Start over again

Published 3:57 am Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Can Easter be right around the corner? It seems that the Christmas decorations have barely been put away, but the cute floppy eared bunnies decorating my daughter’s apartment tell me it must be so. As I look around at the homey nest my eldest has created from a somewhat bleak beginning last year I am filled with gratitude and awe.

Yesterday, my girl bartered for an antique, drop leaf table that looks precious with her eclectic decor.

Each time I come to visit I hear, “How do you like this, Mom? I picked it up from a yard sale for a little bit of nothing. The place is coming together, don’t ya think?”

And each time I reply, “It looks fantastic! What a great shopper you are!”

It’s true. What my daughter has done with a little bit of money and a whole lot of heart has been amazing! I’m impressed that she has rebounded from a gut wrenching divorce and little by little pieced her life back together. I’ve seen her struggle to find her way when financial and emotional setbacks rocked her world.

Through it all I have watched her look outward and upward to find balance and strength. When her financial circumstances went south she rolled up her sleeves, literally. My daughter, Melinda, works a full time job as a teaching assistant at the county school near her home. But after school and on weekends she also works as a massage therapist.

Instead of licking her wounds and giving in to self-pity Melinda chose the high road. When self-doubt and anxiety threatened to overtake her she clung tightly to her savior. Family and friends gave financial and emotional support to Melinda during the tough transition.

Now Melinda is giving back to the community that supported her. She donates massages as door prizes whenever her community hosts a fundraiser. She teaches Sunday School at her church, and one Saturday per month she volunteers at the local Crisis Pregnancy Center encouraging other women who find themselves in tough situations.

When Melinda attended massage therapy school she didn’t know her marriage would end in divorce. She simply listened to that still small voice in her heart and prepared to become a licensed therapist. This, in turn, has allowed her an opportunity to provide for herself and her son, my grandson.

None of us know what our future holds, but with God’s guidance, hard work and determination our lives can give hope to others.

Jan Penton Miller can be reached at