Welcome to The Journey and Beyond

Throughout the many phases of my life I have had, like most of us, ups and downs. As I moved through the many trials thrown in front of me , finding inspiration became difficult at times. My intention is to create a page where I can spread inspiration to others using various forms of expression. The first page will be filled with short quotes, thoughts, pictures and music. The blog page will be filled with stories of my journey through life beginning with some pretty tough life lessons just to help explain that I indeed have been “there” giving myself some credibility. Then showing how no matter how dire the situation it is possible to move forward again and find happiness. Taking the life lessons and finding the positive in each one. I hope you can find the page The Journey and Beyond a place where you feel comfortable. Leaving with a feeling of inspiration, hope and a little more gusto to go through your day.

Thank you for joining me on my journey and allowing me to be a part of yours.

Please have a beautiful day filled with love and blessings. Suzanne ❤




Conflict in Aleppo, Syria - 03 Oct 2012Last night I decided to watch CNN for a little while, Anderson Cooper 360. He showed some video from Syria of the children running from the explosions and screaming in fear. A very emotional video. These poor children. Why do they have to live a life in constant fear? I myself could not imagine having to live a life where a bomb or bullet could kill me and my children at anytime. So I can talk about it and think about it but I wonder what good that does, if any. I suppose it may make others more aware and someone might be in a position to do something. I feel so very sad for these people and at the same time I do not know what I can do personally to help them. If I thought it would do any good I would go to Syria but I suppose I would arrive home in a body bag accomplishing very little. I pray for their safety and for the conflict to be halted. I just wish there was something more I could do. I think about the children who actually live through this experience. Who will help them as they move forward. They sure wont grow up and just forget what has happened to them, their families, and friends. So many conflicts are happening in our world. I pray for guidance in what I should do to be of any help. I know for many it is much easier not to think about “this” and to focus on the happiness that the holidays bring. But myself I just can’t turn my head. I remember posting about this several months ago. Now more than 40,000 people dead and thousands of displaced children. ♥ The Journey

Photography shared from Huffington post.uk

The Man behind the curtain

Thinking about someone who briefly crossed my path. A person whose face I never saw. Last year when my husband was in the hospital he had another man who was a patient in his room. The curtain was always pulled so I never did see his face. I stayed as late as the hospital would let me and then kissed my husband good night and making sure he had everything he would need until I returned in the morning. When I called my husband to let him know I arrived home safely he told me he had heard the man crying. They later talked briefly and “the man” was crying because he wished he had someone love him as I loved my husband. Listening to us talk to each other made him sad because of the people he no longer had in his life. When I returned that morning I heard the man talking to his nurse and doctor about how he felt suicidal and also that he was homeless. The staff was making arrangements for him to go to a “facility”. And were concerned about the safety of me and my husband. They rushed my husbands release so that “we would not be in danger”. I actually never felt in danger and wished I could do something for this man I never saw or spoke with., “the man behind the curtain”. Today, Thanksgiving Day, I find myself thinking about him. I wish I would have at least learned his name. I hope that today he is no longer depressed and sitting with people he cares about sharing a meal and some laughs. I know the possiblities of this are slim. I just wish he knew I cared. ♥ The Journey

Missing my dog, Shadow

Thinking about my dog shadow today. I really miss her. She died of smoke inhalation during my house fire. I feel guilty that I could not rescue her. The flames were so high and the smoke became so thick. I remember trying to bust open the window that was locked shut and would not open. It took several times trying to open that window as smoke poured under the door. I was so scared. Poor Girl, My Shadow. The man who decided to throw several 5 gallon containers of gasoline in the house and lock us both inside showed no remorse. He sits in prison now but he was not given any additional time for Shadow. Not even an apology. It amazes me how cold a person can be. I guess our pasts make us who we are and something made that “man” into what he became. Someone who can kill a dog, try to kill another person who he said he loved and burn a house to the ground. I forgive him. But believe he is right where he should be, sitting in prison. ♥ The Journey

