[Editor: About The Turning Point: this post was a response to an earlier post about death by suicide. We thought the poem would be a great addition to our weekly Inspirational Quotes. Rosemarie Wilder asked the following:
“…and please mention New Hope for Kids. This organization helps children in grief and grants wishes to children who have life-threatening illnesses. I was drawn to this organization for my career because of the grief experiences I had.”
To learn more about New Hope For Kids, click the images below.]
Twenty-six years ago, I found my husband who had taken his life by hanging. He had fought a life-long battle with depression and other psychological challenges. Our relationship had suffered due to his erratic and intimidating outbursts of anger. The day he died was the worst day of my life. For a long time, I blamed myself for not providing the love that could have “saved” him. Our counselor taught me that one person cannot be responsible for another person’s healing and happiness. For the first eight months, I saw myself as a victim.
All that happened was filtered through my husband’s death. The following summer, my 14 year-old-son was hospitalized due to burns that happened when he placed an aerosol can in a fire. While sitting in the hospital, I wrote the poem below. It was the turning point in my thinking. I realized most adults face hardships in life. Why would it be different for me? I also began to find a balance between this huge loss and the multitude of blessings I’d experienced in my life. It was the beginning of healing. I took off the mantle of a victim and put on a new realization about being part of humanity.
The Turning Point
I have known the loss of loved ones, leaving me torn within.
I have known hardships in life, leaving me discouraged and fearful.
I have known pain and broken relationships, leaving me cold.
I have known the fires of temptation, fleshly flames,
Burning up the convictions of my soul.
I could list things stolen
By the winds of circumstance and choice.
The loss of home, a broken marriage, a dream without a future.
A hollowness rang through my mind; a voice whispered in my ear.
Yes, you have known grief and loss, but you have also known Joy.
Thoughts ran down the streets of my mind
Like a prisoner released from bondage!
The joy of a loving mother and father,
Years of laughter, kindness and peace.
The touch of beauty reaching inside and lifting up my soul.
The tenderness of a child’s trusting hand in mine.
The joy of singing praises to God, His Spirit drawing me close.
Deliverance from fear, oppression, doubt and weakness.
True affection of friends, who hold on to the good in me.
I have known joy; it fills my life making my sorrows insignificant.
Rosemarie Wilder has served as New Hope for Kids Wish Program Director since 1999. She is affectionately known as the “Wish Mom.” Her years of managing volunteers, working with a faith congregation and teaching school have taught her invaluable lessons in relating to people of all ages, races, and cultures. In addition to the privilege of meeting children and families in preparation for granting a wish, Rosie also assists with Grief Facilitator training and serves as a community speaker on behalf of New Hope for Kids. In 1998 she received her M. A. with honors in Mental Health Counseling from Webster University, Orlando, Florida preceded by a B.A. in English/Education from Stetson University, Deland, Florida in 1973. On weekends Rosie can often be found entertaining her three grandchildren, traveling, writing or oil painting.