!

No Nonsense, Nathan!

No Nonsense Nathan is a charming new book from Gladstone Publishing that teaches kids all about the art of compromise and sharing. Two to seven year olds will be able to relate to Nathan, who spends his week not wanting to share or cooperate. When he discovers a magical way to turn everyone to stone and be free to do what he wants, he also discovers that isolating himself can be lonely, and compromise can be fun.

Paula Nolte, Author and Illustrator

Paula Nolte, Author and Illustrator

“This is the first in a series of books about Nathan and his friends,” explained author Paula Nolte. This book series is designed not only to teach life lessons in an engaging way, but also to open up a dialogs between child and parent.
Nolte, who’s been a teacher for 10 years, has seen first hand how challenging it is to raise a little one and work outside the home.
“I’ve taught in England, Canada, and the US,” she said. “After a while I began to observe that children were spending a lot more time in pre-school and daycare. I felt a need to create some stories that parents could share with their children to open up and discuss issues that I felt were important to their age group.”
Nolte is multi-talented. Not only is she a teacher and author, but she has also done the illustrations for the book. Nolte’s illustrations are delightful and rich with detail.
She recently began giving creative writing workshops at elementary schools around the Tri-State area. Children not only get to meet the author, but they learn all about what is takes to produce a book.
“What we’ve done is go into the classroom and give children an illustration from the book.” Nolte said. “Children are asked to observe the picture and then write their own tale of what they feel is happening.
“Then, I teach the kids all about the fine art of editing. In the end, we take the pages they have created and publish their book, which resides in the school’s library,” she said. “The children just love it!” She also autographs the student’s copies of Non Nonsense Nathan and delights in fielding questions from young future writers.

It all started with an interview in the Philadelphia Inquirer. I received over 30 emails from first-time writers looking to get published. But, one of these emails came from “Love Krissy”, a teacher in Harrison Township. It was her class the school program was launched. Somewhere in the many boxes is stored the contributions from her class as they described Nathan or wrote themselves into the story. Hmmm, how long will it take me to find them?

Unpacking Memories – Why I Save Stuff


Unpacking the Memories will document the stories behind the items being examined and judged. I must have given away over 40 bags of clothing (not all mine) deemed unnecessary. They were too small or too big. The wrong design or they just weren’t flattering enough to wear. Unfortunately, some of the clothing still had price tags on them. Going through this process has made me even more aware of my wants versus my needs.

Boxed Memories

Boxed Memories

The question which runs through my mind as I examine each item is, “Was I hoarding or collecting?”

Unpacked So Far

Manuscripts

I found original manuscripts from my first publishing projects.

A) David Goerlitz, Former Winston Man & Associates, Inc. came to me with “Smokescreen” which was titled “Before the Smokescreen” at the time of publication. The book was written for juveniles and young adults. It told Dave’s life experience with being addicted to cigarettes as a teen and rising to become one of Winston’s top models. I remember being nervous about accepting this project, because Dave’s life had been threatened because he testified in congress against the tobacco industry.

B) Paula Nolte – No Nonsense Nathan! Paula was the inside sales representative for the company I consulted from 1992-2002. I was an independent training consultant for Abra! Human Resource and Payroll Software. She had written and illustrated “Nathan” years before coming to work with us. We were away at a conference in Florida. She and I shared a room. She coily asked me if I would be interested in seeing her children’s book. I was delighted and said yes. From out of her suit case she introduced me to Nathan for the very first time.

C) Iris Calaci – Matthew Mouse Iris and my late husband Donald met in the supermarket. She and her husband somehow got into a conversation with Don. I wasn’t present so I don’t know exactly how it all came about. Iris told him about her children’s book and the rest is history. I published “Matthew Mouse” in 2001. I sold quite a few through advertising through the Philadelphia Inquirer.

D) Debra Pedrow – Aunt Debra and My Favorite Things Poster and Aunt Debra and the Snack’n String. What a wonderful project. I was able, along with Debra who lived in the Pittsburgh area, to bring her character to elementary schools and local bookstores for signings and programs. Even though my name is spelled Deborah, people thought the character looked like me because of her wonderful smile.

I am very proud of these projects. I became a publisher when I took on the dreams of these gifted people.I eagerly look forward to finding more wonderful treasures as I continue to Unpack the Memories.

Letters from My Sister Lisa

How precious it was to find these letters and hear my sister Lisa’s voice once again. I share with you my thoughts after my wonderful discovery.

This morning as I unpacked some bags, I came across an envelope sent to me by my mother dated March 21, 2012. When I opened it, I realized they contained letters from my late sister, Lisa to Mom. It was bittersweet to see her handwriting and to read her words. As I read, her face came into my mind’s eye. I could see her smile and her beautiful eyes. She and I were so different. I regret not knowing her better. I regret not having the patience to understand her illness. What she bi-polar or schizophrenic? I don’t remember. But in reading the short notes and letter, I realized despite of her condition, she was an intelligent woman who loved God and lived and died on her own terms.