Giving Thanks

Giving Thanks. Sometimes I wish I could just hibernate from my son’s Birthday in late October until January. I used to love celebrating the Holidays with my family. So nice it used to be sitting at the table filled with all the people I loved sharing food and conversation. Also telling stories of years past with smiles and laughs. Just typing about these memories makes my heart feel warm and grow

bigger. What I wouldn’t do for a nice family dinner with all my loved ones at the same table. Sadly most all my family has left this world and the few that are left are wrapped up in their own lives. For me, I get pretty lonely and sad if I let myself. Most of the time I try to get away somewhere for the weekend a little road trip, or mini vacation just for a change of scenery. It allows me not to focus on what was and start focusing on making new memories. Life has to move forward and still be enjoyable. No matter what has happened, it has happened, and there is nothing that can be done to change the past, as much as I wish I could. The only thing that is possible is to make the best of what there is in this life. I choose to enjoy this holiday week and remember all the wonderful memories of the past. I also chose to make some new wonderful memories to take with me into my future. As far as missing my loved ones, I will focus on all the days they made me smile and in my heart I know they are really not that far away. They are resting in my heart and memories. And through my faith, in a life after this one, I know our souls will again be united. Giving thanks for all the Happy Thoughts and the life that allows New Memories. ♥ The Journey

Painting by Lauren Alexander

I deserve to Live

I have always been a people person loving to interact with others. Perhaps part of the reason I became I Nurse, the love of people and also the wanting to help others. Well, for the most part my only interaction with others is now through this computer. After my house fire where a man who I thought I loved tried to burn me alive I have a fear to leave the house. He was shall we say “connected” and made sure I knew of his relatives who could harm me after all that was their “job”. So I have a constant need to always look over my shoulder. If he only knew how much he destroyed the person I was he would be a very happy and content person I suppose. Well, he sits in prison now for 20 years, 17 if he is a good boy during his time and 5 years have already passed. What I wouldn’t give to be able to go outside and not have to worry. Living the carefree life I once lived. I try not to worry about what “could” happen but its hard for it not to be there always in my mind. I have thought about getting a gun, but I so hate weapons and what if I accidentally shot someone I didn’t mean to? What if I hesitated? So instead I sit here waiting for something to happen. It really does piss me off at times. And I do force myself to go out into the world returning so inspired and happy because of the connections I have made. I have been offered “pills” by doctors to help my “anxiety” and “fears” but at this time I choose not to follow that path. Even yesterday was so wonderful just visiting the local Wal-Mart crossing the paths of others and having small conversations made me feel more alive. I feel I need to push myself and go outside to enjoy life once again. After all what kind of life is this stuck inside the majority of the time due to fear? So whatever happens, happens. I know I deserve to live.

I have moved forward as I used to be paralyzed in fear. Never leaving, no communication, sleeping with a butcher knife under my bed. In the beginning I could never sleep I stayed awake all night hearing every little noise. To be able to communicate with others on this computer is actually a BIG step as it is so very easy to find me now that I am talking. Moving back to the USA was also a BIG step. And going to the store and shopping by myself is a BIG step. Going outside on the weekends and working in the yard is another BIG step. I keep pushing myself to keep plunging forward. I do want my life back.


I have forgiven many in this life. Some acts of forgiveness were much more difficult than others. So far the man who tried to burn me alive has been the most difficult. But I now can say I forgive him. This by no means gives him a get out of jail free card as I believe he must sit in jail for his crimes. But I chose not to let him have power over me and my happiness. There are a handful of people I have still found it very difficult to forgive. I know one day I will but I just haven’t gotten to that point. the people I find the hardest to forgive are the family and close friends that took advantage of my pain during my lowest moments. Lying, stealing, gossiping, judging and turning their backs. These were suppose to be my allies the people who would always stand beside me. Just shocking I suppose to learn how weak these relationships were. As each day passes I continue to work on their forgiveness. For now that is all I can do. ♥ The Journey

Inner Strength

Most of you who have followed my blog for a while know that my son died in an accident along with two other teenagers. The year following his death was a total blur…I really do not remember much of anything, except, that day. About a year later I was very lonely, after all who wants to be with a person who is grieving the loss of her child. Not much fun I suppose. This is when I ran away and decided to live in a “3rd world country”. (I have always wondered how they decide who is a 3rd world country or a 2nd world country, I will look that up today) but I left. I always consider the loss of my child the ultimate kick in the gut…but later came the right and left punch-my mothers death and the attack on my life by fire ultimately losing everything. At that time I was pretty beat up and had basically no one in my life. It was then, 2 years after my son’s death that I made choices I was not proud of in my life. The 2 year mark for me was the most difficult grieving period. I started drinking, daily. Something that never really interested me before but now it somehow seemed to ease the pain. I think I was trying to drink myself to a point that nothing mattered, a death wish perhaps. I also dabbled a little into drugs on a handful of nights that I was really depressed–silently wishing I would die. A cry for help perhaps but no one seemed to care. This lasted roughly 6 months, my binge to lessen the pains of life. It seems that those 6 months will be held over my head for my lifetime. The judgement of others makes me shake my head in disbelief. Wondering how they would have handled the same situation. You can be “the perfect little wife , mother and employee” and make 1 mistake and your dirt from then on. I guess my point in all of this is, at times no matter how loud you scream sometimes no one will come running to help you. It’s up to you to help save yourself. If your family and friends walk away then seek counseling. Find an outlet to talk to even if its writing letters to the people who caused you pain. Escaping the pain will work for a while BUT sooner or later you have to work yourself to a place that you can live again. I am grateful for my inner strength that allowed me to get back up and push forward. ♥ The Journey

Life’s Most Valuable Lesson’s

Thinking back. I know its not always good to look back. But I believe at times it is necessary, just to see how far you have come. I remember a time in my life where I was searching for recognition and the all mighty dollar. I was a medical sales person. From the outside I suppose it may look like a job that requires very little and pays quite a bit. I remember waking up early in the mornings before I started my day and the sun was hardly above the horizon I was on a conference call–planning my strategy for the day and weeks to come. The days were long but the benefits great. The focus was sales, the more the better, landing that million dollar contract. Leaving the house was always a chore. The perfect shoes to go with the suit or dress. The face and hair was at its perfection. Very little “fat” was found on that body. I was a facade on the out side, but perfect just the same to all who walked past. Winning the biggest contracts with several medical corporations, allowing me to take unimaginable vacations and receive bonuses that some how made me feel like I had accomplished something. Perhaps that I was special somehow. I know as a child I never received the attention and love I deserved so I chose to be the best of the best in my career and sales. Top medical sales executive in the United States. Well, after I had received the top reward in my company, bought the big house on the water, the nice car and all the other toys I thought would make me happy. Including the life that appeared to be the envy of those around me. I wondered what was next. I accomplished all that in my eyes that I could.

Then my son who was 17, died, the largest loss in my life. That set me back and made me re-evaluate what was really important. Then my mother died and I divorced. I “ran” away from home living in a third world country and meeting what I thought was my Soul Mate as we had both lost a teen-aged son. I was really wrong about that choice as he burned my house to the ground, killing my dog and locked me inside to burn in the fire. So much seemed to happen in such a short time, all within 2 years. Going from a “perfect little life” to one that had spun out of control. At that time all I could do was feel the pain of my losses. I had lost what I felt to be everything. My son, both my parents, my marriage, my soul-mate, all my belongings and everything that had belonged to the people that I had loved. All my possessions were gone. I didn’t even have a pair of shoes as I jumped out of the window to save my life.

After a couple years of feeling sorry for myself, using alcohol and drugs to numb the pain. I had a wake up call. I knew something medically was wrong with me. I wasn’t sure what but kept finding myself in the Emergency Room with chest pains and a rapid heart rate. I knew then that this was indeed a wake up call. I had a choice-to keep killing myself or to get my shit together. Well, as I am still alive today. I decided to get my shit together. Looking back. I now realize what is really important in this life. I didn’t need all that “stuff” and perhaps losing everything was one of life’s most valuable lessons.  Love and Blessings The Journey

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