She wrote, “The prophetic quote is every child arise on earth. They who have peace with themselves are righteous.” How profound. How ironic I found this letter as I have found peace finally with myself. Despite of the transitions were have been experiencing, the Holy Spirit has allowed me to find peace within the storm.

Lisa signed the card, “Rev. Lisa A. Davis”. Sometime ago…in my absence from her life, she dedicated her life to be a Shepherd of God. Did she have a church? Not to my knowledge; but she indeed had a ministry. Even though she moved to Washington homeless, she worked with women at the Woman’s Shelter. I have some paperwork of hers packed away somewhere with more information about the shelter.

In a second note she wrote”

Hi Mom.

Thanks for the blessing… It’s a great city I’m in. The statues are mesmerizing. People are as common as life is made. Snobs do not exist. I was sick now I’m saved…Some women work, some come in from the hospital or nursing homes, a girl was hit by a car. I have to wait some time for my SSI, soon I hope.

Your daughter,

Lisa Ann Wilson

A simple letter that told me, my sister found happiness in a simplistic and Godly life. She wrote phrases like, “Though I’m prayed upon by the wisdom of the spirit, my merciful soul (is) at grace”. “Through the process of life God has my mind at ease in great unwearied hopes that publishes itself, as the evening shade prevail it takes up wondrous tales of new.”

Oh if I could have spent more time with Lisa. Well, that chance is gone. I do have more of her writings and a copy of her published poetry book. Lisa’s memory will continue through my memories and reflections. She will also be a character in “String of Pearl” series.

Unpacking Memories – Introduction


July 3, 2015

We recently had to move from our home in a very short period. It was a difficult move because we had to downsize from a four-bedroom, eight room, full basement and garage home to a three-bedroom, six room home with an old fashion below ground cellar and no garage. I call our new home, “The Enchanted Cottage.”

When my family and I first visited our new home back in April, I fell in love with its simplicity and charm. Once we returned home to the house we were leaving, a feeling of dread overwhelmed me. “Where would all of our belongings go?” For the purpose of emotional calm, I began referring to the belongings as “stuff” to help me detach. After a month and a half of packing, which included packing up and moving my husband’s mother to live with her granddaughter, we are finally finished the dreaded move.

Sitting 38 miles to the north is the house I moved into August 3, 2008. My husband had already lived there for sixteen years. Now, almost seven years after our wedding day, I am sharing a home I feel is mine and ours. For those of you who have married a divorced or widowed individual, you will understand how I feel. The home I lived in was still the home of the departed spouse. In my case from the garage to the attic and each every room was planned, decorated and furnished by my husband’s late wife. When I moved in,  I was truly grateful for her great taste in decorating. Even to this day, I am thankful I did not have to take on that task.

Yet as the years moved on, I desired to have my personality represented in the home decor. This move has allowed me to experience that desire once again. Although I am currently up to the rafters in boxes. I am content in knowing, this is the home my husband and I will share for a season. It has become and will continue to be a peaceful sanctuary where we will have an opportunity to grow old(er) together.

This house has already given my step-daughter an opportunity to be a part of a family again. It is so small she cannot isolate herself; yet large enough to allow movement between her bedroom, the family room and the outside deck. For the first time, I am experiencing the roles I have always longed for. It has been a long and hard seven years…ten years if you include the years my husband and I dated before we married. I enjoy her quick business mind and the ease she grasps situations. As it is in life, our relationship is a dance; sometimes a two-step, at times the cha-cha, and others the tango. But, rarely the rumba. I’ve learned to gauge her moods and interact accordingly.

Now the unpacking begins…

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Girl Trek: Walking in Blackwood, New Jersey


 

I’m a Girl Trekker from New Jersey. There are so many walking venues in Southern New Jersey. Grenloch Lake Memorial Park is just one of many we will seek out and share our pictures.

Grenloch-1

Grenloch Lake Memorial Park – a great place for a short walk. F.Y.I They stock the lake with trout.

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It’s About to be Birthed!


It's About to be Birthed!

Pearl, The Little Light that Shines

“Inspirational book for the young readers, as well as, appealing cross-generational readers.”

Even as we grow older, our memories keep drawing us back to the past. Some memories bring smiles, and some overwhelm us with sadness. Despite some of the sad memories, P. J. “Pearl” Richardson, at age 60, decides to write about both the good and bad memories to illustrate how one does not have to be victim of their past.

In her first book, “Pearl, The Little Light that Shines”, she tells of her various relationships and adventures, and how she allows the light of Jesus to shine through the hurt, pain and disappointments in life. Her light inspires others to gain a positive outlook on their lives. Her stories bridge across all age groups as she begins telling her story at age 10. Each of her stories has a message each age group can learn a little more about living a fulfilling life by rejecting the negative memories.

Visit Pearl J. Richardson’s blog – http://thepearlineoyster.com as she reveals some of the stories behind the stories and the characters.

Pre-Order Today! Save $2.00 – Shipping Begins May 1st.

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